Gordon Ramsay is supposed to be a professional with high standards, that is, if you believe those TV shows.
Nevertheless when I was in London on May 6th this year, I blew 700 bucks for lunch at one of his restaurants. I was happy enough with the food and service to want to book a table at his Singapore outfit, Bread Street Kitchen, to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday.
However the phone number listed played a recording all day and night no matter what time I called. This went on for several days. The recording instructed callers to email the restaurant or to use its online reservation system for bookings. So I sent an email but it wasn’t responded to. Then I tried using the restaurant’s online reservation system but it hung.
Long story short: in the end another celebrity chef had our business.
We spent super mega bucks (about S$12,000/-) for that 50th birthday dinner. Too bad it didn’t go to Bread Street Kitchen.
Bread Street Kitchen phoned me one day after the birthday to apologize for missing my email. The woman on the line sounded like a Filipina.
“I don’t know what happened,” she said. She seemed exasperated.
What happened? Incompetence and a lack of professionalism, darling.
Then she asked “Is there something I can do for you?”
“Like what?” I asked.
“How about I help you with another reservation?” She suggested.
Well, too late now, right?
Three days after the birthday an email from a Jenna Sendall was received apologizing for the restaurant’s inability to respond to my email in time. She offered to invite me back “to enjoy champagne and canapés on the house” next time I dine with them but in the same breath she reminded me that the restaurant is “fully booked well into August, however we do hold some tables for VIPs depending on availability for special guests” whatever that means.
Those jokers running Gordon Ramsey’s eatery in Singapore obviously have zero understanding of the concept of “service recovery.”
Just as well, the June 28th edition of The Sunday Times carried a rather negative review of the restaurant by eminent food critic Wong Ah Yoke, whose review is said to be able to make or break a restaurant.