Long’s Bar – Rotana Towers Brunch
Good day to all of you, we hope you are enjoying a long, relaxing weekend. This Friday we went for brunch at the Long’s Bar. The bar is not really our preferred location for a brunch in general, however the reason for us going there was the birthday celebration of a very close friend. He prefers the bar, as for the last 10 years spent in Dubai, on every occasion he visited Sam, the bar tender who was known for his smile, his generous way of dealing with guests and remembering the same’s preferences. Unfortunately on this Friday, Sam was not there. We arrived at lunch time and were one of the last to arrive from our group. Some of them started off with drinks, some others already helped themselves at the buffet. Until we were welcomed, asked for drinks or could enjoy the buffet about 10 minutes already passed. Aileene, the waitress for our table saw us and said:”Hello, welcome to Long’s Bar, if you take the package for 185 AED, then you have to pay first before you get anything. This is our policy!”. Well fair enough, if that is the case, we won’t argue. However, thinking about customer service and making guests feel welcome with a positive first impression, the tone of voice is crucial. We received green wrist bands for our package after we paid, ordered drinks and again, waited. We waited for a long time for the order to arrive. We helped ourselves at the buffet, which offered a variety of meats, salads, a cheese and a dessert station. The food was average, nothing too special. The highlight of the menu was the warm berry crumble cake with custard sauce and chocolate ice cream. It tasted lovely. As we did not have a lot of meat and salads before, we helped ourselves twice at the sweets counter. We kept on ordering drinks, and as they took forever to arrive and started ordering more than one at a time. By the time one would arrive, someone at the table would have placed the order for the next round, but then had to wait for ages. Ordering more than one at once, was our way to making up for the time it took for us to be served. The last round of drinks was at about 4pm. We placed our orders and Aileene said:”No I will not serve you two drinks, our policy is one at the time, this is it!”. She did not understand that one of the drinks was ordered for one out of the group who just went to the bathroom, and denied to take the order. We then asked her to come around the table and gave her our business card. Something we normally do not do, however we thought she would be perceptive for constructive feedback at the time. Our loss. She looked at the card, went off, gave the same to her colleague, who looked at it briefly only and put the same in his pockets. Obviously she did not care. Not only about the review that might follow, but also about how her attitude would make guests feel like. We got up and gathered around the bar, as we expected other friends to arrive.
Some stood around chatting, others sat on the counter, and others sipped on their drinks. A normal after brunch scenario i would say. While cleaning up our table, Aileene accidentally hit a bar stool, and dropped the handbag and jacket which laid on top. She did not pick them up again and left. Observing the same from far, we went to pick them up, making sure nothing fell out, while Aileen observed us. Funnily enough, she never commented or apologized. She just did her job, completed the minimum of her tasks and kept looking at her watch, probably wishing for her shift to be over soon. It is sad that we do not have better feedback to share about the experience at Long’s Bar.
Just as we wanted to leave, and pay for the last round, Aileene’s colleague behind the bar, caught our attanention. He looked so miserable and sad, literately angry. “Why do you look so unhappy and mean?”, we asked him. “I am just sick, and because others have off today, I have to work here tonight, and do not feel like it at all!” Well, obviously the poor guy was not the only one who did not feel like working. We just do not know if it is the bar, the guests or the general service attitude at Long’s Bar, Rotana. We were not impressed at all, and if it is not for our friend, we are not thinking about returning anytime soon.