Two different social events over the past weeks provided a great excuse to have well-earned nights off from my usual ‘healthy eating’.
A busy Saturday evening at a local Turkish restaurant (Uskudar) played host to our family gathering to celebrate my grandad’s 80th birthday. Despite the fact that the restaurant was very busy (down to the great food and atmosphere) and the waiters were rushing around accommodating everyone – the service, food and all-round experience was fantastic. The table was decorated to reflect the reason for our celebrations, waiters and staff acknowledged the birthday boy and this made for a very special evening with close family.
Considering that this was a Saturday night, and quite possibly the busiest I have ever seen the restaurant, the service could not be faulted in any way. This was a far cry from the customer experience we encountered on a quiet Tuesday night at a local Gastro Pub!
With the sun shining, a quaint local pub was the perfect setting for a catch up with our English expat friends. If our wonderful company and the pub setting were enough to entice them to leave the Australian life and return to the UK, the customer experience certainly would have made them think twice!
Having spent an hour chatting in the relaxed bar area, we were interrupted by a loud, brash shouting of our name, telling us to make our way to the reserved table. After taking our seats, menus were thrown towards us and we were asked to order our drinks, starters and main courses immediately! This left us all with a feeling that we were just an inconvenience to our waitress, who quite clearly wanted to be elsewhere.
The pub wasn’t to its full capacity, in fact around 5 tables were in use and with three waiters/waitresses working, this should not have been an issue.
The food and drinks were great, however this does not make up for the terrible unfriendly service and incredibly uncomfortable atmosphere we experienced.
As a paying customer you expect to be made to feel welcome, have good service and of course great food. How can one restaurant get it so right and yet another get it so wrong?
This is a good example of the culture of the respective businesses being key to their success or otherwise. If the management or owners have a positive attitude and know how to practise good customer service, this will then reflect on the staff, which will result in happy customers and repeat business, as well as positive word of mouth.