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Poachers Pantry… never again…

By 29 August 2011 20

Drove out to Poachers Pantry for a relaxed Sunday lunch with friends today. Having eaten their delicious pate previously, we were really looking forward to it.

We had booked for four adults and a child. When we arrived our table wasn’t ready and we had to kill some time in the shop and the little one went outside to look at the sheep with her dad.

When our table was ready 10 minutes or so later, we were sat at the table next to the band. I like a little music over lunch, but it made conversation next to impossible…. unpleasant when you’re out with friends for lunch.

We ordered… the service wasn’t great – weren’t asked if we wanted bread, weren’t offered anything specific for the little one… but all would have been forgivable. The food was good – we had two serves of barramundi at the table, the lamb and the special risotto.

However, our time was obviously up at this point, because they were whipping plates away from us while we were still chewing the last mouthful. we were offered coffee… but when we requested the dessert menu were told we couldn’t eat dessert at the table because the second sitting was starting. There was no-one waiting for a table, and there were several empty tables (of the same size) around us. They offered to make us a table up outside… but as nice and sunny as it was today, it was still chilly outside in the breeze. People were sitting there wrapped in blankets!

I understand that restaurants do more than one setting at meal times… fair enough. But our table wasn’t ready when we arrived, and no-one had mentioned that we would need to be out at a specific time. We were left feeling badly treated – and went and had coffee and dessert elsewhere.

Overall, even with the good food, it was a disappointing experience, and I won’t be heading back out there. It was also a pretty bad business decision, because between the four of us with dessert, coffees and purchases from the smokehouse we probably would have laid down another $150 if we’d felt welcome and relaxed. I’ll be warning all my friends too.

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20 Responses to Poachers Pantry… never again…
#1
Holden Caulfield10:33 am, 29 Aug 11

I’ve been to Poachers Pantry in the past and really enjoyed it, but getting moved on for a second sitting if you’ve not been forewarned by the wait staff has to be one of the suckiest things a restaurant can do and is a sure fire way to lose business.

We’ve been shafted like that by Italian & Sons in the past, made worse by the fact we specifically asked to have a booking where we wouldn’t get moved on for a second sitting.

#2
EvanJames11:58 am, 29 Aug 11

That’s pretty poor when you were planning a relaxed weekend lunch.. guzzle and go is not really what their market is, surely? If they’re going to be running 2 sittings and enforcing it, they really have to make that clear to all bookings.

#3
Keijidosha12:26 pm, 29 Aug 11

I’m curious about what the owner/manager had to say when you told them you were dissatisfied with the service they provided?

#4
arescarti421:29 pm, 29 Aug 11

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I’ve eaten there a number of times before for a relaxed weekend lunch and was not disappointed.

Certainly share your sentiment, when you’re paying premium prices for the atmosphere you expect to be able to take your time.

#5
I-filed1:47 pm, 29 Aug 11

You should have sat tight and insisted on dessert, and told them to make up a table for the next sitting at your table! Thanks for the warning!

#6
sarahsarah2:35 pm, 29 Aug 11

That’s a shame – I organised my sister’s hen’s party (group of 20-25 people) there and they seemed to fall over themselves to assist us. We languished well into the afternoon and not once did they pressure us to move on. Perhaps that’s because we were a large group, who knows.

Personally I’ve loved Poacher’s Pantry every time I’ve been – so much so that I wanted to have my wedding there. But alas, my partner and his family didn’t like it (food, service or the atmosphere – all of which I thought were great) at all so we had to find something else!

#7
poachers4:22 pm, 29 Aug 11

We really appreciate your feedback about your experience on Sunday at our cafe and are very disappointed to hear that you felt rushed and weren’t told about our 12pm bookings having to be out at 1:30. This is the only time spot that has a double booking, all other lunch time guests can stay until 5:00pm.

As it was the last days of the Fireside Festival it was a hectic weekend, which brings me to the music – it is always hard to manage new bands and their performances and I appreciate your comments about the sound level. It is something we are mindful of and clearly we needed to manage them a bit better than we did.

We know we can do a great job and would love to have the opportunity to show you we can, so if we can tempt you out with the offer of a complimentary bottle of our Wily Trout wine just make yourself known when you make your booking .

