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“Food was good but with complications”

Diplomat Restaurant
Ranked #3 of 230 Restaurants in Fredericton
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Description: 15 YEARS Reader's Choice Gold Medal Award Winner for Favourite Restaurant, Best Buffet and Best Chinese Food. Open 24 Hours.
Reviewed 11 August 2014

We had not been to breakfast at the Diplomat in a very long time and were looking for a place that was open early Sunday. So off we went. Overall the food was good and the cut of steak I had with breakfast was a few steps above the normal thin cut grisly stuff you get at most pubs.

OK. So the downside. My fork was very dirty so I had to get another. The glasses on the table were filthy. Glad I didn't ask for water. My steak was ordered medium rare but was received raw. No not rare, pretty much raw. So I sent it back. A new plate of eggs and sides were brought and this time the steak was great. Only trouble was my wife had long finished her breakfast by this time.

The waitress was nice and very apologetic and it wasn't her fault anyways. However she did mention to another table that if they were happy with their meal they could leave a review on Trip Advisor. What? Hmmm. The same courtesy was not offered to me.

Oh well. Like I said the food was pretty good, but ...

As well on another note. I found the tables to be too close together. Like really.

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1  Thank Taz416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DiplomatRestaurant, Public Relations Manager at Diplomat Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2014

I am very sorry to hear that your meal was not properly cooked the first time, but pleased to hear that it was rectified. I apologize for the cutlery and glasses not being clean. The glasses can get water spots on them if they are not left to properly air dry after coming out of the dishwasher. We appreciate the feed back, both positive and negative as it allows us to focus in on areas that can be improved. I hope that you will come back and dine with us again soon.

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Reviewed 11 August 2014 via mobile

My wife and I had dinner recently at the Diplomat. The atmosphere was pleasant enough and the staff was excellent. Everyone from the hostess to the server to the cashier were professional and pleasant. That is as far as I would go with my compliments of this restaurant. Mainly I have two issues; prices and management. The food is okay but just okay. Pretty generic taste and presentation. The prices however are ridiculous. At $22.00 plus for a single dish of Chow Mein I was shocked that this restaurant remains in business. A similar dish anywhere else in the city or indeed pretty much anywhere I've been might be $15 at most. At that price it had only one protein included. Shrimp or chicken. At $22.00 one would hope it had both.

But what was far more troubling to my wife and me was the owner. As we were finishing our meal an older gentleman could be seen and heard yelling at a staff member about a mopped floor. When I asked who he was I was told he was the owner David Kaleel. It was both unprofessional and upsetting as the staff member was being berated in such a public way.

Even more disturbing however is another management practice I was told about. It is one which my wife and I feel should be investigated. Apparently the owner requires his staff to each pay $.50 per day into a fund which is supposedly collected to offset the cost in case a diner leaves without paying their bill. I double checked with another staff member and apparently this truly is the practice at this restaurant. I was shocked at such a blatantly illegal practice being perpetrated on people who are working for minimum wage. It should in no way be the responsibility of employees to cover the cost of losses at a business. I also quickly did the math and figured that if the owners collected even ten dollars a day from twenty employees (there are many more than that working at this establishment) this works out to over $3,600 tax free per year the owners are collecting from their hard working employees. Shame on them! I plan on following up on this information with the local employment standards office and labour board.

So what would I say about this restaurant? If you want to be served bland, overprice food by excellent, pleasant staff go ahead and dine here. If you want to make a protest against owners who are making extra money by forcing their staff to pay them a percentage of their wages daily in order to keep their job... then send a message and avoid the Diplomat. Until management changes their treatment of their employees I think everyone should.

