Archive for July, 2013

I’ve always been a fan of Wetherspoons.

Their (apparent) ethos of selling good quality products at reasonable prices have always suited the Yorkshireman in me.

However, of late, this has changed.

I’ve not been over-impressed with the newest menu – it’s too burger-ridden and the vegetables have (almost) disappeared and for me, the new menu has become the really boring pub-grub menu of years gone by. The chicken burgers I’ve tried on several occasions, in different pubs, have been dry and tasteless – just like other pubs used to serve.  So whilst other pub/food places are upping their game, Wetherspoons seem to be ‘downing’ theirs. Nevertheless, because the Yorkshireman in me still holds sway, we go to the ‘special menu’ evenings from time to time.

I’m also used to praising the customer service I find at Wetherspoons – certainly that found in Huddersfield’s two pubs and in various Wetherspoons up and down the country (Blackpool being a recent exception) has always been good. We’ve been to the Brighouse Wetherspoon pub twice in recent weeks. We have not been impressed with the customer service there (or the food – later).

The Brighouse pub is a drinkers pub really, but on Thursday’s ‘curry night’ it fills up. The first time we went, we had to sit at a dirty table until someone eventually came and removed the detritus – it was never ‘cleaned’. I put up with this on this occasion, I’m sorry. This week however, I was not happy with the only available table being littered with a pile of discarded poppadums and associated debris and glasses. My friend Tony asked one of the servers if it could be cleared. So far so good.

Eventually, a server came and lifted all of the debris (in his hands) and took it away. Not on a tray – he just lifted it and removed it. Someone came and removed the glasses. No one came to CLEAN the table. So I queued at the bar (a time-sapping task as they were obviously understaffed) only to be told that “we” can’t help you – “you’ll have to ask one of the servers on the floor”. Bear in mind that the servers also ‘serve’ the food from the kitchen – so that takes up lots of their time and effort.

Angry now, I caught one of them and asked if our table could be ‘cleaned’. She came and wiped the table with the same cloth she’d used on the previous ‘x’ amount of tables, simply flicking debris on our laps. No sanitiser, no soap (as far as I could see). No care.

Luckily I had put a clean hanky in my pocket that evening – so I soaped and moistened it in the loo and cleaned the table myself (drying the hanky under the hand dryer to wipe down afterwards).

Now, I’ve had rogan josh at Wetherspoons before. It’s tasty enough, it comes with buckets of rice, a standard Tesco-style nann bread and a couple of poppadums. And some chutney. And, it’s always been ok – even here in Brighouse on the other visit. On this most recent visit (last Thursday, 11th July) my rogan josh was such a tiny portion that I was visibly unimpressed. My colleagues said to complain but having been so unimpressed with the customer service and the cleaning regime – I said “no – there’s no point, they don’t care”. Tony however, did complain to one of the servers (pointing out the difference between each person’s portion size) and the server said “we don’t portion it – it comes portioned”.

Well it might come portioned, but not surely not individually portioned – that would be a ridiculous waste of space and material. I suspect that food DOES come in portion packs (e.g. 12/20 portions etc.) and that the ‘chef’ in the kitchen simply individualises from there. In the case of Brighouse, last Thursday I suspect that they had been over generous with previous portions or, more worryingly – were trying to get more portions from the pack.

Whatever the case, I left very disappointed.

My colleagues said that I should write to Wetherspoons and complain but what’s the point? It would take me the best part of an hour of my time to write (like this blog post) and I’d simply get a reply saying sorry – here’s a voucher. Sadly, I don’t want a voucher (at the moment I don’t want to eat at Wetherspoons again) – I just want the pub chain to take more care with training staff and a little more though about menu compilation.

I’d also like to hear what others have to say.  You never know, I might be wrong!

I’m still happy with Wetherspoon’s beer choices and prices.

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