My wife and I had a meal, with two friends, in Deane and Decano on Friday. We were disappointed to say the least. We found the food and the drinks overpriced and the service underwhelming.
Given the prominent advertisements on the specials board for 'Prosecco Fridays’ we ordered a second bottle of Prosecco after we had finished our first. We were very surprised to see that only the first bottle of Prosecco was on offer at the advertised £19.50. We felt this was very misleading and were very disappointed to see that our second bottle of Prosecco wasn’t at the advertised rate of £19.50, but at a higher rate of £25.00.
We would be more than happy to pay £25.00 for a bottle of Prosecco and, really, £5.50 isn’t a great deal, but this felt like very misleading advertising and a little underhand.
Of more concern was the slowness of the service. Whilst all of the waiting staff were very courteous and polite, and a credit to Deane’s, there simply weren’t enough of them to really pay attention to the diners. An attentive waiter or waitress always keeps an eye on the tables they are serving, checking in from time to time, ensuring their guests are happy. Not so here.
On many occasions we tried to discretely catch someone’s eye to see if we could order more drinks and, I’m afraid, towards the end ended up waving our arms shamelessly in the air in an effort to be spotted. This was very disappointing and was made only worse when we saw that a 10% tip - ~£20 - was automatically added to our bill.
As someone who has spent a past life working as a waiter I know how important tips are and I always tip generously. A tip must be earned, however.
If you're visiting Belfast, eat out in town, in the Cathedral Quarter or near the City Hall. The centre of Belfast is thriving and there is a hunger (pardon the pun) in the city to deliver wonderful experiences to visitors and locals alike. Deane and Decano feels like one more cog in a rapidly growing Deane's empire which seems geared more towards making money than delighting customers.
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