As we were taking an elderly lady in a wheelchair for a belated Mother’s Day lunch I needed to ask certain questions before booking. I called the restaurant but got no response (this was lunchtime mid-week, perhaps they were too busy to answer the phone?) so I sent an email asking the questions.
The following morning I had received no response so I called and spoke to someone who clearly had bunked off when she should have been attending Charm School. This is how the conversation went.
Me “hello, my name is …. and I emailed yesterday about a booking but haven’t had a response so am just following up with a call and wondered could you help me please”.
Miss Charmless, very curtly “when do you want to book for?”
Me “Well before I book I need some questions answering. I’ve been a few times with friends and really enjoyed it but I’m just checking if you have wheelchair access and do you still have the piano player at the weekend?”
“Yes there is wheelchair access, no we don’t have the piano player. We have a band instead”
“Ah, what sort of music is it? We are bringing a lady in her 80’s so just want to check it’s suitable for her”
“I don’t know, they play different things”
“Erm, so you don’t know the style of music; for example could it be rock, soul, swing, classics?”
“I don’t know, it varies”. Said with no grace whatsoever and making me feel like I was a nuisance for asking.
I realised I was getting nowhere with her but decided to book regardless, as it was convenient for my relative who lives on the Isle of Dogs.
Upon arrival we were warmly greeted and they made room at the table for the wheelchair. Our waitress was informative and charming, I couldnt fault the lady waiting on our table, though our mains took a long time to arrive and we had to ask had they forgotten us as tables that had come in after us were being served before we were. The restaurant wasnt busy so there was no discernible reason for the delays.
The wines we selected were good quality. The food was OK but nothing to rave about. The starters were good (the soup portion miniscule) but the selection for mains was fairly mundane and we ended up with burgers, which were perfectly adequate.
The ‘band’ turned out – thankfully – to be one guy on guitar who sang beautifully and played songs suitable for all ages.
In conclusion I probably would visit again but you really need to sort out whoever answered the phone to me as first impressions count. I work in the industry and if any of our staff had spoken to potential customers like that they would be in trouble.