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1  Thank Jackr1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DiplomatRestaurant, Public Relations Manager at Diplomat Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2014

I would like to take a minute to correct a few misconceptions that you seem to have about the Diplomat Restaurant. I will first tell you who I am. My name is Kristy and I have been with this company for the last fifteen years. I started as a cashier and over the course of the years I have worked in every position in the restaurant. I have spent the last five years in our main office working beside the owner, David Kileel. With regards to the cost of the chow mein, while the price of $17.99 for a full order of chicken chow mein might be higher than some other restaurants, I feel it is justified here. All of the chicken dishes are made with the best available boneless skinless chicken breasts and all of the vegetables are fresh and top quality. The full orders of Chinese food are more than enough to serve two people easily.
Like I said earlier, I have worked with David for many years and while I know nothing of an incident where he berated someone over a mopped floor, I can assure you that it is not his practice to yell at a staff member or publicly berate them, and certainly he would never do it in the dining room. Surely the atmosphere of the restaurant should tell you that this establishment is well managed and yelling at staff in front of customers does not speak to great management.
As far as staff paying into a skip fund, this is correct. Your misconception lies in the fact that you seem to believe that management imposes this skip fund and also in that the company receives any benefits of this skip fund. The skip fund is a fund set up by the staff, for the staff. I personally manage this fund for the staff and I tell you that not a penny of the money collected goes to this company or is used by this company. I have worked in different restaurants over the years and in most restaurants the server is liable for the bills they ring in. If you sell $500 worth of food, you turn in $500 to the company. This is standard practice. If for some reason you don't collect the $500 from your customers, you pay the difference out of your pocket. This fund is an insurance policy for our staff. If for some reason they fail to collect all the money for the bills, because either a customer didn't leave enough money or because they skipped out on the bill, the server doesn't have to pay. The money is taken out of the skip fund to cover the bill. At the end of the year, should there be extra money left over in the skip fund, it is given back to the staff in the form of cash prizes at the appreciation dinner.
You mentioned in your review how pleasant and professional all of the staff here were. Please take a minute and reflect on that. If the owner were truly mistreating the staff would they really be so happy and pleasant at work? Many of our staff have been here for 20 years. Several of us work here simply because of how well we are treated by the owner. If you are truly concerned about the staff here at the Diplomat then I personally invite you to visit with me and I will be happy to go over any lingering concerns that you might have. You can reach me at (506) 457-2576. Thank You.

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Reviewed 9 August 2014

We decided to try this restaurant for our anniversary. It was a weekend night so it was pricier than during the week. The food selection was not huge, but what was there was excellent. There was an nice variety of hot and cold items. The crab legs were delicious as was the shrimp. I tried dishes I had never tried before and they were really tasty. The owner of the restaurant was there making sure that things were going smoothly. He made several recommendations for me to try and they were all great. Our server (Shelley) was very good. The whole operation seemed very well run. Our plates were picked up quickly. We had a very short wait to be seated. The staff were in uniforms which added to their professionalism. We saw people going by regularly with a carpet sweeper to make sure that no food was left on the carpet (always a challenge with people carrying plates back and forth to a buffet table). All in all it was a positive experience.

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1  Thank Becabica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DiplomatRestaurant, Public Relations Manager at Diplomat Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2014

We are thrilled to hear that you had such a positive dining experience here at the Diplomat. Both the owner and the staff work hard to see that things run smoothly for all of our guests. Most of the staff here are long term employees who are very familiar with all of our dishes and are always happy to make recommendations to customers. It's always good to try out new things and it's great when you can try new dishes and find some that you especially like. Please come again.

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Reviewed 9 August 2014

Excellent service and good choice of dishes. What we had was well cooked and presented, we didn't have the buffet as that seemed on the expensive side. Our waiter, Gary, was a real gas but sadly he went off duty, to be replaced by Brenda who was a very good substitute. Thanks both for a great evening.

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Thank gfrenc8106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DiplomatRestaurant, Public Relations Manager at Diplomat Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your dining experience here at the Diplomat. Gary has been serving our customers for many years and tends to offer entertainment as part of his service. Brenda is newer with us but has made a nice addition to our team. I hope you'll be back to dine with us in future.

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Reviewed 7 August 2014 via mobile

I only go to the diplomat when I feel like I can afford to spend an exorbitant amount of money on Chinese food. Which is good, don't get me wrong, but is a big hit to the wallet

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1  Thank GillisJulian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DiplomatRestaurant, Public Relations Manager at Diplomat Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2014

Thank you for reviewing the Diplomat Restaurant. I am pleased to hear that you like the food and sorry to hear that you feel it is so expensive. While the prices might be higher than some other Chinese restaurants, we feel that the quantity offered as well as the quality of the food warrants the price. Thank you.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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