Sunday, 23 June 2013

How not to do service. Yes, Doppio Zero, I DO mean you.

So there we were, the family and I at Doppio Zero in The Firs, next door to Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg.

We've eaten there once before and it had been fine. But not this time.

I won't bore you with the detailed problems with the food but two dishes had been cooked so badly that they were inedible. Salt and Pepper Calamari (OK, I will bore you) that had been cooked to destruction and a Roast Pork Belly that was so chewy that the mouthful I was given to try took me 2-3 minutes to chew into a state that I could swallow. The calamari was sent back and replaced with another that was still overcooked but at least tasted good. The pork that they claimed has been "slow cooked" wasn't worth replacing.

To their credit a manager came and apologised for the calamari. They also deducted the price of the pork from the bill. Eventually.

When we finished we asked for the bill but were told the card machine wasn't working and we'd need to find cash. We didn't have that amount of cash on us. It's 2013 I'm told.

Eventually when the card machine started working again we decided, after thinking about it, that the meal didn't warrant a tip. The service had been slow and inattentive and the food items were rated as follows:

        OK: 2 items
        Poor: 2 items
        Bad: 1 item
        Inedible, it was so tough you could have mugged someone with it: 1 item

We paid and tried to leave, only to be accosted by a manager standing in our way. She knew we weren't happy with the food but she demanded to know why we hadn't left a tip? I told her I didn't think it was deserved, the meal and service hadn't been good enough. We're generous tippers but only when it's deserved.

This is NOT how you deal with an unhappy customer. You do not accost them and demand an explanation from THEM of why they had disappointed the restaurant. What you do instead is apologise yet again, explain what you're going to do to prevent it happening again and assure them that if they choose to visit the restaurant again that the experience will be much better.

But that didn't happen, and that's why we will not set foot in a Doppio Zero again. I'll choose to visit any of the other restaurants in the vicinity that are good, where they DO care about their customers and they do NOT serve crappy food and they don't insult them when they're unhappy. I'll be going to Piza e Vino where the ambience is consistently very good, the service top-notch and the food excellent. Where we always leave a decent tip. Because it's been earned. And we haven't been insulted.

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