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  1. Sounds awful, thanks for sharing. I fully agree with naming and shaming, I think we’re too afraid in this country to do it for some reason, thus perpetuating bad service

  2. Sounds like you received horrible service. These types of experiences can be disheartening especially if you don’t go out to eat that often. I walk by that restaurant regularly and I have to say I’m not glad that I’ve never gone in there. Going out to eat is supposed to be a treat not an ordeal.

  3. I will never understand how people like her end up in the service industry, the owners of this restaurant are obviously very foolish, she should have been well-informed on how to deal with a dissatisfied customer and compensated you in some way, even the smallest gesture like some ice-creams or coffees goes a long way, it is not difficult(or expensive, might I add) to treat your patrons well. Thanks for naming and shaming Peter, good to know where to avoid. There are so many places in this city with delicious food AND really pleasant staff so a spot like this doesn’t deserve an ounce of business. Looking forward to hearing more customer service tales(good and bad!).

  4. You still paid?!

  5. It was either pay, or have the Gardai come. Ultimately we didn’t want the incredible hassle and stress. I wasn’t entirely sure what the law is here, but I suspect it would come down on the restaurant’s side. I’m looking into it and hope to report back later this week.

  6. Hey Peter, not sure what the law is in Ireland but I would imagine it’s similar to the UK’s…
    You should have called her bluff!

  7. Hi Peter

    What a horrible experience!!! I also make a point of politely complaining about poor food/not what I ordered etc. Even though my fellow diners are mortified. I think as long as the diner discusses their issue politely & respectfully then the restaurant should be happy to get the feedback and have the chance to make amends. If they dont make amends however, I will not be back & I will write a review on Yelp/Menupages of my experience.

    I am NEVER eating in Toto!!!!

    Thanks for highlighting the issue.


  8. Just rang to ask for contact details of the manager. Was told there is no email address on which to contact him. Extraordinary. Thanks for that link Rebecca, looking into it.

  9. sounds awful peter but thank you for naming and shaming!i walked by there today and had filed it away as a place to try….most definitely not now! it will be interesting to see what way the law lies on this!

  10. What ridiculously bad service. And how easily that unpleasant scene could have been avoided if the waitress had exercised basic common sense!

    About whether you should have paid or not: my feeling is that you would be on shaky ground, legally, if you refused to pay for food that you received and consumed, even though it was delivered slowly. As you say Peter, reducing the bill or offering a freebie is a gesture of goodwill. Any establishment with an ounce of sense will do it and they were fools not to, but it doesn’t mean that the customer can choose to refuse payment. I think they were completely in the wrong and you did the right thing by raising your objections. Anyone in that situation should do something similar: point out the problem and if it’s not resolved, tell everyone you know not to go there!

  11. Holy feck. Definitely not going anywhere near that place. Appalling!

  12. Wow…. that is bad 🙁

  13. Well, the owner will get what he deserved for not training his staff properly on customer service: bad publicity on a blog like yours in going to cause more damage to their reputation than the cost of a free coffee. Well done for trying and posting this online. The worst is that there is no real support for customers to complain of such a bad treatment, which is why so many places get away with it.
    May be it’s time some places realise that the Celtic Tiger years are long gone and that you do have to go that extra mile to stay in the business?

  14. Big thanks for sharing this, I really hate complaining, it just stresses me out, but normally if you do it politely it’s taken care of.

    Obviously the waitress in question should not have been left in charge of the place if she doesn’t even have the most basic level of manners, not to mention customer service skills.

    I hope the manager gets back to you and has the decency to be ashamed of the way you were treated.

    One place to avoid 😉

  15. Thanks for sharing this, I always think it’s great to hear about other people’s experiences in restaurants and hotels. In the past I was very reluctant to complain about poor service but after working in the industry and having seen both sides, I now always would give feedback about poor service food as we are paying for good service and food so we should get what we are paying for and I always go out of my way to give good back too when deserved. Places will continue to give poor service if we don’t speak up. Name and shame is probably the best way to go.
    I look forward to reading more reviews 🙂

  16. Thank you so much for not only highlighting the awful customer service here in Ireland but also for standing up for yourself – something most people here do not do! I’ve had similar service (or disservice) time and time again and as a Yank I usually say something (not that it does any good). Recently I was at an Indian restaurant and bit into a piece of hard clay that was attached to the back of my naan bread (it had broken off from the inside of the naan pot). I nearly chipped a tooth, and when I pointed it out the waitress, she apologized but said “sometimes it happens!” When we got our bill, there was no discount, nothing.

    It’s about time people wrote publicly about the horrendous customer service at so many restaurants here in Ireland. Well done!!!

  17. I’ve contacted the manager Martin about the experience and alerted him to this blog post. He apologised for my bad experience and said he will look into it. I await his response.

  18. That is actually unreal. Some places don’t deserve to be open to the public at all or employ inadequate, incompetent rude waiting staff at all. I worked for years as a waitress and now dine as a customer and so know both sides of the table, but this is just the height of bad manners.

  19. Any response from the Manager yet Peter?

  20. Unsurprisingly, no. I only informed him out of courtesy, but I’m not calling to deal with a manager for a third time. Clearly he supports his incredibly rude staff.

  21. Looks like it’s NOT just a civil matter in Ireland:

    Diner charged over cocktail bar bill dispute

    “…facing theft and public order charges over the incident in which he is accused of continuing to refuse to pay after gardai arrived.”

  22. OK, it looks like the guest refusing payment didn’t really help himeself by threatening the attending garda he would burn her house down “with her and her family in it” when she arrived to investigate a disputed bill.

    …so not necessarily normally an arresting offence!

  23. I was going to visit that place, but I won’t be after reading this.

    I had a friend who had a similarly awful experience in a cafe and refused to pay at the end, and gave the venue their name, address and phone number to call the Garda as they were gonig back to work. The Garda arrived and my friend explained how bad the whole thing had been and the Gardai left. They saw it as an issue for the venue to resolve with the customer.