Good customer dining experience? What’s that, huh?

Will Galang - Not going to make a scene.

I asked The Wifey to decide where we’re going for lunch. She picked a place at the O Square 2 in Greenhills called Meat Depot. The restaurant is the dining arm of a popular online meat shop. We’re not new to the store brand. We had previously dined a few times at their U.P. Town Center and The Podium branches before. This one felt different. Stepping inside the premises, I already felt the warmness — unfortunately, not of the welcoming kind, but of the temperature type. We filed our orders at the counter and I had to bear with the rather ornery cashier who processed our payment.

The Realization

Proceeded to the table where The Wifey took her seat. The place was empty except for a family of three seated just right under one of the overhead air-conditioning units. (The restaurant had 5 or 6 of it, if I remember correctly.) My suspicion at the onset was spot on. The rest of the restaurant’s cooling system is turned off, other than the one mentioned above.

I called the attention of one of the staff, and requested to have one of the overhead air-conditioners near our table be turned on. Two restaurant employees took turns in trying to turn the AC unit on, frenetically switching the remote controls, fiddling with the device hopelessly, as if they’re not really sure what they’re doing. (I thought to myself, were these guys even taught to operate a device as basic as an AC remote control?)

The Disclosure

We asked for the restaurant manager, who quickly apologized for the “inconvenience”. She admitted that they’ve been “having problems with the air-conditioning system” lately and unguardedly (and inadvertently) disclosed to us that some of her customers “walked out” yesterday because of the heat. See? I wasn’t being a difficult customer. It was well within our rights as patrons to ask for AC units to be turned on. Our food was later served and had no choice but to stay and consume our orders right there.

The Electric Fan

The manager asked a staff to setup an electric fan beside our table to help out the under-performing overhead cooling unit. I was already ticked off internally at that point but I, surprisingly kept my cool amid all these. I told the manager, in the nicest tone I could muster with a matching deadpan expression: “You shouldn’t be serving dine-in customers if you have issues with the ACs. Close the dine-in facility temporarily, fix the climate control system, and then re-open it. How hard is that?”

The manager extended her apologies again. But I bet it’s going to be the same issue for them tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, who knows until when, unless they start fixing their air-conditioning system. No wonder the negative vibes in their store feels so high.

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