Llangollen Restaurant (Bad experience)

From: Amanda B
Category: Other stuff
Date: 02 May 2004


I wonder if assertiveness runs in the family – for instance, when it comes to complaining about customer service in restaurants. My mother has always has a tendency to speak her in restaurants and is a great supporter of the motto “If it is rubbish send it back.” Likewise, my boyfriend’s mother proffers complaints in restaurants, invariably receiving a free dessert or apology at most.

My live-in boyfriend tends to outspoken and perhaps controversial. However, I do believe it is important to voice your feelings if the meal or service is particularly bad. I broke up with a boyfriend once who would not complain in a restaurant and when I did, it was a catalyst for all our differences - I replied to him, “Well, at least I am assertive, unlike you with your mother!”.

I experienced a distressing evening meal recently. I went out with my present boyfriend, his mother and brother. We were in North Wales and had to search around for a decent eating-place. Finally, weary, cold and hungry, we settled on somewhere that seemed decent. We finally settled on a steak house restaurant in Llangollen. I chose a ‘Luxury Pizza’ for Ł6.95, with seafood topping. When it arrived it looked like a kiddies pizza with cheese, chunks of anchovies and about 10 prawns listlessly scattered upon it. It tasted like a Ł0.99 pizza from low cost supermarket, personally I felt very uninspired and ripped off.

I asked my companions if they thought it looked like a ‘Luxury Pizza’ they agreed it did not and that I should complain.

I spoke to the restaurant owner and voiced my disappointed dissent in a courteous manner – she reported that the (frozen) prawns were indeed, a luxury, and went off to investigate the price.

Ten minutes later my boyfriend offered to go downstairs to speak to her and I was then begrudgingly given a replacement meal. My table agreed I hadn’t been dealt with in a good manner – my boyfriend’s mother offered to speak out but I said I would seek apology. I had to voice my feeling to the unsympathetic owner while standing in a queue for one toilet as the other had flooded, next to a customer, who returned upstairs and gave me funny looks for the rest of my duration there.

I went back to my table, dispirited and flat. The second meal was ok, brought to my table with the jean-wearing waitress with chipped nail polish. I felt glad that my boyfriend’s family were supportive and not upset about the incident.

When we fortunately left the place, there were customers waiting in the lobby and I had to speak out, for the sake of the human rights convention and my chagrin at virtually having the luxury pizza thrown in my face. I announced loudly, “This is one of the worst restaurants I have ever been in and the customer service is appalling!” before disappearing out the door.

My boyfriend described the evening as ‘a bad trip’. I wondered why the customers in the restaurant, as well as the owner, seemed to disapprove of me, as though I had no right to complain – do all those people who don’t speak up for their rights, have parents who never did either?