I was extremely disappointed with my visit to ‘Restaurante Cheers’ on the 5th September 2009 for the following reasons:
a) According to their TV advert (Record International – Sky channel 801), promotional leaflet and website (http://www.rodizio-cheers.com/) the restaurant offers cultural shows and music. This was also confirmed by a member of their staff over the phone two days before our visit. On arrival, I asked one of the waiters when the show would start and he told me that the shows were no longer happening because there were problems between the artists and the restaurant management. The cultural show was one of the main reasons why I decided to take my family to the restaurant and I made this clear to the waiter when I expressed my disappointment.
b) When I walked past the salad buffet on arrival, I noticed that there was a fly inside the cover that was supposed to protect the food. The fly was clearly landing on the food. I told one of the waiters about this discretely but he seemed more interested in following the football match that was being shown on the large screen at that moment. I don’t know if the fly was removed and the waiter did not mention that again.
c) We chose to have ‘rodízio completo’ (the ‘eat as much as you like’ barbecue option) but the meat selection was very limited and after just 10 minutes the waiters stopped serving us. When the waiter tried to take our plates away, we asked if it would be possible to bring us some more food. He seemed surprised and we felt embarrassed. There was no sign of seafood or turkey meat as it was advertised on the promotional leaflet.
d) The waiter that we told about the fly in the salad bar served us with indifference and arrogance, clearly showing that he wasn’t pleased when we asked him what type or cut of meat he was serving us. Unfortunately I don’t know his name.
e) The pudding selection was also very limited. Most puddings were sloppy and uninteresting. In my opinion, the price wasn’t consistent with the quality of the puddings that were served.
f) Someone brought out a few macaws for the guests to see. We thought that was rather inappropriate as the birds were brought right up to the tables while people were eating. Some guests even had the macaws on their heads and shoulders.
g) It took them a long time to bring the bill to us and the payment ended up having to be made in cash because my credit card payment could not be processed (American Express and Mastercard). The waitress said that payments made with credit cards issued outside of Portugal were being refused on a regular basis, which was our case (our cards were issued in the UK). I had to borrow money from my guests to pay part of the bill, which was very embarrassing and it really spoilt the evening for me. The waitress did not apologise for this and said, ‘It’s a good job that you had the cash!’. I wonder what would have happened if we didn’t have enough cash between us. This was difficult to understand and accept because the restaurant advertises all over Europe (on the TV) and must have guests from many countries.
h) The total bill came to 160 Euros (about £140) for 4 adults and one child. This really was very expensive for what was offered and we went back to our hotel feeling rather angry and disappointed.
I don’t normally write reviews like this one but my experience at ‘Restaurante Cheers’ on the 5th September 2009 was very disappointing and unsatisfactory. I wrote to the restaurant manager on the 26th September in order to complain but I am still waiting for a reply, 5 weeks later! It became clear that they have serious management and customer services issues to resolve.
João Martinez (London, United Kingdom)
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