#8
Clown Killer4:36 pm, 29 Aug 11

That’s what I call good PR. No bulls***. No excuses. No trying to wriggle out of anything. Well done guys.

#9
Bluey4:46 pm, 29 Aug 11

poachers said :

We really appreciate your feedback about your experience on Sunday at our cafe and are very disappointed to hear that you felt rushed and weren’t told about our 12pm bookings having to be out at 1:30. This is the only time spot that has a double booking, all other lunch time guests can stay until 5:00pm.

As it was the last days of the Fireside Festival it was a hectic weekend, which brings me to the music – it is always hard to manage new bands and their performances and I appreciate your comments about the sound level. It is something we are mindful of and clearly we needed to manage them a bit better than we did.

We know we can do a great job and would love to have the opportunity to show you we can, so if we can tempt you out with the offer of a complimentary bottle of our Wily Trout wine just make yourself known when you make your booking .

THAT

Is a quality response from a business and will encourage my patronage at their establishment.

#10
54-116:10 pm, 29 Aug 11

As a middle-aged, traditional Aussie bloke, I’m afraid that the Pantry does not appeal to me one bit. I see it as a very expensive, unsatisfying self-indulgence.

But the response of the establishment to this complaint is first-class. If only others could do the same.

#11
xyro7:33 pm, 29 Aug 11

Clown Killer said :

That’s what I call good PR. No bulls***. No excuses. No trying to wriggle out of anything. Well done guys.

+1. I will be bringing my family of 9 to give them a try for sure! Sounds like it was just a wrong place wrong time thing! I hope the original poster gives them another chance too!

#12
DaBahoo10:34 am, 30 Aug 11

That’s unfortunate as I remember taking my parents there and they said that they thoroughly enjoyed it.

#13
Pity10:39 am, 30 Aug 11

A customer with reasonable and fair concerns: and

A business with a reasonable and fair response.

#14
Thoroughly Smashed10:44 am, 30 Aug 11

Pity said :

A customer with reasonable and fair concerns: and

A business with a reasonable and fair response.

Hmm… Do the RA overloads know this has happened?

#15
Maenad0111:13 am, 30 Aug 11

Poachers – appreciate your acknowledgment of our experience, and your offer of a bottle of wine – will discuss with friends and let you know.

#16
Skidbladnir11:29 am, 30 Aug 11

poachers said :

if we can tempt you out with the offer of a complimentary bottle of our Wily Trout wine just make yourself known when you make your booking .

Mr\Ms Poachers:
Beware the impersonators, now that you’ve made that offer in a public forum to a random stranger.
Never underestimate the deviousness\dishonesty of people who think they can get something for free.

#17
Jivrashia11:44 am, 30 Aug 11

poachers said :

weren’t told about our 12pm bookings having to be out at 1:30

I didn’t know either. Have to remember that one.

poachers said :

As it was the last days of the Fireside Festival it was a hectic weekend

And this too. Stay clear during festivity seasons, and all will be right.

#18
Ben_Dover11:53 am, 30 Aug 11

Maenad01 said :

Poachers – appreciate your acknowledgment of our experience, and your offer of a bottle of wine – will discuss with friends and let you know.

When we going there mate?

#19
Watson12:07 pm, 30 Aug 11

Jivrashia said :

poachers said :

weren’t told about our 12pm bookings having to be out at 1:30

I didn’t know either. Have to remember that one.

poachers said :

As it was the last days of the Fireside Festival it was a hectic weekend

And this too. Stay clear during festivity seasons, and all will be right.

To be fair, I didn’t read that as them tryign to use it as an excuse for less than average service, just an explanation for why their staff where very pressed for time and made some mistakes. One would hope that next year, they will put on more staff though.

#20
poachers12:17 pm, 30 Aug 11

Thanks for the warning about the unscrupulous but fortunatly there was only one booking for 4 plus a child at that time on Sunday, so…… we know their name!
Festival are fun and I am proud of what we have achieved with the Fireside Festival having brought togeather 25 businesses in the region to have something for Canberrians to do over the usually quite winter weekends, but they do put a lot of stress and strain on the staff. Which is something as the owner I need to watch.So I honestly appreciate the feedback and I do know that we can and usually do provide a lot better experience.

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