Sin-A-Mon Tales

A chronicle of my kitchen experiments, a little healthy a little indulgent

California Pizza Kitchen – Distarous Service, Average Food

So todays theme is “DISASTER” and I realized it might be a good time to bring this post out from the drafts where it has sat and gathered dust because I really feel sad about writing bad reviews, I feel sad for myself and I feel sad about the restaurant but then whats gotta be done, gotta be done

DSC_0842So this child of mine loves Pizzas and for this birthday came up to me and said “mumma lets not have a party this time, lets just got to some place where I can eat good pizza”. I pinched myself a couple of times since a 5-year-old saying no to a party is an unheard of but secretly was so happy. I hate organizing birthday parties, when they are small and closed they are so good but in the current form where they are becoming yet another way of showing off or boasting, with crazy things to do, expensive senseless return gifts, to me the birthday parties in its current form are yet another scam. But I digress, so the child asked for a family pizza dinner night. I thought of various places and the niece and nephew said let’s go to CPK and hence CPK it was (my earlier experience with them was pretty average but then I thought lets give them another chance since that time they had just about opened a few weeks ago in Pheonix MarketCity). I called to book a table, a table for 8 and was told to be on time very curtly since they won’t be able to keep the reservation for more than 5 mins. Ok I get it I have to be on time but this 5 min rule is the first I have heard usually its 15 min that any place gives you but I was in a good mood, it was my child’s birthday and I ignored.

Considering we were dealing with Bangalore traffic, we realized we are getting delayed and hence I called them about 30 mins before the reservation time saying we are running late and can he change our reservation to about 20-30 mins later. Yet again a very curt (bordering rude I would say) reply came “you should have started on time”, I was like what but then he said he will keep the table and I hung up. Now we reached the place and if you think the conversation wasn’t a disaster enough the real drama starts now. When I land up and ask for my table the server shows me a table for 5 (actually a table for 4 where a chair has been added) and I was like what? I tried to keep my calm and ask him how many people he has a reservation for? He instantly say 8 and then I ask him “do you think 8 people can sit there” and he says “NO” and I am like “so?”, he replies “whatever, let me try something” and comes back after 5 minutes and tells me as if he is doing a HUGE favor to me “Ok we will open the above floor for you, come”

OjasBday1

We trot up, the lights off, chairs on top of the tables you get the drift. He asks us to sit on two different tables and we tell him we are here for a dinner TOGETHER and would like to sit together, he trots us to a different table and starts removing the chairs infact we all start doing it. Finally we settle down and sit hoping the disasters are behind us and the service begins, we order the appetizers and some drinks and after about 15 mins we all start sweating. We call the server and ask if the AC is working, he says yes madam it is. We think since they opened the floor for us, they might have put it on only then and hence its taking more time. We wait for another 20 mins and call the server again. This time he almost scolds us and tells us “yes the AC is working”, waves his hand in front of the AC and says “see can’t you feel it” and walks off and we are like “WTF, really”. And AC is was not the only disaster that evening , the table was not cleared between the courses, infact at one point of time I remember my brother in law picking up empty dishes and keeping them at the next empty table as the server had come with next round of food and had no place to keep it and was looking at us wondering what to do.  At this point of time the kids were feeling suffocated and even N who usually is a picture of calm was losing it and said forget about the food that we have already ordered, lets just go from here. In all this did I try talking to the manager, yes I asked for him twice but nothing., later while exiting the place, I met him and told him what happened and he was like “Madam I am sorry, the upstairs AC has a problem and that’s the reason we had closed the floor”. Hello shouldn’t you be telling me this BEFORE you send me up? Yes he did apologize to me but after all that happened, did it make a difference. I don’t think so.

To be fair to them the food was decent, if not extraordinary not bad too but frankly none of us was in a mood or condition to enjoy the food that night. We were barely eating it so that we can get out of the place

OjasBday

All in all a meal that turned into a disaster due to poor service, arrogance of the staff and ruined an occasion for me and to top it all I had to pay a 10% service charge.

So would you go back to a place where you get service like this?

32 comments on “California Pizza Kitchen – Distarous Service, Average Food

  1. Santulan
    May 31, 2013

    I wonder why people do this , especially in times of today where a bad review will spread like wildfire…

    I think this just shows how little they care about the customers

    • monikamanchanda
      June 1, 2013

      It’s really sad, ultimately a lot of money and effort go into running a place and when its wasted like this I feel terrible

  2. smita
    May 31, 2013

    Short answer: No. freaking. way.

  3. Ashwin Shanker
    May 31, 2013

    seriously disappointing – I gone their couple of times — food is OK but don’t see why they are priced so high !

    • monikamanchanda
      June 1, 2013

      yes like I said, the food was very average too. I didn’t find anything extra ordinary there.

      Infact I think the pizza’s could have been much better

  4. obsessivemom
    May 31, 2013

    Bad service is the worst turn off at a restaurant. And then you have to pay service charge…. Aaaaaaargh!

  5. Zibin
    May 31, 2013

    I can tolerate bad food. It can happen once in a while. But bad service ?!? There’s just no excuse.

