Rude Service Tops List of Capital Complaints

By Alan Lodge

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gordon ramsay, Cent increase, Eating, Food

Rude Service Tops List of Capital Complaints
London diners say that aggressive table-turning and being forced to rush their meals are their biggest gripes with the citys restaurant scene.

DINERS in London are complaining more about aggressive table-turning and being rushed through their meals.

Thousands say they are fed up with bad service and staff demanding tables back "without warning".

A total of 8,500 readers of the Square Meal 2008 guide - some of whom eat out more than eight times a week - were questioned for the survey.

Leading restaurants including Nobu, Cipriani and Yauatcha are criticised in the poll, which saw a seven per cent increase in the number of complaints about service.

One diner at Nobu Berkeley Street said the staff were "determined to turn us around and get us out as quickly as possible".

Cipriani is described as "a pompous, self-important place that seemed to be full of customers more interested at looking at each other rather than the food".

Yauatcha is hammered for its "truly awful service", with one reviewer saying: "I was horrified by how spectacularly the abominable service fails to match the wonderful food."

Gordon Ramsay also comes under fire for his Boxwood Cafe, at the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, where diners said "service tends to the snooty".

There are twice as many complaints about bad service as there are poor food and drink, the second most common grievance.

Price is the third biggest issue, making up a sixth of complaints - a 21 per cent increase on last year - particularly for celebrity venues. It is not all doom and gloom for Ramsay, however, with praise being heaped on some of his other restaurants.

One diner at Gordon Ramsay said: "The food is faultless, simple, classic yet modern and using the best ingredients."

There is also praise for Acorn House in King`s Cross, Andrew Edmunds in Soho, Bumpkin in Westbourne Park Road and Orrery in Marylebone High Street.

Square Meal editor Ben McCormack said: "Compared with the professionalism one encounters in Paris, or the can-do cheerfulness of New York, service in London can be amateur and grudging.

"It`s a particular problem at London`s most fashionable and celebrity-packed dining rooms where the attitude of waiting staff can be that ordinary diners should consider themselves lucky to be eating at their establishment in the first place."

Related topics: Trends & Reports


Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more

Featured Suppliers

All suppliers