Us Brits are typically tolerant people and we don’t like to complain. So maybe its just me getting older but I am become more aware of poor service and I am voting against it by taking my custom away. Perhaps its not even poor service that is irking me but amateur service. Or, even more specifically, my problem is with business owners willingness to put their reputations on the line by hiring cheap staff who are poorly trained or don’t have the skills or experience needed to do a good job.
I saw two examples last night in two different establishments. Firstly, in a local Indian restaurant, they were employing 16 year olds to wait tables. I know their ages because I was with a friend who works at their school and knew them. During the evening empty glasses and bottles were left on the table. We asked for a jug of water. Twice. When it finally did appear it arrived without glasses which we had to request. I asked twice for the bill. It was all just sloppy and unprofessional. It didn’t ruin the evening but it has turned my favourite local restaurant into one that I will think twice about next time we choose where to go to eat.
After we left the restaurant we decided to have a final drink in a close-by pub. When we entered the pub I noticed that the bar was lined with customers with empty glasses and money in their hands. Behind the bar was a teenage girl trying to open a bottle of wine with a corkscrew. It took her about 5 minutes and she was wiggling the cork back and forth to get it out, breaking it in the process. Meanwhile thirsty customers looked on impatiently. We could see it would be at least 10 minutes before we got served. So we walked out and went to another pub.
In these days of financial difficulty I am convinced that saving a small amount of money by employing the cheapest possible staff is not an intelligent business strategy. A little bit more on the wage bill would buy you professional staff who know how to do their job; whether it is waiting tables or opening bottles of wine. They would work quicker and more efficiently and customers would be happy.
When you notice this trend, as I am sure you will, vote with your feet….