Pizzeria Rustica, Richmond – What happened to hospitality?

An Italian restaurant located at the Quadrant in Richmond; was an interesting evening to say the least. Having booked a table a couple of weeks before going to this restaurant we were prepared for a night of excellent service- especially as it has received the certificate of excellence for 2014. Upon arrival there were only two other couples present and indulging in their meals. The waitress situated us at a table which was disgustingly close to the entrance door; as a result of this we requested another table (seeing as the restaurant was not particularly busy and it is winter – warm would be great!). Anyway, she went on to ask her manager who offered us another table; we kindly accepted. I was taken aback however when the manager said that we had the table until 8:30. Our reservation was made for 7, we arrived a bit earlier than 7. Correct me if I’m wrong but surely if you have a customer in your restaurant you would take the liberty of making them feel welcome you wouldn’t be telling them what time they need to be out of the door? Would you?

As the manager made himself scarce we were then approached by a waitress even though she wore blue jeans and a black t-shirt (yes, I thought it was a customer) who asked what we would like to drink. By this point I had not sat down in my seat and was still removing my coat and scarf- What on earth? We said we would need some time and she then disappeared. Just as we sat another waitress approached the table and asked what we would like to drink –  again, we had only just sat down and did not have the chance to look at the menu just yet so the waitress was sent away once again…

Yes, in the restaurant sector the industry is becoming more and more customer friendly. Organisations seek to find the needs of the consumers and are meant or seek to find ways to satisfy their demands. However, there are some places which perhaps have values in place but do not know how to put these values into action.

In terms of cuisine we ordered the pollo (chicken) which was accompanied by mash potato, olives, capers and a chilli and tomato sauce. We also ordered a dish off the specials menu scialatielli (type of long spaghetti) with mussels and prawns.The pollo was rather bland considering the ingredients that were used for the dish and needed further seasoning of salt and pepper. The chicken itself was very tender and quite juicy. The scialatielli was ‘nice’ but did not have the wow factor that I’ve had from other seafood dishes. If I were to return I would order something different. In the future I would like to give this restaurant another try; considering my visit was during the Christmas/ New Year period restaurants are always a lot busier.

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