Holiday time again, so more exposure to the vagaries of British restaurant service. The favourite transgression recently seems to be serving coffee before the dessert, which surely should be an obvious no-no. To her credit, the waitress in one establishment made a point of asking me whether I wanted my coffee with my dessert, or later. That merited a £2 tip.
Worst of all was in a Belgian-style restaurant. I had a perfectly decent meal, although I felt a bit overfaced by the number of mussels. The frites were some of the best I’ve had in years. Then they served the coffee before the dessert, when both had been ordered at the same time. To add insult to injury, they then added a standard 10% service charge to the bill. When a two-course meal cost £26, this seemed quite unreasonable. I struck this out, and returned the bill. They took the full amount, so I complained. I was then given the difference, with ill grace, in shrapnel.
The culinary experience was fine, but the customer experience was execrable.