But then.... it started.
As soon as we sat down, before we were even handed a menu, a waiter appeared. "So what's everyone having?"
"Sorry, none of us know yet. We've none of us recieved a menu so we can decide. Could we possibly get a few, please?" Our "head" spoke very politely to the waiter.
Now, forgive me if I'm thinking wrong, but surely a server would apologise or say, "okay, I'll get you one right away" or something of the type.
He huffed and said, "Fiiine."
Ten minutes later we finally recieve a menu. One of our group decides to get a pizza, pasta and salad buffet, two decide on the pizza-only buffet, and the remaining three of us decide to get some pizza and sides to share.
Twenty minutes pass and the spokesman of our group nabs a passing waitress who's just taking away some plates. She tells us that she'll grab our allotted waiter right away (I assume that Pizza Hut gets people assigned to tables?) - and yep, about thirty seconds later he turns up.
"Are you ready to order now?"
We give him our orders. We do the drinks first. Three Tangos, three Pepsis, and a Sprite.
"Okay," he says, scribbling it down.
We then order the side dishes. "A plate of garlic bread and some potato wedges."
So we order the pizza, each person telling him what they want. "One pizza, pasta, and salad buffet, two pizza-only buffets, and blah blah pizza and blah blah pizza."
He repeats it. Yep, all fine.
Cue another twenty minutes wait. Luckily we were in good company and it wasn't too boring, but we were pretty hungry and thirsty.
Finally, the drinks arrive.
Remember our order? Three tangoes, three pepsis and a sprite?
We got six Pepsis and a Sprite.
We pointed it out to our waiter.
"Sorry," he said, rather feebly. "Can you just drink it anyway?"
I could barely believe he'd just asked me that. In all my times working as a barmaid, I've mispoured drinks and I've always corrected it within seconds of realising. And I was never able to write it down to correct myself. Honestly, those tap sodas cost about 2p a litre, if that. I'm pretty sure he could just chuck it away and repour it. His manager would prefer it rather than have to listen to customers complain.
We finally manage to persuade him that three of our party really don't like Pepsi. The offending drinks are taken away, and gosh, within seconds three Tangos appeared. Really, after that long wait I thought that maybe there was a queue for the drinks taps in their station. -_-
Thought it couldn't get any worse?
The waiter manages to pour the drink on one of our groups' head.
And says, "sorry, here's your drinks." And walks off.
Right, well, the drinks are done. Another ten minutes. We get our sides, fair enough. We wait a little longer and are finally blessed with the presence of plates, so that those after the buffet may get to eat finally.
They attempt to take the plates (note: they weren't placed in front of each person like I've seen in most Pizza Huts; merely plopped down on the end of the table for us to get for ourselves) and the waiter grabs them (hand on the top of the plate which people are supposed to eat off; there's a rim for a reason!) and says, "no, these are for the buffet people".
The buffet people say, "um... we're eating the buffet..."
He looks back down at his notepad and says, "ah. So you are."
He finally lets them take and they take their plates over to the buffet and are greeted with breadsticks.
When they realised that there was no buffet for their customers to eat (and I can sort of understand this since it was past the lunch rush and so they might not have had the time to refill everything) they came over and asked us what type of pizza we typically eat.
What? I thought the whole point of a buffet was that you could have a piece of that and a piece of this? How about you do it properly and put pizzas on the buffet section rather than hand random people at our table some individual sized margheritas?
Oh God, it gets worse. We're sat by the window. A few police vans pulled up on the road outside to do something or other in the Square. It happens a lot, we've all seen it before.
Our smart waiter decides that it's COOL to run from his station to the window at breakneck speed to press his face against the glass and watch.
And shoves the chair of the guy he's already poured Tango over so he literally has his face in his pizza.
Thankfully after that, our waiter was moved onto another group (who for some reason he managed to serve promptly, no problem at all) and was replaced with a lovely helpful server, who offered to help clean up all the spills the incompetent waiter left. It's only because of her that we didn't ask to speak to a manager, as I didn't want such a nice server to feel worried. I hope she shared absolutely none of the tip we left.
It's just so sad to see that speed and incompetency is valued over good customer service and getting a job done well.