I've been a regular customer of this restaurant for years as I live close by, but today the service fell well below its normal OK level. All started well as the the manager was his usual welcoming and pleasant self and took my order. Then it went pear-shaped as soon as the manager disappeared, leaving the floor to the young male waiter. I finished my main course, laid down my cutlery in the normal 'I have finished my meal' position and waited ... and waited ... for the waiter to take the plate away so we could progress to the next course. He passed my table several times but didn't cast a glance in my direction, even though I was the only person inside the restaurant and only one table outside was taken. Finally, tired of being ignored I raised my hand to catch his attention and he took my plate away. He then resumed his blindness to my presence. I had thought, naively, he might ask if I would like a pudding or coffee, or at least hand me the menu. I'd always assumed this was customary in a restaurant. But no. After some time I had to take the initiative again and put up my hand to attract his attention and ask for a pudding after having found the menu myself. This was though there was still only one other table taken in the whole restaurant. Then three more tables were taken outside, and the waiter spent his time giving them menus and taking their orders. I gave up on ordering coffee, got up and waited by the till to pay my bill. And waited. Fair enough that he was busy, I understand, but when he finally came inside to the till he didn't even look me in the face or have the courtesy to say 'sorry to keep you waiting'. That was the final straw. When I gently told him (in a treading on eggshells way that you have to do these days) that his service skills hadn't been great, and the reasons why, he just continued to ignore me in a cold, couldn't-care-less way, mumbling under his breath and not even looking up. When I said it was clear he did not think he had done anything wrong, he raised the temperature by saying, no, he didn't think he had done anything wrong and adopted an attitude like some petulant teenager. I asked for the manager and for a time the temperature became even more heated with the waiter becoming confrontational with me. Jeez, not a pleasant experience.
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