Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Revisiting Dodge City...

So, I got a reply from the manager. I sent him another email and I got another reply. I don’t think we are going back. We may stop at the location in the V&A Waterfront for lunch (their hamburgers really are good, and their milkshakes are excellent as well), but definitely no Sunday breakfasts. And we aren’t going back to the Canal Walk location at all.

Apparently the place has video and the whole incident was captured. Based on his email, the manager who contacted me viewed the video. I was incorrect about the time…it was 15 minutes, not 30, but bear in mind during that entire time we had not even been able to place a complete food order and there was only one occupied table besides our own…and there were at least six employees on the floor!

The manager says the coffee took so long because the milk had not been “foamed in advance.” Well, if it was supposed to be foamed in advance and it wasn’t, then that is a fault against the restaurant. And, if there was a problem getting us our drinks in a reasonable time, why didn’t the server come to our table and inform us? “I’m sorry it is taking so long, but we still have to foam the milk. Your cappuccino should be here in just another minute or two.”

The manager says it took six minutes to get the drinks to us, which is slower than the standard time allowed. OK, so if we were there for fifteen minutes and it took six minutes to serve the coffee, that leaves nine minutes during which we waited for sweetener and were still unable to place a food order.

He says the restaurant was not out of sweetener but nobody could find it!! Then he contradicted my statement that our waitress left the place to borrow some from a neighbouring restaurant, saying it was a manager who did it. Sorry, but I had gone up to the front counter to ask the manager what was going on with the sweetener and while I was standing there, our server came walking in the door. If a manager got the sweetener, where was the waitress coming in from? And, again, why didn’t someone come to our table and say “We seem to be out of sweetener, but someone has gone next door to get some for you. It will only be a minute more and we really appreciate your patience”?

Seems scrambled eggs really are not available as a normal offering! That’s enough to keep us away for breakfasts because most restaurants massacre fried eggs and we only eat scrambled when eating out. But it seems that if the restaurant is not busy, Dodge City will prepare scrambled eggs…but you have to order them through the manager. WTF? Every place I’ve ever been to eat breakfast offers scrambled eggs without the drama…you can even get scrambled eggs from McD’s for heaven’s sake!

The manager did not address the kerfuffle at the till, so the reason that two members of the staff…one of them presumably the manager…couldn’t promptly process a simple cash transaction remains a mystery. I’m guessing they usually deal with credit cards and the ice cream lady who eventually rescued them was used to selling ice cream cones for cash and knew how to do it.

By way of apology I was offered a voucher for R50 (about $6.25…enough for a hamburger and a drink): “Once again thanks for taking the trouble to bring the matter to my attention. As a token of appreciation for your effort, this mail serves as a R50 FREE product voucher that may be redeemed at any Dodge City outlet. The voucher is valid until 30th October and please note that it is not exchangeable for cash.”

I appreciate the gesture, but I’m not entirely certain that presenting an email exchange in which I am clearly identified as a person who narced on the staff of one of the restaurants is such a great idea. Besides, if they couldn’t figure out how to process a cash transaction, what are they going to do with an email that claims to be a voucher??


  1. 'Pre-foamed' milk? I often make cappuchino at home, and the foam falls if it's left standing around. Admittedly, I don't have a powerful machine, such as those used in restaurants.
    Enjoy your milkshake at the V&A!

  2. wow, this is just rediculous to me. I do understand that as a business, the manager would want to pull what he could to see what could have happened for a complaint to be sent. But I do think it was extremely unprofessional of them to try and correct your complaint. I cant imagine ever doing this to someone who already had a perceived bad experience. Just amazing.

    Secondly, I agree...how are you going to trust in this place to not only accept your voucher, but know how to process it, when they couldnt even process your cash?


  3. It's not America, Enlight, it's Cape Town, South Africa. But the rules, particularly the social rules, are pretty much the same.


Your comments welcome! Anonymous comments are enabled as a courtesy for people who are not members of Blogger. They are not enabled to allow people to leave gratuitously rude comments, and such comments will not be published. Disagreement will not sink your comment, but disagreeable disagreement will.