I’ve had one of the worst experiences in a restaurant that I can remember. In my 37 years I can’t remember this bad a situation and I’m glad that I was the only one affected this afternoon and that there were no other patrons at the cafe. Especially no families or women! This afternoon, after a visit to the bank and then going around checking various computer stores for the best deal I can find to replace my laptop’s dying hard disk I went t have a beer and after that stepped into Wood Manor’s Pizzeria at Woodland’s Junction on MG Road. If you remember I had visited this restaurant in May after which I had raved about the place & it’s food in particular. My cousin has since visited it twice and both times his experience was good. Today, my experience – not so much. Now Wood’s Manor is a big hotel and they have this sidewalk pizzeria adjacent to their building.
As I stepped in to the place I saw that they had three tables filled with people so I took a table at the end of the place. I sat down and the server brought me a menu and I asked for water first. I then ordered a thin crust medium and a 7up. I wish I hadn’t! That’s because the three tables were occupied by Omani men who were in Cochin on a work project for their company. They were staying at the same hotel. They had some training that they attend in the mornings and are free from 1:30 pm onwards. Being Muslims observing the Ramazan fast they weren’t having lunch or anything to drink. But they were still sitting there taking 3 tables. Soon a couple of more joined and now it was 4 tables! And they were talking so loudly, yakking their heads off and making a nuisance. They sat with their feet up, mobiles & tabs open and shouting across the tables acting like it was their home! I was put off and wanted to leave. I tried eating my meal but couldn’t do it in peace. It ruined my appetite and I can’t be sure if the pizza was actually bad or if it was the lousy ambiance that made it appear so. I just wanted to get outta there.
I complained to the waiter who apologized for the behaviour of their guests. He said that the management has told the Omanis to tone down their noise and to not sit at the tables if they weren’t going to order and bother paying customers who were having their meals but the Omanis haven’t stopped doing whatever they wanted to do and act as if they bought the entire hotel. I wrote a highly negative feedback in the slip that they gave me along with the bill. As I was leaving I spoke to the F & B manager of Wood’s Manor and asked him is this the way they were planning on running the restaurant. His apologetic answer was basically the same – we’ve told them to please tone it down and respect the hotel’s norms but they aren’t doing so.” They are guests at the hotel and they should respect the rules of the hotel but it is the responsibility of the staff & management to enforce it. If those guys aren’t behaving they could speak to the leader of the group who brought them here and have them set things straight. But the management of Woods Manor haven’t done that. About 20 minutes or so after I left the hotel, the same manager called me back and said that he has spoken to the group’s person in charge and that they should have things in place soon. Plus they are to leave back for Oman in a couple of days.
Whatever – your food is good, it’s a nice place to sit and relax enjoying a meal but you’ve lost a customer who would have been a loyal patron had this lousy experience not happened!