Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Dinner Encounters

Met Emily for dinner tonight since I was in the university today. Both of us met in the university and later took a bus to a eating place which I had proposed. Our venue for dinner was the XO Fish Beehoon located at Holland Drive area.

Several months ago, my colleague had gave me an account of why she prefers not to have dinner there. She said the people who served the customers at that eating place have "an attitude". I later realised that she meant: poor service.

Well, despite that, I still took the risk to try it this evening. The last time that I had been there, I did not meet with too poor a service. But this evening, I did.

I must have been not too clear-headed, I had wanted to order XO Fish Beehoon, but in the end asked for Fish Beehoon instead. Well, I can't really describe to you what is the difference between the two, but I have tried the XO Fish Beehoon and it tastes better with a richer taste. When I realised my mistake, I approached the counter to ask if there would be any way I could amend my order. The staff at the counter spoke in what sound like an unempathetic tone and he demanded me to approach the staff whom I had placed my order with. I can't remember who that was. In fact, I thought I had ordered from him! Well, I didn't mind if I can't have my order amended, but I would very much prefer to be attended to by staff who could speak more politely.

Well, I shall forgive him anyway. Maybe he had a very bad day? But I learnt that if I were to have meals there again, I must make sure that either I remember clearly who I place orders with or I must take a photograph of the person whom I place orders with. So if the same incident were to happen, I could confidently know whom I place orders with and get the appropriate assistance. But well, if I were to go again, that means I must exercise a lot of patience and take a lot of risks to bear with the service.

While waiting, another staff came and gave us the cutlery. The cutlery did not look well-cleaned, but it was bearable. For the fact that we were not eating in a restaurant, I had lowered my expectations on the cutlery. So long as it looks reasonably clean for use, I could still bear with it.

Anyway, the food was alright. I wished I have ordered the XO Fish Beehoon, but well, I made do with what I had. The Kailan was good. Nicely cooked. Maybe there's a price to pay for such good food?


By the way, the fish chunks are of relatively large size. Look at the photo above and you will know what I meant.

While myself and Emily were having our dinner, three other customers came and sat beside us. They only bought two sets of food. Vaguely, I heard one of the staff who came to serve the food questioning the three customers why they bought only two sets of food but have set up tables for three person. I wonder if the staff knew what sensitivity is?

I keep my fingers crossed that I won't be just as insensitive to clients when I am in lousy mood. Then again, I think I am fallible and could have been insensitive without myself being aware. So maybe, this evening's encounters of poor service is to make me aware how insensitivity and perceived lack of attentiveness to customers' needs could turn customers off?

I spoke to Emily and I proposed a hypothesis that despite its relatively good tasting food, the business did not seem to grow to its full potential, and the reason could be because of a fault in its service. I don't know if I were right. Maybe if someone had been kind to enlighten the people in this place about how to deliver genuine, sincere and responsive service, this eating place might have expanded to a thriving business with outlets in all parts of Singapore?

Bid Emily goodbye after the dinner. It was a nice and peaceful feeling to be out with a friend, despite the encounters we have met during the dinner. Maybe I have chosen not to let my experience of poor service mar my day.


mistipurple said...

i cannot understand how people can be impolite. one should have picked up this basic attitude from young, from home and at school.

Simple American said...

The attitude of the staff reflects the management. Singapore has so much food based on what you and misti have described. I'd be at the many friendly restaurants that also have good food.

No excuse for rude service. Don't treat me bad because of someone else was a jerk.

pinkie said...

dun think it can get far with poor service...