After our first food fail and followup discussion with the Pizza Express operations manager, Debbie Phillips, I thought that maybe we had the issue resolved.
Last Tuesday evening we went back to test the theory.
The first failure came early in the day when Jake popped in to check what time they were shutting that evening (their website says 10.30pm), Jake was in fact told they were shutting at 10pm that evening.
7 of us turned up at 9.45pm (i.e. giving them a bit of slack), the conversation went like this (I have bolded the fails):
Me: ‘Good evening, please can we have a table for 7.’
Pizza Express Waitress 1: ‘Hold on I will just check.’ Fail 2 (The answer we were looking for was ‘Yes of course, I will see what we have available’).
Pizza Express Waitress 1 (who from now on will be known as ‘The Nice One’) runs off and has a chat with Pizza Express Waitress 2 (who from now on will be known as ‘Short Angry One’), there is obviously some debate as Short Angry One returns to talk to us.
Short Angry 1: Yes you can come and sit over here.
Me: Thanks, but that is only a table for 6 and its in the corridor, next to Kitchen, can we just go and sit upstairs.
Short Angry 1: Sorry, the upstairs restaurant is closed this evening. Fail 3 (The answer we were looking for is ‘Yes, no problem, please come this way’.
Me: I am sorry I don’t really want to sit in the corridor with one of us on the end of a table, please can we go upstairs.
Short Angry One: No, as I said upstairs is shut. Fail 4 (We gave you a second chance, you should have taken the hint).
Me: Do you mind if we have a quick chat in private… (we both move to one side).
Me: I wouldn’t normally argue any further, but your boss, Debbie Phillips assured me that we would always be able to be seated upstairs and it would never be closed, now please can we sit upstairs.
Short Angry One: I DON’T CARE, I SAID UPSTAIRS IS CLOSED, NOW PLEASE STOP INVADING MY SPACE. FAIL 5 (Don’t raise your voice to me or any other customer ever, plus you just passed up you third and final chance).
Me: Okay, as you wish.
We were shown to our table in the corridor. We then tried to shoot a video message (Tracy has blogged and posted it here), and Pizza Express Waitress 3 (Slightly taller angry but marginally concerned one) told us to stop filming! Incredible!
Anyway we ordered, and the food was good, so that was okay.
We decided then to keep drinking and stay as long as we could (just to see how long it would take them to kick us out), we asked when they would be shutting the bar, they said 11pm, so at 10.55 we did the right thing and ordered a round, this consisted of:
3 x Double Jack Daniels and Coke
1 x Double Vodka and Red Bull
2 x Peroni
1 x Coke (for the designated driver).
Now I am willing to bet there isn’t much change out of £25 at Pizza Express prices, however Short Angry One said ‘Sorry, I am not serving you anymore alcohol, you have had enough I think’. Which we hadn’t and was, IMHO, purely an act of bitterness.
Sigh… Another call to Debbie coming up.