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Kusina Cagayana - Beware of Poor Service in this Restaurant

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Kusina Cagayana - Beware of Poor Service in this Restaurant

I am an expat who often goes home to visit my parents in Cagayan Valley. While waiting for my flight back to Manila from Tuguegarao City airport, I would usually have buffet lunch in nearby Kusina Cagayana.

Last March, I had a very unpleasant experience dining in this restaurant. I brought a cold bottle of my favorite soft drinks after shopping from Brickstone Mall. Inside the restaurant, a woman who (does not even know how to smile to the customers) introduced herself as the owner, said that she would have to charge me corkage for the bottle of soft drinks.

Corkage in most restaurants is normal, but in a friendly manner I said that, maybe she should waive the corkage for now as we are a group of three and that I regularly eat in her restaurant, and that I would usually bring a half-consumed bottle of soft drinks every time and did not have to pay corkage before. She agreed to waive the corkage.

But everything seemed unusual that day, the waiters looked stressed, rattled and as inhospitable as the supposed to be owner. Before finding a table, I asked one of the waiters whether they still charge the same fee for buffet and he said yes.

Later, when I went to the cashier to pay, the owner was there. I looked at the bill and there was an additional P100 for corkage. The owner said that after INVESTIGATING (what a word) her staff (as if I am some kind of suspected criminal or low-life who could not afford a decent meal), she learned that I was not a regular customer after all, that if I was indeed a regular customer I would know how much they would charge for buffet. Yeah, right, maybe asking whether they increased their price would justify that I do not regularly dine in their restaurant.

I have never been insulted this way in my whole life, not from a restaurant owner who probably does not have the slightest idea what CUSTOMER SERVICE meant. Maybe she was so pissed off that her staff previously did not charge corkage!

I did not want to call the attention of the other diners, not especially my husband and vet-friend who I was with, so I patiently said that an additional p100 for corkage would not hurt my wallet.... but her words and attitude just did i thought...golden rule: there is always a better way to say things that would not offend a customer...corkage is not the issue here but the manner she treats customers who patronize the restaurant... but you definitely lost a customer, I added. In her usual sarcastic manner, she replied,...Okay lang!

At that moment I felt like throwing up everything I ate...never again in Kusina Cagayana! How I regretted not following my husbandfs suggestion to dine at another nearby restaurant, Pampaguena or Leng-leng, where the owners are warm, friendly and hospitable,....the exact opposite of this one!

Edited: 24 March 2010, 03:46
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3,074 posts
8 reviews
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1. Re: Kusina Cagayana - Beware of Poor Service in this Restaurant

well, next time do not bring soft drinks inside the restaurant. if you happen to bring one by accident, just go out and consume it if its opened or put it back on your shopping bag.

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2. Re: Kusina Cagayana - Beware of Poor Service in this Restaurant

You are right... I suppose it wouldn't be too unkind if the woman told me that they don't allow softdrinks in the first place. Thanks for posting.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines
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11,133 posts
2,080 reviews
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3. Re: Kusina Cagayana - Beware of Poor Service in this Restaurant

Claire, interesting feedback.

TA's reviews section (not fora) is the appropriate place for this.

Ask TA to list this restaurant on its databse: go to 'write a review', select the 'restaurants' radio button and type in its name. If it does not appear, you need to make the listing request to TA staff.

After a few days if not before, you should receive an email from TA stating that the restaurant is now on the TA database. You can then submit your formal review.

Doing it this way gives the restaurant a relative popularity ranking and allows potential diners o compare and contrast it easily with other restaurants that have been reviewed by TA contributors.

Many thanks and happy travelling!

Mactan Island...
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302 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Kusina Cagayana - Beware of Poor Service in this Restaurant

This is a common practice here, no only for restaurants but also for resorts, and remote islands, ect. I dont really know where and how this started here in the Philippines. I wonder how each business can be insecure to do such small things, for only a little amount.

Maybe it has come from the local population, in which that they could possibly bring in a whole cooler if they was not rules. But for foreigners and tourist, they dont do that. I sure that is not a big issue that causes major loss of income or revenue.

Oh well i agree with the poster. That was completely uncalled for. Just chalk it up to another complaint for service and attitude of business here in the Philippines. They is one thing for sure, that never happens in my restaurant, that never will happen. OR let me say if it does happen, please contact the management or ask for the owner. That employee will be terminatied directly on the spot at that time. If i have to be so petty and silly that i cant allow a customer a drink to come with them, when they have been out shopping or touring. If that will break me, or cause my business to fail, I need to get out and do something else.

Everyone here has forgotton the term " Customer Service". Maybe thats one of the reason's why we fall behind Thailand, VIetnam, and others for tourist numbers......

Manila, Philippines
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5. Re: Kusina Cagayana - Beware of Poor Service in this Restaurant

well, as edwin commented on your post, next time you dine in a restaurant, make sure that you don't bring soft drinks or foods inside... if you are really a diner, dapat alam mo yan.. sabi mo nga, expat ka. well, am a regular customer of that restaurant for ten long years and i would say, they are the best in town... kusina is hall of famer in the region in terms of services and everything.....ang marurunong kumain sa restaurant ay di na dapat pagsabihan na "DON'T BRING IN FOODS AND DRINKS INSIDE". sabi mo nga, you regreted dining in that restaurant, then go to LENG LENG. POOR EXPAT.

Manila, Philippines
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6. Re: Kusina Cagayana - Beware of Poor Service in this Restaurant

Hello Claire.

I am a travel agent and very familiar with the restaurant you are refering to.

I have been recommending this place to all our clients who visit the area and actually make it a point to include KUSINA CAGAYANA in all our tour itineraries for the region.

So far, not one of our clients has said anything bad about this place or the people working there and especially not about the owner who i know personally. (I actually sought her acquaintance after a number of recommendations from clients who continuously patronise KUSINA CAGAYANA.)

I am very curious about your post and what motivated you to write about this establishment in such a negative way.

Whatever the intent, the result is this:

CURIOSITY- from those who are not familiar with KUSINA CAGAYANA

DISBELIEF- from those who know KUSINA CAGAYAN


No one will receive such support and encouragement without proving one's worth and from the other pesponses I have seen, it is obvious that KUSINA CAGAYANA has earned quite a following. If it were as bad as you wish to portray it to be, why would people continue to patronise it and why would they spend valuable time defending it?

Curiously, no one seems to support your claim.

The end result of your post: DOUBT about your claim

Edited: 18 May 2010, 04:43
7. Re: Kusina Cagayana - Beware of Poor Service in this Restaurant

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