Monday, 9 August 2010

Open letter to Anon correspondent

Dear S

You know who you are, but unfortunately I don't, hence this open 'letter' reply to you. Thank you very much for your email to me last night, which I found extremely interesting. Much as I would love to do as you request, at this point in time it is not politically correct for me to be able to do so.

I could raise it as a subject for general discussion later this year but will leave it for the time being. I hope you will understand, and I would have had no problems explaining to you exactly why I won't raise it at the moment had you provided a return email address.

Cheers - Rita
Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

Dear Rita
Thats fine and thanks for reading and being understanding.

Honestly I just could not risk telling you who I was.... sorry about that.

Some things you hear in this industry just cannot be blogged about! We all love gossip.


sir grumpy said...

Hello Rita, needed to share.
What is wrong with some busineses?
When they go under they often blame the public for lack of support, etc.
But some just don't get it.
I called in to a tea shop in town yesterday and it was CLOSED.
Just a couple of minutes bfore its opening time, as per the door.
Now it wes less than 5 minutes before and there were NO lights on, nothing.
Another bloke was there too and grunted and marched off.
Even if you are not open, surely you'd be there beforehand to set up. Then you can let the customers in. I'm not saying WELL before set time...but a few minutes. I think the owner runs it....
Later on me and the missus decided we'd ring for fish and chips for lunch. We were on the way home from town but have a menu in the car.
Missus rang our local chippy on mobile, asked what fish was fresh etc and placed an order with the owner (we know business).
She said we'd be there in 10 minutes but he said, sorry don't open till noon.
Now it was 11.40ish. He's the owner, he's in the shop, we're going to be 10 minutes and he won't get the grub on.
We've heard he's just breaking even.
Wouldn't logic tell anyone that 11.50am is fine and you have to show a bit of flexibility to build up a business.
Sorry Rita, but I am just so pissed off with the attitude out there in some quarters.
No wonder I often retreat and just cook and eat at home.

Anonymous said...

Try ringing ahead to a bank to say you'll be there in ten minutes before they open & see what answer you get!

Anonymous said...

yes he could stop what he is doing and cook your fish and chips. then later on that day another customer will come in and complain that the loos are not clean, the floors dirty and they had run out of such and such, because he has stopped doing all these jobs to cook your fish and chips. Sir grumpy but UNFAIR, I now hear you say then he should start work earlier, hes proberly already working 10 plus hours a day, seven days a week. would it really be that hard for you to wait the extra 10/20 minutes until opening time?

lemon curd said...

Or - he could stop what he's doing, make the fish and chips, get a bit of word of mouth goodness going, make a bit of extra money, and hire a cleaner!

I doubt it was that much of a problem was it Sir G? There must be a dozen alternative food outlets within walking distance for you to spend your money in?

Clearly no skin of the chippies nose though, not when he has clean toilets...

AND I will be the first at the overnight queue to open an account at the first bank with reasonable opening hours (imagine a 24hr bank...........!)

Anonymous said...

Hey lemon curd I think clean loos are vey important. Im sure the guests at your establishment would expect so too. As to hiring a cleaner-you obviously dont own a small business as you seem insulated from the realities and particular issues that having one presents, hense your glib & dismissive comment.

Just because some person can't show some self restraint and be respectful of the opening times of a venue, doesn't mean they should be slagged off. Just because someone has the gumption to open a business does not give carte blanche for some people to forget their manners & impose their expectations of instant gratification.

lemon curd said...

Thanks Anon, apologies if you thought my comments 'glib and dismissive'. Far from it. Forgive me if I don't rattle my CV off in this forum, but please be assured I have the first hand experience, and understand the realities faced by small business owners.

I merely comment on the attitude that seems prevelent amoung some small business owners against these consumers that don't 'follow the rules'. I just think you have to have a pretty perfect product to be able to dictate how people behave. Frankly, a request like that is a yes or no answer, and you certainly don't have to use an excuse like "We don't open til 12". Why not tell white lies and say "Now I haven't switched the fryers on just yet, they should be ready to go by 11.55 - is that too late?" You don't have to treat your customer like an idiot - most will understand.

That's me finished on this thread - I have a nasty habit of needing the last word, and feel this one will end up being quite the discussion point......!

Anonymous said...

There are always customers who push beyond a reasonable point and unfortunately Sir G you seem to have dropped into that category on this occasion.
I'm speaking as a business owner who has scientifically measured trade hour by hour and adjusted opening hours to suit both customers and our own financial need to keep overheads down.
And you have to include your own time in that overhead and you can't just employ someone extra just in case Sir G calls in early.
Just on that point the new workplace laws makes me employ a staff member for a minimum of 4 hours each shift so I can't even get someone in for a couple of hours.
Sorry Sir G, us owners need to stick to fixed opening hours and we have plenty to do before we open the door.


