I’m sure i posted this but it seems to have disappeared….Trying again…
WordPress’s daily prompt to inspire bloggers to write is “service” for today’s word. Good service or bad service, you pick.
What instantly comes to mind is a group meal I attended at a Chinese restaurant in Manchester about 10 years ago or so.
We were a group of about 10 or 11 and headed into Manchester to Chinatown. I hesitate after all these years to name and shame the restaurant because it’s been a long time and they could have upped the game. Prior visits to them had always resulted in a good evening with good service. I don’t know if it was a one off but I don’t think any of us has dared try them again.
However, here’s the story:
We unsuspecting group gathered for a drink and to meet up with friends, old and new. What went wrong… the list is long! The drinks orders were very slow in coming and sometimes the wait staff forgot to ask everyone for re-orders through the meal. We were around a round table that seemed far too small for 10. They didn’t provide us with a circular movable platform for the center of the table to make passing around the dishes easier which many Chinese restaurants do provide, and when one of us finally complained loudly, we did get one. Which was broken. We had to gingerly turn the glass ourselves and hope it moved.
They brought two courses out at once instead of one at a time, further confusing and crowding the table as everyone tried to reach and pass. The one waitress kept elbowing one couple, leaning around them and at one point one of them received a beer right down his back! Another guest spilled another beer trying to move something else out of the way.
The music on the sound system was horrible, pan pipes playing every kind of music except Chinese. The piece de resistance was a lovely dish of prawns which suddenly acquired an extra bit…. a big blue bottle fly that was hovering landed in it, got stuck in the sauce and wiggled it’s little legs helplessly while the 10 of us collectively moaned loudly… ewwwwwwwww! The waitress seemed to find this amusing but took the dish back to replace it. Hopefully with something new but it took us 15 minutes of warily contemplating the fresh replacement before anyone had the nerve to try some!
To top it all off, yes it’s possible to further wreck this, they buggered up the bill! Two of the men were so incensed that they sought out the manager who had conveniently NOT managed his restaurant very well tonight, having found plenty to keep him busy behind the bar instead of being aware of the problems going on under his nose. They explained the events of the night which they *think* were confirmed by the staff but, not speaking any Chinese, they had to take that on faith. The manager offered them 30 pounds off the bar bill (which was about 50 pounds between the 10 of us). He wouldn’t extend that to the 50 so we took it and counted out the money to pay the 235 pound total bill to the penny! No tip. That’s quite a lot of money they ended up losing over all. We took the thirty pounds and, discovering that our favourite pub nearby was closed, spent it on a round or two of drinks at lovely Lass O’Gowrie pub instead.