&the fact it was on a sunday? a non-work day? fantastic!!!
so my fiance adam &i decided to go to Semaphore (beachfront area) with some friends for lunch.
to the Semaphore Palais.
without a booking.. we thought we'd try our luck.
we got there at 12.35pm &a friend had already gotten there early &found a table.. the last non-reserved available table outside, overlooking the glorious blue ocean, in the sunny sun sun. :)
i was starving so, sent adam inside for ordering for the three of us a bottle of wine, and a trio of dips, to keep us going until everyone else got there.
he comes out not 2 minutes later saying 'we have a problem. they wont serve us because we don't have a booking'.
queue me then going inside. i say (nicely the entire time) 'hi my parter was just told we can't order food...? we dont have a reservation, but we have a table outside'
i then get told (pretty much in these words) 'we are only accepting food orders for people with reservations and we're at full capacity.. i have that whole section over there *waves in one direction* full and most of outside as well. we could fill this place with 1,000 people, but the kitchen can only serve so many.'
i said 'so even though there's extra tables that aren't reserved, we cant order?'
she said 'we have a certain amount of tables available for people who just want drinks.'
i asked what the wait on food was, she said '2 hours' and by this time, it was about.. 12:50pm ish. she said no snacks, but we can order drinks and wait if we want.
so i went outside and re-told the story to adam &our friend &we decided to leave &find somewhere else to go.. another family quickly grabbed our table as we left, we told them the situation, and they walked away as well.
TO ADD TO THIS; our friend who was waiting before we got there, told us the story about the table nearby that had a sign saying 'reserved for 2pm'. an older couple (about 50-ish) came up &asked the waitress if they could sit there for a 'quick bite to eat' because it was only 12.15pm (by that stage).
the waitress went &asked the manager, came out &said 'no sorry the manager won't let me give this table to you'. they asked - nicely - to see the manager. the manager came out, and without hearing any word out of their mouth, said 'this table has been reserved for 2pm and is not available for you. leave NOW.'
seriously.. it was the first time i'd been to the Palais in about 2 years.. last time i went, the food was shit and the service was fairly poor.. but it always seems to be jumping, and what better place to sit on a sunday in the sun to watch the ocean?
if you have (for example) 200 seats in a cafe, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SERVE 200 PEOPLE.
if you are busy, you say 'there will be an hour wait, is that ok?' to give people the choice.. not say 'only 150 seats are for food.. the rest is for drinks. go away.'
man, i'm so pissed off.
we ended up walking to the largs pier hotel &got absolutely outstanding service from a lovely waitress. still, it put me in a pissed off mood.. i might write to the local messenger newspaper about it.. and i am writing a letter to the manager.. which might do sweet FA considering he's the one who gave one of the cases of bad service.
EDITED TO ADD; in australia in cafe's and bars, people seat themselves.. there isn't a 'greeter' like in the states. unless it's fine dining, or at least a little more of an upper class place.. but general cafe's along the beachside, etc, you seat yourselves and get your own menu's and go up to the counter to order when you're ready.
there was no signs anywhere to stipulate they had a 'limit' or anything about how much food they serve..