This Wetherspoons has been open for little over a year and during that time I have been less than impressed, however wrote many of the issues off to teething problems.
15 months on, it would appear this is not the case.
The draught beers are usually of mediocre to poor quality, I have found that the John Smiths and Guinness usually has quite a harsh metallic taste.
I have only ate here once and have no plans to do so again in the future, however I have been here a number of times with friends who have been eating and noticed the same consistencies with poor quality. There are often long wait times for food and the food usually arrives looking quite oily. Last time I was here I observed another customer returning their food as it was apparently still frozen in the middle.
Many people share the same opinion of the decor. Most Wetherspoons I have visited often have the same rustic and homely style of decor, which is quite appealing. However this particular venue is akin to a canteen/cafeteria with the cheap plastic furniture and bright colours. I am aware that due to the history of the building, the venue has been decorated in a way which reflects the fact this was previously a bingo hall. Unfortunately the main bar (which was the main bingo hall) has a high ceiling which makes the building echo quite badly as well as usually being quite cold. For some unknown reason there are also windows which offer an unrestricted view from the bar into the women's toilets, something that if I was female I would not be comfortable with.
Finally I will comment on the level of customer service offered by the staff, this is consistent with every visit I have made over the past 15 months. First of all it can take quite some time to get served, even if the bar is empty, a lot of the staff seem to prefer standing having a conversation amongst themselves rather than do their job. I have noticed that the staff are quite keen to exercise their right to ban people, even for relatively minor misdemeanors which could have been resolved via a polite request. Although this only applies to customers who do not seem to pose any threat to the staff, I have noticed that customers who appear (shall we say) a little bit more intimidating than your average person are quite often left to their own devices - regardless of what they may be getting up to. I am also aware of some members of staff point blankly refusing to exchange food if something is wrong.
On a related note, I am aware of some quite frankly intimidating behavior shown by some of the staff very recently towards a young female who should have just been spoken to - about a fairly minor incident. I tell you this story purely to enforce my feelings of the venue, not in an act of childish spite. However they were followed off the premises and aggressively spoken to at a very close proximity to their face.
I'm no customer service expert, however I have previously done bar and security work in Spennymoor and this is not the correct attitude or approach to conflict resolution. Frankly, I do not care for intimidation on any level.
In my honest opinion I would recommend that the staff are given more customer service training and the quality of the food and drink are assessed. Until I'm aware this is the case I will be trying to avoid frequenting the establishment.
It is unfortunate as I often frequent Wetherspoons venues across the country and I was quite pleased at having one on my doorstep, sadly however there are serious product and people management issues which spoil what could potentially be a great venue.
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