Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Offoh Calcutta!!

I am writing a blog after a long break (due to my hand injury), and it feels good. But sadly I will be sharing one of my worst restaurant experiences ever. I visited Oh!! Calcutta last Friday for dinner and we were first to arrive at the place. We ordered a variety of non-veg items, thanks to Kundu, who could understand the Bengali menu.. It's not very friendly to a non-bangla fellow like me :) But nevertheless food was really good. I actually enjoyed the food, drink & my time there, even though the service was a bit slow. Which was okay with us as it was Friday night & we were not in a hurry.
But trouble started after we finished and asked the captain to get the bill @ 10pm. After next 20 minutes when there was no trace of the bill & the captain (who attended us during dinner). We asked another captain to get us the bill as it was boring waiting after your food & drinks are over. Another 15 minutes pass and yet no word from them. We get up & approach one of their responsible looking staff near their billing counter and asked what was the problem why we are not getting the bill. He told us there is some problem with the computer. I couldn't understand why didn't they give us a manual bill. Worst part was that we were neither being informed about the reason for delay and nor being attended. No one even bothered apologizing to us for the delay. I sarcastically asked them to give us some game to play so that we can kill our time waiting for the bill. But they were too shameless to notice. Finally bill case after a wait of 50 minutes (interestingly other people were leaving in the meanwhile who came after us). We made card payment and there they go again. It took them 20 more minutes to get the card swiped. I then noticed that they had put a service charge of 10% in the bill itself. That was pretty ugly, paying 10% of the amount for the service which had all of us frustrated. I asked them to return the feed back from I had filled earlier, I wanted to change it and mention this lapse, but they didn't get it to us even after repeating the request. I then called the manager and told him about the service. He just politely said sorry about that and said they had some problem with computer.

I personally felt that they had an obligation to at least wave off the service tax on such a bad service, and they should have served us some drink while they made us wait. They didn't even serve water.
Highly unprofessional behavior & hugely disappointing service from a upscale restaurant where you are paying about Rs. 1000 per person ... to spoil your mood & evening ???


Subhajit Kundu 12/23/08, 3:13 PM  

Food wise: Oh Go! Calcutta.
Service wise: Oh so-so! Calcutta.
Our post dinner expierience (I was one among diners): Oh No! Calcutta.

Please forgive me when I compare this delay in billing with 26/11 terror strike. Truly this stands no where against the terror strikes. However my point is that, I remember, even after such traumatic experience, guests had only praises for TAJ and their staffs. The guests also said that throughout the time they were held up in the hotel, they were kept informed. At TAJ, one of the ways to handle crisis was to say that there is some small problem and things have gone out of control. All should be in control soon in, say, 30 mins. Till then please have patience and lock yourself up. Even if the staffs know that they are in a major crisis.

The other way is to keep the guests fully informed that this is no small problem but a terror attack. Things will surely be in control but will take its own pace, may run into days. And that the guests are no more in their control but under control of security forces, whom they should obey.

The first one looks like it will create less panic. Zor ka jhatka dheere se maaro. However the guests will revert back every 30 mins and after two or three such attempts they will loose confidence on the staff's words.

By the other way they are fully apprised of situation and they will behave more responsibly. I think second one is a better way to deal with a crisis.

Taking cue from that, even at Oh! Calcutta, they could have said that system has gone bad in a major way and it will take some 30-45 mins. Instead they kept on saying that billing is in process and should be on table in five mins.

Amit 12/24/08, 9:43 AM  

Hmm ..Initially I had this one on top of my charts for next year, especially for the authentic bengali fish curries... But now it seems its a waste of TIME than money...

Anonymous,  12/26/08, 11:18 AM  

@Kundu - Yes Kundu I truely agree, staff at Oh! Calcutta surely needs some lessons in hospitality.

@Amit - I think the food & fish will be pretty good & authentic.. but yes service can be a spoil sport :)

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