Friday Brunch in UAE – Topic of the Month, June 2012
I hope you are doing well while jet setting and dining out and about!
The topic of the Month for June, 2012 is : Friday Brunch in UAE
Let me share one of my latest personal experiences I had a couple of weeks ago!
The Shangri – La hotel group is an amazing product with more than 70 breath taking properties around the world. Founded in 1971, by Mr. Robert Kuok, the brand incorporates pure luxury in breath taking environments.
However, the brand is not only know for its luxurious properties but also for the well trained staff, who are just as important to the company as the actual hotel guests! Shangri – La has a lot to offer for their employees. Besides competitive salaries and a healthy work environment, Shangri – La focuses a lot on training and their team members´ personal development.
I am a huge fan of this product!
However, in any good hotel or restaurant sometimes the positive image of a brand can vanish within just one Friday Brunch!
Let me share my experience, I have had at Pearls & Caviar, Shangri – La Abu Dhabi.
I have made a booking long time in advance, as I knew that this exclusive place is fully booked every weekend. The person on the phone (general Restaurant Reservation) was not only knowledgable about opening hours, offer and prices but also very friendly. This could mean two things to me, wither great attitude towards work and customer service of just well trained.
I was quite looking forward to the brunch.
A couple of days later, when my friend and me arrived there the level of excitement decreased minute by minute, and not even the tasty Mojitos helped anymore.
Upon arrival, there was no one at the entrance to great us, take our name in regards to the reservation. So we just entered. The place is very nice, the layout and the concept of the restaurant a big plus for a Friday Brunch! However, while standing there in the middle of the restaurant, none of the service staff has neither acknowledged nor greeted us.
After a couple of minutes, I just took one glass of Mojito without being asked, my friend and I just set down at any table available. Minutes later, after waving for a waiter a couple of times, finally someone came saying: ” Yes Mam, anything I can do for you?”, and I just answered: “Yes, some cutlery and napkins would be nice for a start, by the way I made a reservation, you might want to double check for my name.”, but he just looked through me nodded his head and left.
After finishing our first drink we started to explore the buffet. Great choice, and good food – from what was still available at 13:15 (Brunches normally start at 12:30 in UAE).
It seamed like, that who ever made the purchase requisition for this day, in regards to ordering the right quantity of food items, has not thought that the place would be fully booked, as Giant Prawns and Steak were not available anymore less than an hour after the brunch has started.
Well, with Sushi and Caviar on my plate, I returned to my table and saw, that still no cutlery has been set for us. Again we waved for a waiter, and also asked for some sparkling wine – because no one offered us drinks before.He set the table for us, while we were sitting there and offered us the Bubbly. Well what shell I tell you, the drink was flat and tasted like that bottle has been open since last week. We decided to go for Mojito again.
I could not help it and kept observing the service staff.
Some of them were really attentive and did a great job, but more than 50% ran around the place like headless chickens. No service trays when clearing tables, no knowledge about the food offered at the buffet of the wine served at the table. No following up on drinks or changing ashtrays…
When we asked for the check and asked for the manager to come, in order to give him some constructive feedback, we were just told that he is not available at the moment and if we would like to talk to him, we should come back the week after… Stunning answer, if you want guests to return to a restaurant, no?
Well I have to say that all The Bad has it´s Good as well. Last week my friends persuaded me to join them for a brunch at Shangri – La Abu Dhabi again, this time in the hotel´s all – day dining restaurant “Sofra”.
The experience was great! The food was amazing, drinks where tasty and the service staff was exceptional friendly, knowledgeable and attentive!
Check it out…