Thursday, 5 April 2012

Shut up and hand over your money!

I love going out. Yes I do! I love noisy night clubs, quaint coffee shops, quiet restaurants, up scale eateries and even the neighborhood dhaba! I haven't learnt to turn my nose up or down. I'm willing to experiment and experience all the delights that "going out" has to offer. I love it, love it, love it. And I know I'm not alone! Look at the way "out" crowds up on weekends and you'd know what I mean. We spend the week making plans with our friends, wait for the weekend breathlessly...and come weekend, we rush home, dress up and go out to hand over our money to "out." Sometimes the experience is good, but often we return dissatisfied. Being Indians, we know how to adjust to sub standard service and attitude. We accept it as our due and keep quiet because we don't want to complain, lest we be seen as difficult. And this is the reason, the hospitality industry believes that we should just shut up and hand over our money. Most places forget that Indians are known for their hospitality. And hospitality is not about telling us that you cannot serve us extra chips even though we are willing to pay for it, or scowling when we ask for another table. They fail to remember that they are not doing us a favour by giving us something in return for our money. I've begun to believe that most places think that the only way of being exclusive is to look down upon the people paying up and refusing to do anything beyond what they have to! And smiles? Forget it! Why should they! There are times when one feels that we may as well just hand over our money and go home to have that meal.

Although I've often been disappointed, (to mention them would take a whole book), I would like to recount some great experiences too...

Cafe Goa - The owners take so much pride in what they do, that I've never known them to go wrong. I've done countless events here, and always gone back for more. :)

Cafe Mocha and Mocha Mojo - I used to go to these places even before we started doing our events here and loved them unconditionally. Once they became venues for our events, I loved them more (now I know how these things work too). I've seen the owners and managers  roll up their sleeves and get behind the bar :) They know how to keep your business once you've walked in.

I Bar - this little place in Bandra truly surprised me. The management was remarkably easy to deal with, and made me wonder if they were over promising and getting ready to under deliver. But once we landed up, everything went like knife through butter. Smooth and pleasant. We're definitely going back.

Sammy Sosa in Mumbai - if you wait too long for a table or they mess up your order, you can be sure to get a complimentary dessert. The boys who own it, lead their staff well. Everyone is smiling and  that alone is enough. In spite of having been told once to try and find a table at another restaurant, I keep going back :):)

Pop Tates in Versova - If you don't like what you've ordered, they change it instantly, with a smile. And they are always willing to customize to ensure that you return.

If only owners paid as much attention to training their staff  (and themselves) as they do to the decor and promotions, we would be happy diners! The thing to keep in mind is that we may love the decor, we may love the food, but what we remember when we walk out is the service - and of course, whether anyone smiled at us!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for mentioning these places.. I will make sure to visit at least one of them when I am in Mumbai... :-)