Hello dear friends

 What’s the most dreadful (or wonderful) experience you’ve ever had as a customer? Photographers, artists, poets: show us SERVICE.

It’s time for another blog subject with compliments from the Daily Post. This one is entitled “Are you being served?” Let’s begin …

Sometimes an evening begins really well and turns sour at the end. Other times an evening starts rather badly and turns out well in the end. You know what I mean? I’m not really sure which one I prefer! However, there is one memory that stands out from the rest:

This one started out well … really well. It took place about six years ago. The celebration was for a friends 50th birthday so there were quite a few of us (12) at the little trendy cafe in a part of Brisbane well-known for eating out. It had a good reputation … apparently.

Restaurant with outdoor sitting by night, Montmartre. Paris, FranceWe were seated outside as it was a nice warm evening. We were warned that if we had not finished our meal by 10pm we would have to go inside as there were time restrictions on dining outside due to noise and it being a residential area.

All good really. No problems. It was only 7.30pm for goodness sakes.

By 8.30 we had still not been served (we had drinks) so the proprietor offered us free garlic bread to keep us going. Very nice touch indeed. Very thoughtful. Menus were finally handed out too.

We waited … and waited … and waited for what seemed an eternity. 

It was after 9pm when they came to take our orders. “Oh well, it won’t be long now” was our thinking. How wrong could anyone be? Talk flew around the table about the inefficiency of this place. People at other tables seemed to be getting their food but not us.

We were NOT pleased.

However, we tried to keep a positive attitude. 9.45pm came … still no food. By now, 10pm was fast approaching. Despite complaints and questions from all of us, no food arrived. The garlic bread had long been digested and was probably even out of our system by then.

10pm came and we were promised the food was about to be served. Finally! However, as it was now 10pm we could no longer stay on the footpath to eat due to the regulations. Off we marched to eat inside the restaurant which was almost empty by this time.

Okay all good. Let’s give them a chance as it should be nice food.

restricted-diet-slow-aging-2The food arrived. Huge sized plates. Tiny servings of food swamped by the size of those plates. A lot of people ordered ‘Bangers and Mash’ (sausages) a speciality of the House. We were served one small sausage, a tablespoon of mash, and a dessertspoon of peas. Small dollops of gravy sat around the huge plate as decoration.

What was going on here? We had waited over two hours for this paltry amount of food?? We were STARVING by now. 

The husband of the birthday girl had had enough and he decided to ask for a larger serving of sausages. Well done! The restaurant people were NOT pleased. They took the plate away. When the plate returned, the husband was insulted by what he saw on his plate.

I was never quite sure exactly what happened  next but it was monumental in its effect.

There were terse words from the husband about the whole state of affairs of the night concluded by “and now you insult us by giving us this pitiful amount of food”. A chair was thrown. Harsh words were spoken, a fight was broken up between the husband and the restauranteur. It was not good. We all stopped eating to watch.

“Out! I want everyone out!” yelled the restauranteur. Forget paying … just get out of my restaurant!”

The twelve of us took our belongings, left our food half-eaten and gathered outside on the street in total shock. We had planned to go for birthday cake and coffee at our friend’s place nearby, so now we took stock about our next move.

bad serviceAs we stood there, another man (with some authority) appeared and said: “there has been a mistake, you DO have to pay for your food. Here is the bill.”

And as with one voice, we all called out: “There is no way we’re paying after what we’ve been through. NO WAY!!!” And with that, we all agreed to get out of that area as fast as possible and go home.

The restaurant man stood on the corner outside the restaurant aghast and unsure what to do next. However, we knew as we’ve never known before, we were NOT paying for anything from that place. Of course Geoff and I left and headed home for a good feed, shaking our heads in disbelief.

So now, whenever my friend recalls her 50th Birthday celebration, she has this memory of a night from hell which will never go away.

We still talk about it to this day. That night sure is hard to beat for pure entertainment … and BAD SERVICE!