Bad Customer Service: way to cruel a perfect meal and a restaurant’s reputation

I dined yesterday evening at one of my favourite restaurants, Moo Moo, in Brisbane. Let me start by saying this: I have never had a bad meal in the at least 15 times I have eaten at Moo Moo. I love the food and I love the restaurant.

Unfortunately though, for the second time in two dinner visits, I received the message from the staff that they really didn’t want me there. And here is how:

We will need you to be finished by 8:30pm as we have a busy night and will need your table.

That is the message that was delivered as we announced that we had arrived for our 6:30pm booking. Talk about a way to make your guests welcome: the experience of the restaurant started with a surlily delivered message that we had to eat quickly and get out.

Now I have no problem with a busy restaurant trying to push through its diners. Therein lies the rub of my complaint here: when I went to the bathroom at 8pm the restaurant was half empty. This was after being reminded by our waiter not once, not twice but thrice that they were having a very busy night.

Needless to say that after desert finished at around 8:45pm and as my pen hovered over the tip section of the credit card receipt my feelings of charity towards the staff were gone.

If this had been a once off I would have been more charitable but given that the last time I had dinner at Moo Moo I received the same message at the same time in the evening and again it was not lost on me that the restaurant was half empty for the totality of my meal I was, frankly, more than a bit irritated.

I am not sure if it is a restaurant policy to tell diners to eat quickly or a bad habit that particular wait staff have gotten into but it is nothing short of the height if rudeness.

I will repeat: I love the food and the setting of the restaurant. So much so that whenever I am asked for a recommendation for a restaurant I always point them in the direction of Moo Moo. Well, at least until last night that is.

Frankly I do not like eating where I am made to feel like a hindrance or a burden and whilst the food is brilliant the next time I feel like a steak I will go to my butcher for some and cook it on the BBQ and save myself a couple of hundred dollars in the process.

It is a shame that yet again bad customer service has ruined my experience of a restaurant that I had previous loved.