Our little journey continues, and last night we headed to Lygon St, Carlton for dinner (it was my wife’s choice so Italian was on the cards). We found the normal bombardment of harrassment and friendly banter from the ‘spruikers’ out the front of the strip seeking our patronage, and were tempted into one particular place mainly due to this tactic and the they way in which they convinced us in- kids eat free (aparently as the pitch went, the first 10 each night did). Menu looked nice and the people out the front were friendly, and as the girl said “we are so busy as my mum is the cook”. We were in!
I ordered an Al Maza beer from Lebanon which was one of my favourites when I used to visit Lebanon so all was good. Some Bruschetta and Garlic Bread came then we ordered. I had a dozen oysters- half fresh and half chilli plus the mains of pastas, rissottos etc…oh and another beer!
When my oysters came I started and without realising upon looking (i was hungry) I noticed the second half were kilpatrick, not what I had ordered, nor what the waiter had repeated. I called him over and said these where the wrong ones and he said he would fix.
The daughter out the front (we were on a window seat) say them go back and asked the waiter what was wrong. I interjected and said they should have been chilli. She then yelled at him and said ‘ You are wrong- it’s your fault” to the poor waiter, who was an elderly guy and very polite and friendly. I said, no it’s ok, these things happen.
She then went on to the other spruiker guy, who I assumed was her father saying, “he made a mistake, it’s his fault, then yelled through the back of the entire restaurant saying ” XXX made a mistake and the oysters are wrong, it’s his fault, take it out of his pay!” We were gobsmacked! I immediately felt so bad for this guy and how he had been treated. His face was red and flustered and he was clearly set back and embarrassed by this public beratement.
I kept on saying to the woman it was fine, and no issue as these things happen. How did she not know the kitchen made an error, or is her mother infallible?
We continued our meal (maybe we should have left), but the entire situation put a real downer on the dining experience, as all I could do was be sorry for the potential grief an innocent comment has caused this guy.
Should I have left? Should I have said more to the women and pointed out my disappointment with the treatment, or would this have made matters worse for this guy?
I grabbed a card to get their details and potentially express my views but they have no website or email details. I haven’t named this place yet, but seriously thought about it, maybe I should?
Would appreciate your views!
Let’s see what today brings, surely nothing can go wrong at the cricket!
What i have found is that the reason that they berate and belittle a worker instead of recognising the error is that it is far easier to throw blame than accept mistakes, something that is not unique in hospitality. To do this in the midst of a night’s service is just wrong – and may influence others to never, ever return.
Absolutely Peter, I seriously doubt I would ever return to this place, and have, and will continue to tell my family and friends to avoid it. There is no justification for treating people like this!
It’s pretty harsh treatment. We all make mistakes & as long as we are genuine in trying to fix it as quickly & effectively as possible then that should be the end of. A bit of a power trip from the daughter it seems. Like you, I’d feel awful for the waiter.