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Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Not so Hot!

I went to the Red Hot Buffet on Goose Gate in Nottingham today (one of five UK branches). It was about 3.30pm and the other two Chinese buffets in Nottingham were closed due to refurbishment. I have been to this establishment before when I used to work at Capital One and we would go on a team night out. I recall that we used to enjoy going there. Today it was just me. The news is not good. At this time of day they were not busy so as a priniciple of good customer service you would expect to be treated well.

This is a copy of what I wrote online in complaint tonight. The longer version is a sad reflection on what happened whilst I was there.

'I came as a single guest to your restaurant around 3.30pm this afternoon and was very disapointed with the service that started as lacklustre and ended as very bad. There was no attempt to make sure that I was welcomed and made aware of how the buffet works by the waiter. I was just shown to a table and left to my own devices. The same waiter just made a hand drinking gesture to assertain if I wanted a drink and after I had eaten my curry and some quite poor pakora and bhajiis I went to pay my bill. Another gentleman dealt with the bill. He seemed unsure of the total initially and then qouted £9.88. Then he disapeared around the corner for five minutes with no explanation and when he finally returned with my change there was no 'thankyou' or 'come again' or reciept. Terrible customer service and the the establishment wasn't even busy.'

The array of curries were very watery and the pakoras and bhajiis were all batter and very little inner substance. I didn't go near the pizzas or the Italian dishes or sample the Chinese or Thai buffet. The beer was ok but the chavvy clientelle opposite me put me off staying any longer than it took me to scoff the chicken curry I chose from the buffet. I think that I was most disapointed with the staff attitude than anything overly poor about the food. They really gave the impression they didn't care. Worst of all was that I got the impression that the fellow I paid the bill to was the manager. No manners at all and just blanked me when I had paid. He never even asked if I had enjoyed the food. Shocking!!!


Gail's Man said...

A sad day indeed, especially now that £10 might mean a great deal of money to you.

I think May Sum is a better option. I believe it's all you can eat for £7 before 5pm.

Big Wok isn't bad either, but possibly a bit more basic as they only charge £6.

Janette Jones said...

I also visited this establishment late one night. It was a race between the rancid food that had been sat on the hot plate all day to leave and me!

Karen said...

Bad service annoys me too, hence I always tip generously when I get good service. We went to this place a couple of years ago, & tho the service wasn't as bad as you recieved, it wasn't good, & the system wasn't explained to us too well either. We just muddled through but weren't impressed by the food, so will never go back.

Jean said...

You live and learn. It's all down to the management.
I had a bad experience at a local Pizza Hut, starting with being shown to a grubby table where a child was running up and down the bench seat next to me, then being handed a greasy, stained menu. I left before ordering anything and the staff didn't notice as they were too busy flirting and throwing pizza boxes at each other in the kitchen.
It's still going strong so there must be enough people out there who don't notice bad service.

John Medd said...

You must be mad Phil. Have you not looked through their window and watched people as they fill their plates? They cough and sneeze all over the place so that by the time you go up and fill your plate your curry has been garnished with a thin film of phlegm. Stick to The Balti House on Heathcoat Street and tell Sam that John and Jenny sent you!

French Fancy said...

I'm a great believer in sending letters of praise and letters of dismay. You did well to notify them that their service was found wanting. Hope your tum was okay the next day - especially in view of the previous comment to mine.

Phil Lowe said...

Gail'sMan: May Sum sounds good but Big Wok on Lower Parliament Street is the one closed for refurbishment right now.

Janette Jones:Doesn't sound like a good experience to me.

Karen: That's nice that you reward good service as it encourages the establishment and staff and keeps morale high.

Jean: Your experience sounds like my worst nightmare. I do like children (lightly grilled - only kidding) but get quite tetchy if they are running around noisy and unchecked whilst I am eating in a cafe or restaurant.And as for the staff pissing about in the kitchen...! Get new staff!

John: Hmmmmm, I think I am about to throw up. Coughing and sneezing all over my dinner before I even get to it? Yuck. I checked out the Balti House on the internet and it looks good. The NEP review went a bit over the top in going on about the cricket team supporting the restaurant but it does seem a good value and authentic place to eat. Must check it out sometime. Tummy ok, thanks.

French Fancy: I have missed your comments so much. Glad you are back. Yeah, letters or verbal praise is great and so few people bother. Also, so few people bother to officially complain yet still complain that the service or food continues to be substandard. If they don't know or care at the restaurant how can they improve? Competition is big in the restaurant world so not caring is a dreadful place to be.