It has been a sort of tradition of my family to have dinner together every Valentine’s Night. We’ve been doing this for the past 6 or 7 years.
This year, my dad called up KARTINI here in Alabang Town Center to make a reservation for the four of us. The reservation was at 7pm, but my mom, brother, and I went early (around 6:15). Since it was still early for dinner, no one was in the restaurant except for the waiters. The buffet food trays weren’t even being heated yet.
We entered and one waiter led us to our table. Upon entering, we noticed that ALL tables were reserved for the night. All had names on them. We got to our table, the farthest one. I saw our surname spelled incorrectly (it was spelled Regundola). Strike 1. But I let it pass. It’s easy to mishear someone on the phone anyway.
Moments later, my mom noticed that we were seated near the bathroom. She didn’t like that (who would?) So we KINDLY asked one waiter if we could be transferred to another table. He was unsure. He consulted with somebody else.
Since he was taking long, we asked another waiter if we may be moved. Without hesitation, he said yes. Since we had a reservation for 4, he moved us to a table also reserved for 4. He led us to a table right in front of the musical performer. By this time, my dad hasn’t arrived yet. The three of us were settling down. Then this lady comes, along with the first waiter we talked to. She was asking us to move and go back to our original table.
This is where things got testy.
Lady was saying that all tables are reserved and that we had our own table assignment. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we are not on a first come first-served basis,” she said non verbatim. She was forcing us out of our seats, insisting that the tables we were currently occupying belonged to one Mr. Lozada (or Mrs. Lozada. I forgot the pronoun). Strike 2 right here.
My mom argued back. non verbatim: “We had a reservation for 4, and this table is also for 4. No one is here so I don’t see the problem.”
Then the lady said, “But Mr. Paul Regondola was the last to reserve so he gets the last table.”
HOW STUPID! You would argue that Kartini is not first come, first-served, but that exact argument is what was used against us! That we were the LAST to reserve and that the Lozadas reserved FIRST. How logical!
Annoyed, my mom said, “This is bad service.” She was already standing up. We were to follow.
But the lady won’t back down. The nerve of this woman. She still shot back, “No, ma’am, this is not bad service. This is business.”
As we walked away, mom still kept saying, “Bad service! Very bad service!” The lady still won’t stop talking and saying that it is a business. How rude.
Before we got out the door, one waiter apologized. To which my mom replied, “You better be sorry.” The rude lady won’t stop. She replied, “No we won’t be sorry. This is a business.”
I lost count how many strikes that was. That woman is the rudest owner/manager or whatever she is that I’ve ever seen. I forgot to mention: back in the table, my brother heard her say that they “want to please our customers.” Bad news: you wouldn’t please anyone with the way you treat diners who want to switch tables, especially if they arrived first, they had a reservation, AND NO ONE ELSE IS IN THE RESTAURANT.
Also, she could’ve just let us walk away when we stood up to go. But she didn’t. She still followed us, yapping and yapping, defending her restaurant. Instead of staying inside. Instead of being apologetic.
Also, the way she talked. Wow. It was like we were not customers. Her tone was terrible. You can sense that she was getting frustrated. It reminds me of a landlord demanding a tenant to pay up on overdue rent. That’s how she sounded.
The restaurant isn’t even that nice. There are loads of other better restaurants in Town (where they serve “beverages” and not “BEVARAGES”). But their managers don’t treat people that way. They talk to customers with respect. And to them, the customer is always right. Shouldn’t that be the case all the time?
She just ruined this day for us.
Again, this is in KARTINI Alabang Town Center. We are never eating here again. I hope this story can reach the owner/s of this place. We failed to get the name of the lady who badmouthed my mom. But for her to be able to throw her weight around that way, she must be the owner.
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