This will be a long post but it will save you the agony, and the money.
My bf and I made a dinner reservation on 15 Feb, at 6.30 pm. In the email we received from them regarding this reservation, they indicated that the dress code was CASUAL. They were specific in mentioning that for ladies, no flip-flops and no sportswear. That's all. So I turned up casual. In a t-shirt, denim shorts and slip-on. Casual right?
Upon arrival, we were "greeted" by a grumpy Indian woman who is the floor manager, and another Filipino server. The Filipino server was friendly and all smiles, but not from the Indian woman. She never greeted us, nor smiled at us. She simply asked if we made a reservation. Anyway, after confirming that we had a reservation, I was informed by the Filipino server that I wasn't actually allowed to wear shorts. And I was embarrassed because didn't their email state that the attire was casual? So why then isn't shorts allowed? I was wearing denim shorts, NOT pyjamas shorts, NOT SPORTSWEAR. She had requested for me to cover my legs with a shawl. And that was embarrassing because it appeared I went there intentionally under-dressed. But I accepted it nonetheless, and we were seated.
Shortly after we were seated, and after placing our orders (NOW THIS IS WHERE IT GETS EPIC) the Indian woman walked by directly in front of me and mouthed to the Filipino server "SHORTS". She was almost to 2 tables away from me while the Filipino server was just nearby my table. As the Indian woman was directly in front of me, I could visually see her exaggerated facial expression when she made a strong emphasis on the word "SHORTS". And to make things worse, I could hear her say it, from that distance. It is a very distasteful act.
Firstly, if this is supposedly a fine dining restaurant, her actions should be discrete. Her action alone made me feel utterly embarrassed, judged, unwelcome and undeserving to be eating at the restaurant. Secondly, didn't your email said casual attire? There was no specific mention in the email that shorts were not allowed, so why then can't I wear shorts? Lastly, isn't it basic manners and courtesy from anyone (especially anyone in the service line) to make customers feel comfortable?
It was a horrific moment for me and I swear I could have just walked out of the door there and then but we still stayed out because we have already placed our orders.
And I really regret not standing up and leaving there and then because throughout the whole dinner, when the Indian woman was walking around, I noticed she kept casting very snobbish and condescending looks over at my table. And finally, when we paid our bills and she came back with the receipt, she never once looked at us. She simply passed us the bill and mind you, not even a basic "thank you". This is atrocious! This is just basic manners and courtesy isn't it??
I got to say, throughout the whole dinner, I noticed that I was the only one seemingly "underdressed". I took it that it has to be my fault, otherwise, why was I the only one in shorts. I mean, never mind that maybe their email on the dress code wasn't specific enough, but when I went to their website to check for dress code, I couldn't find any information on it.
Firstly, I am embarrassed that the wrong information was given to me about the dress code. LIKE COME ON, you would think I'd like to go to a fine dining restaurant underdressed on purpose and be the odd one standing out??
Secondly, I am a paying customer, I DO NOT deserve to be treated like this. I paid my bills like any customers there and part of what we customers pay, go into the servers' salary. So, I dare say, how dare you (INDIAN WOMAN) invite me in, accept my money and give me this treatment. The customers are paying for your restaurant's survival and you are snobbish enough to give me this attitude?? And even lacking the basic courtesy to say thank you after we paid our bills??
Lastly, if I had really failed to abide by her self-imagined dress code, she could have jolly well rejected me there and then. I did not beg or plead or negotiate to eat there. She did not have to accept my reservation. I would have been much more understanding then. Sure, I would have been angry for being rejected but definitely much more understanding since I get to save my money on much more worthy services and definitely didn't have to go through all that agony of being judged and undeserving during dinner.
To that INDIAN LADY, YOU, as a floor manager has failed spectacularly in your job. You are undeserving to be at the reception counter, where impressions of a restaurant are made the moment customers step in. You lack the basic courtesy and manners a server should have, not to mention you, floor manager?? And guess what, while looking through all the bad reviews about Pollen, a few seem to have identified you like the same grumpy one. I'm kind enough to say you ought to be fired. Go find a new job where you don't face customers, we detest stepping into a restaurant and seeing someone grumpy and unhappy at her job.Read more