Monday, 1 March 2010

The commenters speak.....

I regularly receive emails from commenters who want to do more than add a comment to posts on this blog.

Here are two I have received in the past week - one from commenter Nutsdeb about customer service, and the other from Mojo about a meal they had last week at Kuzina.

Subject: Customer Service

Just thought I would let you know about helping out the difficult customer. Like many foodies I overindulged from a young age resulting in a very ill overweight person weighing 120 kilos with a BMI of 53% at 35. So armed with doctors warnings I joined the lap band wagon. I lost 50 kilos, which I have kept off.

There have been many sacrifices, red meat being one and bread another but what I lack in quanitity I know look for in quality.

I recently joined a group on Facebook of Tasmanian Lapbanders. We decided to meet up on semi regular occassions for lunch and a chat. These are very important support groups where we can all discuss issues, concerns, recipes etc.

Our first one was at the Shoreline Hotel. They seemed accomodating at first but were reluctant to split our bill and had no soft veg options or a fine soup option (those in early stages of lapband are on soft or liquid foods and soups liek minestrone are no good).

When we decided to rebook we were told that we could not join the tables as we did last time and there would be strictly no splitting of the bill. So we looked elsewhere. I had been to the new upgraded Cooley's in Moonah for a farewell and were impressed with their "light meals" options which were sized just for me. I recommeded that and we all went.

Now there were around 15 of us and not all of us were banders, we had family with us who were buying full meals. When discovering there was no soup on the menu I approached the manager and he and the chef put together a veg mix just for us! They were also open to bill splitting and meal sharing (some restaurants are not) and even offered to reduce full meal portions if we wished. The only downside was that some meals were quite delayed but the move to create a good dining experience for us helped us overlook that.

What I think I am saying is that good customer service is not just waiting on customers but adapting where they can to meet the customer needs. In this day where people are meat free, egg free, dairy free, gluton free and portion controlled, the willingness for a hospitality representative to try to meet these needs is very important. As a result we all hardily recommend Cooley's as they were willing to bend their dining standards for us. We might be a small group but we are growing (12 year public health waiting list as we speak) and our Tassie Facebook group is already 64 strong after only a couple of months... imagine how many are not online! Just letting you know.

(Pictured below - a meal Rita had with friends at Cooleys a few weeks back. I went there specifically to review it, but due to a few factors, didn't do the review. I agree with Nutsdeb though - the customer service at Cooleys is very good, and the recent renovation was much-needed and much appreciated by regulars.)

Subject: Meal at Kuzina

Hi Rita

Good choice! Thanks for the suggestion!

There were four of us and we all enjoyed our meals. I really liked the complimentary olives on arrival - very nice touch.

· Pretty good wine selection.
· John & I shared a platter for two (entree) which had a really nice selection.: calamari, bread, dips, steak, and something else ...
· Daniel went for the three course option and chose: 1. prawns; 2. steak; 3. choc crepes. I tested the prawns & crepes of course - very, very yummy & he reckoned his steak was just about the best he'd ever had.
· John of course ordered duck (I tested it and again - very, very nice). He had creme brulee for dessert and it was a goodie!
· I ordered salmon and it came on a polenta/mash kind of thing. Excellent.
· Service was very good.
· Only drawback was that Dan and I both like chicken and it was off the menu last night for some reason.

No pics sorry!!!

Thanks to both ladies for their contributions to this blog.
Posted on by Rita


Christina said...

Curious as to why you didn't do your review of Cooley's Rita.

I'm looking forward to trying it out as it's been recommended to me by the wonderful Steven.

Having said that, a group of ladies went last week and weren't very happy with their night out at all.
Apparently the food was okay but the service was pretty dismal.
My friend said she did comment on it to a staff member as they paid the bill, so hopefully note has been taken. I know the service ruined the experience for this particular group and they have stated that they won't be returning.
I'd love to see Cooley's do well, as it's nice and close to home for us, and Moonah is improving all the time.
Sorry state of affairs at the Shoreline though! Good to see they're doing so well they're able to turn away customers basically.

Rita said...

Hi Christina. The reasons I didn't end up doing the review was a combination of the fact that the photos I took of the food were abysmal, and that the meal itself was just ordinary, and to be honest I really couldn't find enough words (and interest) in relating what amounted to an outstandingly average experience. The reno was needed (but not hugely inspirational, as opposed to the great renos at former Maypole or Bay Hotels), and the service was fine but that was basically the sum total of the positives I could find about it.

Anonymous said...

As a customer server, a word of advise. If you are a person with special needs or dietary requirements please please please phone ahead. You know what your needs are and from what i've just read you are expecting the restaurant to know as well. Restaurants oporate with a menu if there is nothing on the menu that you like then you dont go there. for someone with dietary requirements to show up at a restaurant and expect them to then and there create a whole new menu just for them is a little selfish and inconsiderate. Please dont have a bitch because a place of business didnt deliver all that you expected for a large group without notice.

Nutsde said...

Dear Anon... we booked as the Tassie Lap Band Group and stated we had requirements. We are trying Shoreline again this weekend and I will keep you informed to the result!

Anonymous said...

I agree- ringing ahead is always helpful however most chefs (particuarly on quiet nights) should be willing to accomodate. My biggest grievence with restaurant dining is when the chef is not willing to alter the menu even slightly to suit the patrons. I think that when these chefs first decided to pursue a career in cooking, they wanted to cook not follow a straight formula day after day to the point when a dish cannot skip the oregano in a sauce.. perhaps they've gone bitter.

matilda said...

Can i join the lap band group on FB because i cannot find it. Thanks...