Anonymous said...

we open at 12-simple really.
why demonise the poor operator for deciding that this is the right time for them to open?

sir grumpy said...

No, I didn't think 10 minutes would have made a difference to him.
And he just said no, didn't say could you leave it an extra 5 or 10.
It was just a no.
And we have been eating FAR more than our fair share of his grub to help the youg fella out.
We even talk about getting the gumption up to tell him he might like to extend his offerings to burgers and souvlakis for the tradey trade, who will NOT wait for frsshly cooked fish and chips.
But after reading the idiotic comments from some above I'll give up and let you all stew in your own juices.
As for the tea shop in town, went there again today and it wasn't open at 10.30 as advertised. Wanted tea, a new teapot etc...but will now go elsewhere.
I am not asking businesses to open at my convenience...but when I see someone styruggling, then get a FLAT NO CAN DO, then it's time to move on.
BY the way, there are no bloody toilets, it is a takeaway. But I'm sure he has prep and ordering etc.
Us customers have a hard road....

sir grumpy said...

PS...And no DEMONISING. I didn't name either business and have supported them.
I thought I was offering a view from the customer's side.
Sheesh, it's back to doing ALL my own stuff.

Anonymous said...

Sir G
If it was me and the fish and chips were good I would go for a nice walk for 10 minutes and wait till they opened!
Do yourself a favour, get off that hobby horse and relax a bit! Smell the roses, all that stuff.
It is not OK to hassle the poor man to death, he's not just after your money and he needs to run his business in an orderly way.


Anonymous said...

Sir Grumpy well I would like to see you waiting tables mate.

If your local bank or post office opens at 9am in the morning, do you ring the postal ombudsman and complain that they did not let you in 10 minutes early to do your banking or post something?

I open at 9, and 9 is when I open. I chose to run my own business rather than working for others because I do not want people telling me what to do.

So the last thing I need is to come on here and read that you are complaining about me not opening ten minutes early for you. The fryers probably weren't even ready for Gods sake.

Sounds like another customer who thinks they are doing a huge favour to the business owner by coming in, buying stuff and then complaining.

You just cant win.

--Angry Business Owner--

sir grumpy said...

Christ P, HASSLE. We would have been there 10 minutes early and would have waited. It was a blank no and I suggested (here) in building a NEW business he might like to just think about it.
We were in town. We could have had 100 choices. we wanted to support local, so factored in the journey and got our thanks.
Never again.

Anonymous said...

Rita.... RE D'Entrecasteau my guess would be they have taken deposits for these events, gone bankrupt and shot through?

Pretty certain same operators as Pear Ridge... who are also closed.

What new places are opening????

Rita said...

Oh Anon 4.59 - I hope it's not so, as that would be such a shame.
Re the new places: unfortunately I have been told about these businesses but only on the stipulation I don't name/describe.
Closer, when it's a bit more general knowledge I am happy to write about them.

Anonomouse said...

God the restaurant owners and service staff in Hobart are lazy when it comes to customer service. Sure, the tourists might keep coming one after the other. But your locals are the ones that will keep coming back. At least in quality restaurants they offer you a chance to sit at the bar or sit outside and go to a little bit of effort to kindly say "hey, we aren't going to be opened for 10 minutes. Did you want to go for a walk or have a seat to relax?"

Look, if you aren't ready 10 minutes before service starts having a quick break then you aren't organised. Of all the kitchens I have worked, the ones that are great, the one's that are critically acclaimed - the ones earning stars and chefs hats - are the ones that have been organised and go to that effort. And sadly, there are only two or three in Hobart, and maybe four or five, if I'm pushing it, in Tasmania that I would bestow that status on.

Your raison d'etre is serving the customer. Don't serve the customer they don't come back. The locals sure aren't going to point the tourists to your place if they have a bad experience. They are sending them down the road to a competitor.

Eventually, the tourists will just stop coming. Word of mouth, the emergence of new media such as blogs, social networking and Zagat as well as a culture of poor service within the establishment will take it's toll. Tourists will review on sites like Zagat, TripAdvisor and eGullet, they will post comments on blogs and they tell their friends. How many restaurants do you see that were there one month gone the next?

Make an effort guys and you will be rewarded ten fold. You might say hats and stars aren't for you and it's not your style. Michelin awarded stars to a hole in the wall noodle place in Hong Kong. They've given stars to bistros and trattorias. Critics reward those who provide that bit of effort. And it triples there business - or more.