Monday, December 13, 2010

Say What???

Why is it so hard to say we made a mistake? Vanessa and I stopped at a restaurant on the way home from a wedding we shot on Saturday.
 It was a beautiful wedding and it was a lovely day all around, the couple were perfect to work with, they made time for photographs and we felt like we really connected with them and delivered for them. 
So, exhausted and happily content we stopped at an eatery (‘’gastro-pub’’) in Stourbridge for a quick bite. How long may I ask you does to cook a hamburger? Even if it is a ‘posh’ one?  Is 35 minutes a little long to wait for a hamburger? We seemed to think so and when we asked our waitress what the delay was we were told that the hamburgers are made fresh everyday and that is what was taking so long, uhmm I would hope the hamburgers are made fresh daily and not exactly sure why that was an issue in the cooking part of the process.
Then another waiter came over and had a bit of an aggressive manner said the burgers are quite thick and take a long time to cook! The idea of this big huge thick burger then began dancing through my head. I started thinking I was in for a humongous hamburger with bacon! We hadn't eaten lunch and we were both starving!
Then a manager (apparently) came over and told us that he was sorry it was taking so long and that he would like to offer us a complimentary drink or a pudding (desert for the Americans reading this) which we declined but that got me to thinking... if he was offering a complimentary drink or a pudding then something was wrong... I asked him if the server forgot to put the order in. The manager said no she didn't forget to put the order in, she only put in an order for one hamburger...
Hello?? She forgot to put in the order right? No, she only put in half the order, so she didn't forget she just didn't put in the correct order. The burgers came, more bun than meat, mine burned my mouth when I bit into it and all you restaurant people know what that means, fresh bun, fresh lettuce and tomato and a burger microwaved at the end of the cooking cycle for the burger that was forgotten.
The restaurant we ate at had just under gone a renovation and it was clear that no one really knew what was going on. It wasn't busy when we arrived. Just two other people eating, yet there was chaos from the time Vanessa and I walked in and were told they didn't know which tables we were allowed to sit at. From the waitress who took our order and didn't submit it correctly, to the waitress who knew something was wrong and came over to ask if we had ordered, to the waiter who thought he could intimidate us into compliance, to the manager who tried to twist the truth a bit in order to wriggle out of responsibility to the final delivery of a sub standard hamburger. Very, very disappointing.
 A bit like wedding photography isn't it? Hiring someone who doesn't know what they are doing will save you money, it won't however give you the great images they promise to deliver. It won’t give you the professionalism and experience you need to ensure you get great coverage no matter what crops up on the day (low light, bad weather, missing guests etc)  Had the staff been on the same page and experienced as a team they could have easily reduced the mistakes that made a less than pleasant dining experience, the thing is we go out to dinner a couple times a month, how often do you get married?

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