Tlanti (tlanti) wrote in bad_service,

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Conference Centre Challenges...

This week, I was in charge of sorting out a venue for an away day which was quite a big deal.  I'd heard great things about the venue and had a show round.  I was told how seriously they take allergies - in fact the person who gave me a tour of the place was very clear about how seriously things like that were taken - so I thought I would be fine.  I'm allergic to apples and to artificial sweetener and the reactions I get put me out of action - I really didn't want to risk it as I was playing a pivotal part in the meeting...

I got to the place and there was no-one there to show me to my conference room (it's quite a large venue).  The room itself was pretty good as were the refreshments available.  It was when it came to lunch things got pretty horrible. 

I went to the restaurant and as I had been advised to do, told the server I had food allergies and stated my name.  I had to queue up with everyone else (it was a sort of buffet set up where the chefs serve you).  When it came to my turn I was presented with a plain chicken dish.  I was a bit confused so asked why.  They insisted I had a gluten free diet.  I told them I didn't and that my details were on the sheet of paper they had in front of them - I pointed it out as it was in clear sight. 

The chef then put the plate down, ignored me and started serving everyone else including my colleagues which was really embarrassing.  Another staff member saw that I needed assistance and sorted things out - the first chef was still insisting I was gluten free.  Nope - it's apples I'm allergic to and in a big way, and as apples are used in various sauces I didn't want to take the chance.  I got served in the end although it was a bit of a nightmare confirming which dishes contained apple - or not. 

Then I wanted a dessert... and this is where the sweetener allergy came in.  There was confusion over what desserts had artificial sweeteners in and what didn't.  After the messing around there, I opted for the cheese. 

I then went to leave and had my name called... it was the first server I had spoken to in the restauirant who wanted me to sign for something.  It was for photocopying... for another company.  She then insisted my group would be at the place for two days even though I had told her we had a one day event.

I have no doubt I'll have to return there in the future but think I may well be eating elsewhere, just to be on the safe side!  I'm going to provide them with feedback and doubt I would have been so disappointed if I hadn't had the consideration for allergies emphasised so much. 

I hope all this makes sense but let me know if anything isn't clear - please be gentle... this is my first post here... :)

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