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“An Unsatisfactory Experience and an Interesting Response To A Dissatisfied Customer”

Crompton's at the Waterside
Ranked #184 of 2,254 Restaurants in Manchester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$6 - US$32
Cuisines: Mediterranean, British, Gastropub, Bar, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, View, Child-friendly, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Drinks, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Buffet, Digital Payments, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“An Unsatisfactory Experience and an Interesting Response To A Dissatisfied Customer”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

I don’t usually do reviews on Trip Advisor which are not of a positive nature , so this is a rarity me and I will endeavour to be factual and objective. There is a duplicate listing for this restaurant under “The Waterside” so a similar review is listed there too.

I have been to the Waterside on probably 10 or so occasions since April 14. For the first 5 or 6 occasions it has been OK , nothing special though and a little disappointing given that it is on the pricey side for what you get. However, it’s convenient; a 2 minute walk from the apartment and very much in it’s favour is that, unlike most other places in Monton, it has a decent sized beer garden which gets the sun on it in the evening.

A few weeks back we dined in the restaurant on a Friday evening. It wasn’t particularly busy , in fact most nights I have been in that has been the case. My partner and I ordered the “steak stones” where you get to cook your steak at your table on a really hot stone. Unfortunately the steak was as tough as old boots. We could not cut them even with the steak knives we were given . We sent them back and had duck instead which was fine, though not really what we wanted.

A fortnight ago, we ate out in the garden . I gave the steak stone another try and on the second occasion the steak was fine. My partner had fish and chips which came with a small amount of tartare sauce on the plate , which, from the presentation, we presumed was the chef’s own made. When my partner asked the waitress for some more, she was quite dismissive and pointed to the tub containing sachets of tomato sauce etc… and told us that there was some in there. I gave some feedback when I paid the bill that I thought her attitude was poor.

A week later , on another sunny evening, we went there again. This time I ordered a Chicken Caesar Salad and my partner ordered 2 starters rather than a main; a fishcake and a black pudding fritter with a poached egg on top. When the black pudding fritter was served, the egg was completely solid and overcooked , so she sent it back and asked for another egg.

Meanwhile I started to eat the Caesar salad and noticed that the lettuce was brown and clearly old and ready for the bin. When the waiter arrived back with the replacement black pudding fritter with fresh poached egg, I sent the Caesar Salad back on the basis that the lettuce was brown and clearly nowhere near fresh.

Fed up with the chef’s inability to create an acceptable salad, I watched my partner cut into the egg to find this one of the snotty , uncooked variety. So, not only does the chef not recognised lettuce when it’s off, he can’t poach an egg. I was pretty fed up at this point, so I took the meal back to the bar told them that if the chef can’t poach an egg he should be sacked ! In retrospect, that was probably a bit harsh of me, but I was somewhat vexed by this point and I told them we didn’t want anything else and that I would not be paying for the food.

A few minutes later , the waiter came out with a message from the manager (actually the owner) which was along the lines of “we’ve complained too much / too often so we should go and eat somewhere else ” !

I was pretty aghast at that; in particular , that rather than come and apologise to or placate an unhappy customer in person, he would send one of his staff as messenger to deliver his “go and eat somewhere else” message.

I felt that a conversation with the owner/manager was in order . He was sitting in the restaurant at a table with other members of his family; presumably something of greater importance that dealing personally with a dissatisfied customer. His main observation was “why did we keep coming back if we didn’t like the food.” I answered honestly ; convenience.

He mentioned that we had sent food back several times (actually, I had only sent food back once before) , that my partner had been there many times before I started going there with her and there had been no problems (not so – she had been in on Mothers Day and had complained about a number of things and our dissatisfaction on recent visits was mutual ). In essence, rather than address our dissatisfaction, he turned it round to present a premise that it was me that had a bad attitude and that I was the problem.

I asked him if he had bothered to look at what had been served to us , to which he answered that he hadn’t, so I suggested that before he jumps to the conclusion that I am the problem , he should see for himself what we had been served.

In fairness, he did that and he came out and apologised and said that what had been served shouldn’t have been sent out. So eventually, the right response was delivered. However, that doesn’t really excuse what went before.

