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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Updated: The Ticket Kitchen and Bar = The Great Fail

I will start off by saying that this is not our typical post.  There are no photos or praise in the passage below.  This is simply an account of failure at a grand level.

I recently dined at a restaurant with some friends and had such a terrible experience that I feel compelled to warn anyone out there considering eating there.  The restaurant is called The Ticket Kitchen and Bar and prior to renovations was known as Players Chophouse.  Anyway, we ventured there on a Sunday evening but this restaurant was deserted.  Keep in mind that it is in the heart of downtown, steps away from BC Place. 

And so it begins.  The hostess arrived and asked us for drinks and gave us the menus.  We informed her that we had two groupons to split between the six of us and asked if there were any menu restrictions.  We were guaranteed that there were none.  Four of us ordered drinks which arrived in a few minutes, the two of us who ordered water waited 10 minutes and had to prompt once more for water.  Then the waitress (not the same person who brought us drinks) arrived and took all of our orders.  About 25 minutes later our food arrived.  Twenty-five minutes in a restaurant that was deserted?? Wow.  From my seat I could see into their prep kitchen and saw about 5 or 6 people just standing around chatting and playing with utensils the entire time we waited.

Anyway, the food was mediocre.  The bread on my burger was burnt on the outside and my fries lacked crunch, freshness, and flavor.  I don’t think they make their fries themselves; they tasted like store bought ones.  The steak was alright but nothing spectacular.

Once we finished eating, our table was cleared and we waited patiently for the bill.  After what must have been half an hour, the bill finally arrived.  Not sure what took so long because the entire time I could see the staff just standing around in the kitchen chatting.  The bill totaled ~140 dollars for the 6 of us (5 steaks and 1 salmon burger); yes quite pricey for bar food.

This is where the experience just blew up.

When we showed our groupons to the waitress, she was upset and taken aback.  She said in an incredulous voice “Are you kidding me!? You know you’re supposed to show me that at the beginning right?  There are restrictions on the menu and you guys ordered stuff that doesn’t qualify.”  We explained that we did declare our groupons and were assured there are no restrictions.  This prompted a short lecture by the waitress. “There is a difference between hostesses and waitresses.  You’re supposed to know this...” And so on and so forth.  Since when is the customer responsible for this?  The onus is on the staff to have proper communication and be accountable for the customers and their requests.  Secondly, you do NOT lecture your customer regardless of what the issue is.  WTF.

Needless to say, the combination of average food, exuberant prices,  rude staff and slow and terrible service all sums up to one thing: a terrible experience.  To add insult to injury, we were made to feel stupid and guilty.  One thing is for sure.  We are never going back.  Ever.  In Taylor Swift’s words: We, are never ever EVER, getting back togetherrrr.

Eater beware...

Update Dec 19/12:  In the past two weeks, I have been in communication with a member of the management team at The Ticket.  Readers and eaters, rest assured that steps are being taken to ensure a positive and pleasant experience at this restaurant.  Props to the management team for being vigilant and taking initiative to prevent such an experience from repeating itself.

The Ticket Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

00FoodEducator said...

You had me till you started complaining about being educated. Looking at it a different way, from a server position you are uneducated and inexperienced with dining. You seem to be on the same level as someone who goes out, takes off there shoes, and eats there steak with there bare feet; then complains that is how you eat it.

1.Read your groupon.
2.Hand them your groupon when you ask for the check. This is 100% on the customer because there are different Groupons.
3.Kitchen staff stays in the kitchen, they don't serve outside.
4.In a kitchen of 5-6 people there is a meat station and other stations, you all ordered meat. The grill is like a BBQ at home, you don't keep it at maximum if the place was deserted.
5. Etc, etc, you mad now because you had to learn something. Getting mad because someone speaks the truth to you; that's your problem, fix it.

Nabeel said...

I don't think you read my post correctly, but I do appreciate your perspective. Thank you for sharing your point of view and forcing myself and the reader to see the bigger picture.

charlene huang said...

Frankly, regardless of your position, whether you're a server or a hostess, it is imperative for you to have the correct information before relaying it to the customer. It is not only your responsibility but also the foundation of good communication within a team. If I were unsure of a certan promotion, I would verify the restrictions and rules with management prior to answering. From a server's perspective, this may be the customer's fault, but we all know that in a service-based industry, the customer is always right. The most pressing matter currently is for this restaurant to make sure something like this doesn't happen again or else it will be losing a lot more than 6 clients in the future.

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