Gordon Ramsay, never again

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Eating out is meant to be fun. A joy. A moment of utter relaxation and culinary indulgence. But not so at Gordon Ramsay’s three star restaurant at Royal Hospital Road in London.

We had secured a table a few months ago, and I was looking forward to the meal. Previous experiences at Ramsay’s other restaurants weren’t particularly exciting, but I wanted to give it a try, mainly because of head chef Clare Smyth.

But we were not prepared for what happened. When we were on our way for our lunch appointment, I called the restaurant to inform them that we were running late because of the traffic. What surprised me is that they told me they would only hold the table for 15 minutes. I asked our driver if we would make it in time, but he couldn’t give me a guarantee.

So I called the restaurant again and asked them if they could please hold the table for us as we were on our way. But they rejected. If we didn’t arrive in fifteen minutes, they would release our table. I asked why and the most bizarre conversation followed. R is Ramsay’s restaurant and I is, well, you get the idea:

R: We are fully booked and we cannot hold your table.
I: But why, we’re on our way and we’ll be there as soon as possible.
R: If you’re not here within 15 minutes we will release the table. We have other guests later in the afternoon.
I: But we can make sure we finish lunch within one hour so we won’t trouble anyone.
R: It doesn’t work that way.
I: Why not? We can be out within an hour.
R: No, it will have an impact on the other guests.

Chew on that for a moment, will you. Arriving at a restaurant has ‘an impact’ on other guests. Because really, don’t you just hate that, sitting at a restaurant, enjoying your meal and then all of a sudden other guests arrive! The horror!

To top it all off, he told me they would charge my credit card for 200 pounds for not showing up: ‘but we want to show up, we want to eat, we’re just asking you to keep our table’. But he was adamant: ‘if you don’t arrive in ten minutes (notice how punctual he is, we now only have ten more minutes left), we will release your table.’

And that was it. He refused to give in or try to understand that we weren’t late on purpose. He said something about being a three star restaurant. But I have eaten at many three star restaurants and never in my life have I been treated like a piece of turd for running late.

The cherry on the cake was when I told him that his attitude was fucking insane. He would no longer speak to me, he said, if I continued to use that sort of language. Isn’t that outrageously hilarious? Gordon Ramsay built his whole career on the F-word, but his guests have to remain polite when they’re treated like shit. It’s almost as if they tell you: ‘what the hell were you thinking, you can’t just eat at our place, we’re very special, that’s why we have these sticks up our arses’.

Running late is not an offence. Things happen that cause you to run late, you don’t do it on purpose. Ramsay knows all about that, but apparently he has other rules for his guests.

Eating out is supposed to be a delight, not an exercise in accuracy. You’re supposed to be pampered, not fined for being late.

hassnaesignature

hassnae[at]aichaqandisha.nl

7 Reacties op “Gordon Ramsay, never again

  1. 21 december 2013 at 17:46

    So, did you made it in time?

  2. Rafael de Haan
    21 december 2013 at 18:11

    Dear Hassnae,

    Luckily we have far more three star restaurants in the Netherlands ;-)
    Just never go to Ramsay’s restaurant, he is an entertainer, not a chef.

  3. 21 december 2013 at 18:30

    Gogme, we didn’t make it. Instead we had a lovely lunch at Yauatcha.
    Rafael, I fully agree with you.

  4. Andrew Jago
    21 december 2013 at 18:45

    The actual reason is quite simple – the front of house in a small restaurant such as Ramsay’s is intrinsically linked to the kitchen. The same applies in ANY top restaurant. People arriving late arrive at the same time as other guests which ultimately means that orders end up going into the kitchen at the same time and causing congestion there. This throws off the entire service and in a precise kitchen has a knock-on effect to all the diners. I’m afraid my sympathies are entirely with the restaurant on that one, however it is also an object lesson in poor customer service/relations.

  5. 21 december 2013 at 21:37

    Bl**dy h*ll! So it cost you Β£200 for not eating there! F*ck!

  6. 22 december 2013 at 19:13

    Hoe kan een gehele lunch in de soep draaien als incidenteel iemand 10 min later komt. Notabe de moeite neemt om te bellen. Stel dat je voor die ‘gasten’ 1 uur hebt staan voordat de volgende ‘gasten’ komen. Kun je misschien wel stellen dat er 10 min van hun tijd afgaat. Maar stellen dat de tafel vervalt lijkt mij onzin, aangezien er niet zomaar gasten aan komen waaien, je moet immers reserveren. Desnoods stel je als restaurant dat bij minder tijd bep. gerechten niet gemaakt kunnen worden, of klokken ze ook hoelang je zit te kauwen? “Kauwen b*tch de volgende gasten staan al te trappelen”