I'd begin by saying that I'm a regular patron of Little Italy; My family and I have been eating here since years. This is mainly as it's close to home, and we've managed to find staples which we order each time. Maybe this is also the reason why I've been greatly disappointed the last two times we've been there.
We purchased a privilege card, solely as it offered discounts at the place. After a family dinner, when we presented the card, the server blandly told us that they have no such tie up and the card is invalid. On our request the manager, Mr. Claude was consulted and he vehemently denied any such tie up. After 10 minutes of this discussion, we left, feeling quite hot under the collar as we assumed we were the ones at fault. After 3 days, Mr. Claude called me to say there was a mix up, that the card was in fact valid, and that he had not checked his email from the head office. Now he had, so the next time, he would let us use the card.
The next time turned out to be an even bigger disaster. Being a Sunday, I knew we would have to wait if we just showed up. So I made a reservation for a couple of friends and myself for 9pm. In the evening I realized we would be a little late, so I informed the lady server to shift the reservation by 15mins. She gladly agreed to do so.
On arrival, I was told by the manager that our table was given away as we were 15 mins late. When I said I shifted the reservation with the lady server, he turned around and said they did not have any female staff! This lead to quite an argument, with other patrons staring at us! I've never felt such embarrassment, being treated as if he was doing us a favor for even entertaining me. He honestly had such a smugness about him.After much deliberation and repartee, he informed me that he would give us priority and move us up the list. On spotting Mr. Claude, I asked him about this mix up, to which he replied they don't take reservations for after 8.30!! On seeing my reaction of exasperation he just walked away, leaving me with the smug fellow!
By the time we got the table, I had to put in each bit of effort to behave like a lady and not lose my temper. But the evening had already lost it's flavour. We did not leave earlier as we were famished, so after just some mashed potatoes and a Rustic pizza, we were on our way out. I can't say much about the food, as honestly we just wanted to fill our stomachs and leave. I didn't even glance at the drinks menu. On the way out, let alone an apology or a "come again", the smug fellow just turned his back on me!
I belong to the hospitality industry myself, and am very familiar with the proper etiquette of a restaurant staff. The correct response would have been "Sorry for the mix up ma'am. If you could wait for a while, we'll accommodate you as soon as possible".
So instead of having a feeling of warmth usually associated with an Italian meal, I was left wondering why didn't we just order take out!!