We think it’s wonderful that so many restaurants are either featuring healthier products or specialising in healthy niches. However, as the market grows, is simply serving up a quirky latte enough or should more attention be paid to a restaurant’s ambience and environment?
A few months ago we visited a café in West London based on a recommendation from one of our readers. The menu boasted artisan coffees and classic meals made with the best ingredients so we were certain this was going to be a great visit.
Unfortunately, the background music of choice for the day was hip hop and every track was littered with f-bombs and the usual controversial terminology that is synonymous with hip hop music. For us it was nothing short of awkward but looking around no one else seemed bothered by it, so it was bottoms up for us and over the road for a latte from a high street chain who played no music.
Fast forward to the other day when we travelled to a café in East London that also came highly recommended from a reader.
Everything about the place was a win for us: a menu that had low carb options, gluten free options, offered breakfast all day and their interior invited people to chillax with play areas for children and a number of books scattered around for you to flick through. Unfortunately when it came time to pay the bill we noticed that we had been accidentally charged for an extra coffee. No biggie right? Wrong! After flagging the discrepancy at the till, the member of staff who dealt with us said ‘well, I remember making two decaf lattes’. Fair enough (sorta), so we caught the attention of the waitress who served us to ask her to confirm how many coffees she served and she put her hands up in the air defensively and remarked that it had nothing to do with her. The member of staff at the till eventually subtracted the extra coffee from the bill… after going through every single ticket.
It’s understandable that a business would want to watch the pennies, but surely you would believe the customer for the sake of the cost of a coffee, no?
These experiences led us to wonder whether if some of these healthy restaurants are relying on their food to attract the punters and giving little attention to the other factors that make a great dining experience.
Are busy bodies willing to sacrifice good service or pleasant ambience for meals that are tailored to their dietary requirements or do busy bodies want their (gluten-free) cake and want to eat it too? Let us know in the comments below!