Full disclosure this one is a bit of a rant and a moany one, but I bet you can all relate to it.
Here we go!
My Girlfriend and I like to eat out quite a bit, not in like a fine dining 'tops and tail' kind of deal but just a 'Whilst we are out let's grab a Nando's or pop to a pub for a meal' kind of thing, but now it's got to a point where we have started BLACK LISTING places due to bad experiences. It started off as branding such and such place as being on 'Thin Ice' but being the nice people we are we would give them another chance and go back - telling ourselves 'That must have been a one off, they can't be that bad . . .all the time'.
However there comes a point where a single place can only have so many 'one off's' before it becomes silly and as a result we've simply deemed never to go again. Truth be told this system might only last a few months and the company itself would hardly notice a difference if one couple stopped going - it's a principles thing. We both work very hard to earn a living and when we want to treat ourselves with a meal out we don't want to be met with terrible service, poor food and even worse excuses from the management and kitchen staff.
I do hope this is a universal couples or even single persons 'thing' and not a snobby thing that I've fallen into.
Here's one . . . The other day we popped to the local pub (for a light lunch) - a sandwich and a cheeky pint to be precise. This place was on said 'thin ice' but come on how hard is it to get a sandwich wrong?!
My GF orders a Tuna Mayo baguette and I order Chicken Mayo both with chips. - Easy you say!
The sandwiches came out pretty quickly. Firstly the waitress said "The chips will be a few minutes." - Wait what? You've had plenty of time to prepare this meal, (forgot to mention we had a starter and that same waitress came to our table to check if we were ready for the mains.) Oh we were ready, buuuut seems they weren't. Surely it's a no brainer, bring the whole meal at once. People are happy to wait a few more minutes if it means bringing the whole meal at once. Like ordered. At once. Together. With each other. Including CHIPS we've ordered! (For an extra £1.50 as promoted on the menu) . . . . I'm not over it.
So as you can tell that 'thin ice' was cracking a bit. But lets keep an open mind.
So the sandwiches are in front of us, mine lacked the Mayo. Now I am new to the Mayo appreciation club so I am glad and equally not expecting it to be slathered on but honestly this is like the smallest whoosh of the bottle. Never fear, I've got some of them crappy sachets on the table so I can add my own. The GF's came out; one end was burnt to a crisp and upon opening it, it looked like they had forgotten the Tuna. I wish I had taken a photo to back up my annoyance. Honestly it was the thinnest layer of tuna. #TunaGate
Now call it gentlemanly or whatever, but if she isn't happy with the food presented I will say something. I have no qualms in doing so (I'm a nice guy and can't be doing with the ear ache all meal). So I took it back and the waitress agreed saying "it looked like there was nothing in it, I'll sort it".
I was expecting a fresh new sandwich ideally, but all they did was just slap some extra tuna in the same skanky roll. A manager brought the plate back over and said "Oh we've got a new spec and have to follow that but we've put a bit more in for you this time. . . . oh and your chips will be 5 minutes." . . . All this and still no damn chips.
Honestly we just laughed at the guy and the whole situation. "Changed their spec" was an awful excuse - if you are doing that, change the bread you serve it on don't thin it out. No apology either.
I can hear the ice cracking.
As paying customers we've sent food back which would suggest we weren't happy. The least you could do as a Manager is come and apologise - don't give us some half arsed excuse . . . . oh and where are our damn chips?!
Well that's that, the ice has broken and this pub has fallen straight down into the cold murky depths of the BLACK LIST.
I've worked in catering before; busy lunchtime shifts, the buzz of the kitchen and the speed you are working at - I get it, it's a fast paced environment - but I also know the fundamental rule of; If you wouldn't eat it don't expect the paying customer to.
This example is one of the four currently BLACK LISTED establishments on our list. I guess maybe as I have gotten older and more judgemental there is a level I expect and I am not afraid to make it known if I'm not happy. (I sound like a right misery . . . Promise I'm not)
See now I've just ranted at you for a good ten minutes of your life - and you'll never get that back and for that I'm sorry. But in short it just really annoys me.
On a brighter note I'd love to hear from you. Do you have a 'BLACK LIST' or a set of places you avoid because you just wont give them the time of day? Is it just us or are there others out there that are slowly but surely running out of places to eat - because I know we are!
Let me know your comments and thoughts and more importantly thank you so much for reading this post.
P.S When we finally got the damn chips - they tasted horrible.