Thursday, 4 June 2009

How Important Is Good Service To You?

How would you feel when a favourite restaurant of yours, which used to have a crew of bright, cheerful and efficient wait staff no longer offer the same level of service?

I don’t know the reason but I noticed since April, the staffs that we regularly see at Pasta Zanmai, Mid Valley were no longer working there. In their place, a completely new bunch of staff that unfortunately seemed clueless about their job; be it about the menu and taking orders, making sure food served or even giving us our bills when we asked for it.

Nothing sets me off like bad service, so pardon my rant here. (I’m revealing myself as a really fussy, hard to please, grumpy old woman here, right? LOL)

What we had for our dinner on Tuesday:

Raimie's Hamburg. He will order this every.single.time we go to Pasta Zanmai.

The staff asked us how we’d like it – rare, medium or well done which surprised us as Hamburg is not a steak, it’s a beef patty and the cooking style was always standard. It took the staff another two visits to our table to get this one right. Zaini’s curt answer was he wants the patty COOKED, just cooked.

It took ½ hour for this order to arrive to our table, and that was after Zaini threatened to leave the restaurant without paying. We would’ve stormed out if not for Raimie who really wanted to eat Hamburg that day. Cannot show tantrum at the expense of one’s own child, right?

Zaini had a mini combo of Chicken Teriyaki Pasta and Hotate Pizza . A good deal at RM22.00.

My Gyu Shabu no Spicy Pasta (RM23 ala-carte, RM29 for set) was really nice. Don’t be fooled by its look – this spicy pasta really packed a punch. My lips were tingling from the heat when I ate the pasta. The beef strips were nice and tender and didn’t taste dry at all.

After the boo-boo on Raimie’s order, our pot of tea (RM3) was replenished continuously so we had plenty of tea to drink that night.

Good to know that while the service wasn’t good, the quality of food served wasn’t compromised yet. I sure hope it won’t deteriorate any time soon because lackluster service + average food does not equal happy, repeat customers.

Anyway, thank you to Pasta Zanmai for the complimentary Hamburg and ice cream for desert. While it was a nice gesture (and the nice supervisor did apologise profusely to us afterwards) we are not looking forward to a free meal at the expense of a raised blood pressure any time soon! So there!

23 comments:

  1. To me, the quality of the service influences my impression of the quality of the meal. In other words, the service is part of he taste experience.

    I have been to a number of regular restaurants that have been super consistent and then experienced a letdown in service. I usually give them a second chance to see if it was just a one day letdown or a long term one.

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  2. @airfare-now.com,
    well said. And my sentiments exactly.

    Been giving them few chances, but maybe if the service doesn't pick up now the place won't be high in our go-to place anymore.

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  3. Yeah! Both service and meal are importance to me

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  4. A friend of mine who blogs also had a bad experience with Pasta Zenmai in Damas (I think)

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  5. I have problems posting comments here. Internet can't connect message pops up...I don't know why.

    The Hamburg goofup was funny...considering it's not steak..haha.

    Service is important to me be it in a restaurant, store or bank. I expect a reasonable standard of service.

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  6. @insurance,
    Bad service can ruin a meal.

    @kruel74,
    really. What happen to them?

    @Mei Teng,
    that's why...

    Hard to get a smile from bank tellers nowadays.

    I too expect a certain level of service. I don't need excellent service, just good service. Sometimes it is hard to get even an average service, with staff who have reasonable command of English or BM here!

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  7. I also don't like poor service. But most important for me is the food. If service excellent, but food is lousy, I won't go again! But if food is excellent, and service is lousy, I will still go but maybe not as often.

    Maybe all the staffs are new there, so give them a chance to improve. Some more you said the quality of food is not compromised, and also got complimentary ice cream. Not too bad lah! : )

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  8. @foong,
    Hahaha... true, we got the hamburg and ice cream free. And I did have a long chat with the supervisor who admitted the outlet's staff shortcomings. But gave them chance few times already!!!
    You know, we used to eat here at least once every fortnight. Don't know whether we'll go as often as at if the service shows no sign of improvement in the future.

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  9. It's very disappointing if that would happen to me...actually that happened several times and what's worse is their food quality changed. Not on the good side...smaller serving and not as tasty as before. I hope you'll see the same old service there in Pasta Zanmai.

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  10. People are getting used to the poor service in reataurants and eateries. :( It seems to be the common problem everywhere.

    I eat at restaurants only when it is necessary, like for a business meal, other than that, I try to avoid. Don't want to have heart attack one day. haha...

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  11. Its surely look delicious. Where is it again? MidValley? I love japs and the animes and some basic sushi, but don't know about other foods that japs have.

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  12. @Ayie,
    I sure hope that it'll improve soon.

    It is disappointing when the restaurant try to increase their profit margin at the cost of their loyal customers.

    @ECL,
    Yalah... becoming more and more common.

    I think I'll die of heart attack (touch wood). Eat out on weekdays and have to be stressed out too.

    @newacx,
    Yep! Mid Valley.

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  13. sure good service is important to keep existing customers happy. most importantly, the management has to exemplify what good service is so when they value good service, their employees will too.

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  14. Well high employee turnover rate = employees unfamiliar with orders. But then again, which Malaysian would want to work permanently as a waiter? Maybe the manager only XD

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  15. Well Good Service Is Always More important !! Great

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  16. Customers are getting more demanding and some are unreasonable. It's not right to think one has money and so it is alright to act like a lord. :P

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  17. Interesting. I guess for me if somewhere started off good and got bad that would annoy me. If a place was always bad then I wouldn't mind cause I expect it to be bad.

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  18. I bet the owner has changed people or the management itself has changed. It is also possible that trainors have changed and the level of training is not the same. That's a sad thing especially if you have befriended those people already who served really good.

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  19. So yummy food btw good services is very important beside tasty food :D

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  20. @Life Ramblings,
    true. And management do need to keep their employees happy too.

    @Jim,
    yes, we Malaysians are way above such jobs, which is why there are too much dependence on foreign workers. Can't blame fellow Malaysians though, as I feel most employers are more interested in getting cheap workers than quality workers.

    @Unseen Rajasthan,
    Good service alone is not a recipe for success. Quality products is a factor too, don't you agree?

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  21. @ECL,
    yes, some do act unreasonably but sometimes is it so wrong to be treated nicely and professionally at retail outlets? I certainly don't make a fuss at a roadside stall because the expectation there would be totally different from dining at a nice restaurant that charges me 10% service charge for my patronage.

    @Prometheus,
    Totally. If a place started out bad and improved over time, that would be a nice change. But when a place started out good and deteriorated over time, that is not a welcome change.

    @Some explorations,
    Always a bummer when familiar faces at your favourite hangout changes. I was informed that it was the management decision to change the staff lineup, maybe to cut the cost of overhead and reduce staff pay.

    @Blogger Rise,
    Definitely! :)

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  22. I'll think twice to go to that restaurant again

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