    • monikamanchanda
      June 1, 2013

      absolutely, bad food anyone can have a bad day in the kitchen but when everything around fails and the staff and manager refuse to care that is unforgivable

  6. Siddharth
    May 31, 2013

    Hi

    Its very sad that your kid’s birthday party was spoiled so. Really inexplicable why restaurants don’t educate their staff especially servers properly as to how to deal with customers and improve their experience.

    That said, I would like to suggest that this may be a specific outlet case. Out here in Mumbai, I have been to two different CPK outlets multiple times (both) and the food and service both have been beyond reproach every time.

    Anyway, I hope you can quickly find another good pizza place in Bangalore so that your kid doesn’t have to depend on that rubbish that Pizza Hut and Dominos call a pizza…

    • monikamanchanda
      June 1, 2013

      possible siddarth, but going by the responses I got it looks like all bangalore outlets suffer from the same issue

  7. harsha
    May 31, 2013

    is it fair on part of the hotel to expect a customer to pay according to the menu which is meant for A/C room and dont switch on or provide such kind of service.
    atleast, they should offered to waive off a decent 20-30% on the bill.
    service standards in bengaluru hotels are going down day by day. A/c not working is a standard reason to cut corners.

    • monikamanchanda
      June 1, 2013

      True that but when a brand like CPK which is already priced much higher than competition does you wonder why

  8. Simran
    May 31, 2013

    No way! I would never go to a place like this again. From what I have heard from a few other friends, the food is also not that great.
    They might have improved niw, dunno. The CPK while we were in the US was awesome. Love their ravioli and thin crust pizzas.

  9. anaggh
    May 31, 2013
  10. Gaurav
    May 31, 2013

    that kind of behaviour is unacceptable, i am surprised you didn’t make a fuss but i guess with kids round its better to keep quiet. restaurants really need to get their shit together. Especially CPK, i was at a bloggers meet for them and it was lets just say WEIRD how badly managed it was.

    • monikamanchanda
      June 1, 2013

      when you are going on an occasion you want to do everything to save it, else I am known to not keep my mouth shut 🙂

  11. Volt
    May 31, 2013

    So basically your issue is with a couple of staff there. Why blame the whole chain?

    • monikamanchanda
      June 1, 2013

      Volt,
      No my issue is not with SOME staff there, infact I don’t have an issue. I am merely stating the experience I had there and I don’t think it was at the hand of one person. I think its the whole attitude towards customer service I had a problem with. Right from reservations to sending guests to a section where AC is not working without informing the guests, to not clearing tables etc etc
      wondering how did you think its an issue with a couple of people there.
      Monika

  12. Ruth DSouza
    May 31, 2013

    It may be one thing to have a staff crunch or a bad kitchen day, but to know airconditioning is not working and then send a family with children to be seated there is not forgivable at all. The same goes with rude and curt conversations. I wonder if such places have ever heard of the concept of hospitality which is an integral part of the restaurant business.

    • monikamanchanda
      June 1, 2013

      I sometimes wonder does this come with a knowledge that they are a big brand and can get away with stuff

  13. Anonymously Disguised
    May 31, 2013

    CPK is on the higher side of pricing here too but thankfully the food and service is awesome. I guess they don’t have a choice here to act rude for the fear of getting sued royally. Too bad it happened on the little boy’s birthday 😦

    • monikamanchanda
      June 1, 2013

      It broke my heart, my niece kept going in and out saying she is not able to breathe 😦

  14. pinksocks
    May 31, 2013

    I had a terrible time at Koramangala one. But Indiranagar one kinda much better.

  15. Ashwathy
    May 31, 2013

    OMG!! That sounds like a total disaster. Ambience rating goes on negative scale. However the food seems the only saving grace. CPK here is decent, been there only once though. Unfortunate that the birthday meal was spoiled… hope the rest of the day went well…

    • monikamanchanda
      June 1, 2013

      the food was not all that great too. I really didn’t understand what the fuss about CPK is

  16. Chetan
    May 31, 2013

    ‘Food for thought'(FFT)or ‘Thought before food'(TBF). TBF or thoughts before food is a very important criteria which weight in the mind, in the conscious state and in the sub conscious state, and it is the duty of any establishment before a FFT emerges is to pacify and keep pacifying the TBF. Why allow a single negative thought to percolate in ? That’s what makes the difference in an overall experience. This CPK outlet messed it all up. They did not know the occassion, the person who was coming, the reservation requirements, courtsey , service etc etc. The whole experience that you had created so many TBF that food for which you went became insignificant. Yet you have put in good words about the food. Restaurants like CPK should train their staff to address TBF and customer sensitivities and responses. Really sad that an occassion like your child’s birthday celebration and the honour that CKP had that they were chosen as the venue , was not handled with care.

    • monikamanchanda
      June 1, 2013

      phew it took 10 mins for me to understand the comment Chetan 🙂 but yes I agree with what you are saying here. Training is the key I guess

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This entry was posted on May 31, 2013 by in review and tagged , , , .

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