Cities such as London and NYC have their plus and minus points. That’s inevitable. However there is one condition which is unique to London, and it’s a bad one. The utter lack of hospitality and flexibility in many restaurants.
It’s something I’m always aware of and usually bite my lip but Wednesday’s experience in The Grazing Goat is, almost 48 hours on, still able to raise my blood pressure.
What was the crime ? We turned up at 9.40pm and dared to suggest we would like to eat. The greeter (probably too strong a term) told us we would have to be quick as the kitchen would close at 10.00pm. The server who brought our menus told us the same thing. The other server who brought the dessert menus hurried us again. They rang the bell loudly for last orders at 10.45pm and the greeter came to tell us we had better hurry if we wanted another drink.
Hurry, hurry, hurry.
There are two issues here. (1) The utter lack of commercial nous to see the attraction of serving food later. (2) The inability to convey the sense of urgency in a light and customer centric way. You feel like you are
doing them a favour just being there intruding on some sort of bizarre state owned enterprise which doesn’t actually need to look after customers.
The food was acceptable. The service was not and we informed them of the fact as we knocked the service charge off the check.
Handled a different way the restaurant could have easily doubled the check total. That’s what is beyond belief.
Sadly this restaurant is not alone. If London is to be a world class city it needs to look across the water.