Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A sad incident at Fridays Glorietta

I had been a loyal patron of the various Bistro group Resto's esp Italiannis. Why? Not only because of the good food but great service. Of course at times some 'palpaks' do happen but the managers handle them well. Except for this one though. For the very first time, I had to secure the email and contact info of the groups Managing Director so I can write the letter of complaint which you can see below.

Last night a get a cursory apology email from the GM. I felt insulted. Perhaps they really need some training on good and proper customer service. Its a pity that the good service seem to come only from some in Italiannis. Its not reflected with all the other groups.

If the culture on good customer management emanates from the top then it will trickle down all throughout the organization. Its truly sad if only a part is passionate about serving clients then. They wont last very long.


Dear Mr. Stelton,

I am one of the loyal customers of Bistro Group, specially Italiannis. I am writing you right now due to a very unfortunate incident a few hours ago at Fridays, Glorietta 3. I am copy furnishing Paul Manuud here since he personally knows me as well as my friends who regularly go to Italiannis.

My friends and I just came from the annual homecoming at the Ateneo de Manila University in Loyola Heights. We left the school around past 11pm hoping to catch dinner in makati. Since it was very late then, close to midnight, I suggsted going to Italiannis for I know it closes beyond midnight. My friends though, wanted to try Fridays at glorietta. I was not that hungry then so I just ordered a cup of soup and just shared the salad. While my friends were taking their entree, we heard the truly defeaning sound of the bells which signalled last order. I emphasized the word defeaning for I had to put my hand on my ears or my eardrums might get affected.

I guess that was around 1am. The waiter approached us to ask if we wanted to add anything else, so we said we just wanted some dessert. He asked if we wanted anymore entrees since we can order the dessert much later. As far as I know when the waiter asks for any last order that means including dessert but he insisted we can order it later.

Right after the bells rang, they put off the aircon. It was really very warm. We asked for any electric fan and the waiter said he will get one but it never arrived. We then asked for the dessert menu. Later he came back to say there are no more cooks in the kitchen so dessert is not possible. We were all so surprised. My friends were asking him why that is so when he said we can order it after the main meal. He looked so helpless so I asked him to just call the manager who being so, would, I presumed can decide what to do.

The manager told us the kitchen cabinets are closed so they can no longer serve dessert and that we should have ordered this earlier. My friends was explaining what happend - that we wanted to order but the waiter said we can do so later. He didnt seem to believe us so I blew my top! He sounded so arrogant and condescending and very rude!

I banged the table for he was answering me! He told me not to raise my voice but his voice was also angry and loud! I never encountered such rudeness in all the times that I have eaten in a restaurant. In the past there may have been problems with service but usually the manager can handle any of those. In this case the manager was the problem!!

I had never never asked for your contact info Mr. Stelton except now. There was a time i got upset with Outback but Paul just handled it and the manager was apologetic.

From the time we started to eat I knew that manager wanted us to leave. I think he wants to go home at that time. If they didnt want clients then they should have not accepted us any longer. The waiter and the manger kept approaching our table while we were discussing some serious matters, butting in to ask if evrything was ok. Thats fine as long as you ask us at least ten mins apart not ONE MINUTE apart! We felt he just wanted us to leave and close the restaurant. It was very irritating and rude.

Mr. Stelton, I will not demand that this rude manager be dismissed even if he deserves it. I know times are hard. I just demand a sincere apology from him. I also highly recommend that you re-train him and put him as an understudy of one of your trusted and experienced managers or he will ruin your business. He has a lot to learn regarding customer service. I do not need to enumerate the various ways he should have handled the situation besides telling smack on our face that the kitchen is closed and he cannot do anything!

I had worked in a service institution for more than two decades and have encountered irrate clients but had always handled this well. I never never answer back an angry client. I try to empathize and understand the situation and suggest other creative ways to rectify the problem. For your information, this manager is devoid of any creativity in hanlding customer challenges. He is not only rude, but very proud, arrogant and truly inexperienced.

I hope you can investigate the matter and will await feedback.

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