I eat out a lot and I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I’ve sent food back over the last 5 years. I’ve had some pretty poor meals in that time but accepted it , providing the attitude of the staff was good , the service is not unduly slow and as long as the food has been edible. On this occasion the quality of the food was unnacceptable in 3 out of 4 dishes served, as were the steaks we sent back on the previous visit.

It’s an interesting way to deal with a dissatisfied customer. Not one that remotely enters my head in my own business dealings, where customer excellence is what we absolutely strive for. If and when we fall short , which we do from time to time because we are human, we put the customer first , apologise and try and put things right , so that they remain a customer.

We won’t be visiting again, but we didn't really need the owner's instruction to "go and eat somewhere else" to have decided that ! The food has been average at best and there are lots of other places around which are much better and not much different in price (Albert’s , Grenache & Blacksticks to name but 3) but above all , notwithstanding the eventual apology, the attitude of the owner is really poor in my opinion. (Just take a look at the owner's response to the person who complained on here a few months back about no breakfast service on Mother’s Day and judge for yourself. Ironically , the owner has a valid point but the way he deals with it speaks volumes. )

It’s a pity , because I do like the beer garden but c’est la vie

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank jeremyjcs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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229 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Love the place!”
Reviewed 4 August 2014

The Waterside is always a staple favourite of my husband and I. The service is brilliant, staff are lovely and the owners always chatty. The steak stones are amazing! Although the food is a little pricey it is always worth it as we have never had a bad meal.
With the current boom in Monton for eating and drinking out, The Waterside is a refreshing change from standing cramped outside on a main street. Sitting watching the barges go by on a summers day whilst drinking a cocktail is a perfect way to spend a weeking! Certainly can recommend for drinking and dining.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jelly J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
“Poor service....poor food....”
Reviewed 15 July 2014 via mobile

My partner and I dropped in the waterside early Sunday afternoon. The tables inside were waiter service, but after sitting waiting for someone to take our order for almost 45 mins we decided to order at the bar. Another 45mins went by until our food arrived ....... Sunday lunch !!! A burnt Yorkshire pudding, 3 small roast potatoes, a few slices of beef !!! Then a side plate of carrots, broccoli & cauliflower to share all of which were raw. The veg went back to the chef to cook a little longer but they came back just as hard but now cold,,,,,
Stay away very poor place disappointed !!!!

Thank Gail B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great except for the salad”
Reviewed 13 July 2014

Ten of us ate here yesterday for the first time. The burgers, lasagne, pasta and risotto were huge portions and very nicely presented. I was looking forward to my salad arriving! Then, the two of us having the halloumi salad got our salad and just looked at each other and said that we'd obviously made the wrong choice. It looked so unappetising. If the chef wants to see how to make a salad look appealing, I suggest he or she goes to Pizza Express or reads Jamie Oliver's salad section in one of his books. A jar of antipasto roasted peppers is not what I expect in a salad - they are too vinegary. Homemade roasted vegetables was what I expected from the description. The way the salad was prepared did not allow the flavours to fuse. We did say to the waitress that we were disappointed before we ate it and we were given another dish of the same thing. The others enjoyed their food and looking at it, I would have enjoyed it too. Bring your salads up to scratch or take them off the menu!

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank LouLouWI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“'Bring a Torch'”
Reviewed 29 June 2014

This was our first visit having read some positive reviews. On arrival my first impressions was that I wasn't sure if this was a pub or a restaurant. The front of the place had people sat drinking with their dogs. I have no issue with this but the place needs to decide what it is. We were seated at our table for 4 people and we all felt that the seating area was a bit cramped. What did seem strange for the restaurant area was the televisions on the walls showing 24 hour news, this was combined with quite intrusive music. I have to say the staff were really friendly and knowledgeable. The restaurant area where we were sat was really dark to the point that we needed to use the torch on my son's mobile phone to read the menu! Regarding the food I had the pate, however, the black pudding starter that the others had, although nice was suppose to contain bacon as part of the dish, but there didn't seem to be any sign or taste of it. Main courses were okay, although the strips of beef dish lacked taste and was just warm. The sweet selection was quite limited so none of us bothered. Price wise I would say it was on the expensive side for what the place is. It is not a place I will be returning to in a hurry.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank simon0161
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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