Toblog

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When service goes bad

On Friday night I was at a friend’s birthday party in the basement of a pub in Notting Hill. The pub itself was full but not packed: the bar queue was never more than one layer deep. The first couple of rounds gave me no indication of how awful things were to get; I always got served quickly. I should have realised that things were starting to go wrong when Alex came back from the bar with a bottle of wine having been away for twenty minutes.

Half an hour later I decide the time is right for another bottle. This turned out to be the incorrect decision. I stood at the bar for thirty minutes whilst the other, frankly rude, punters queue jumped. I watched some of the worst bar service I have ever seen, and yes, I have worked behind busy bars; I know how to do it properly. I watched the bar staff give incredible deals on drinks to many people who seemed to be their mates.

When I finally managed to get one of the three woefully slow and disorganized bar staff to serve me it turned out that all five of the wines that I had chosen as acceptable from the wine list were not in stock. Why not let the customer know in advance by, oh I don’t know, crossing them off on the chalk board? Wouldn’t that be useful? Apparently not. Why not have enough stock for Friday night? I have heard on the grape vine that it is quite common that people go out on Friday night, so why not make damn sure you have enough stock? It is just Not That Hard. Not only had I queued for thirty minutes, put up with obnoxious behaviour by certain other members of the public, but also I had put up with this for no gain. All of this marred a perfectly good evening.

There is no excuse for a popular pub in central London to have such atrocious service, I shall not be going back.

Published on 2006/11/06 at 15:43 by Toby, tags ,

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