Friday, June 10, 2011

Shaken Up

Iaine and I stayed at my parents' house for 4 days and on the 4th day (today) we decided to try this newly opened restaurant in the city, Shakey's. It's been years since the first Shakey's restaurant in the same city closed down so we were really curious about this new one. We, particularly my husband and I, have been waiting months for it to open.

After running some errands we arrived to the restaurant. The first thing I noticed was that it wasn't well lit although the air conditioning was ok. It wasn't packed with customers but I was sure we were outnumbered by crew members (they were all over the place). No arcade was in sight and the only entertainment were two flat screen TVs mounted on the wall. A fat Michael Buble was singing and the TV was on mute. Well, unless he was. Imagine that.

We chose a booth in the corner of the restaurant and I noticed how one of the two-sided benches were slightly farther away from the table than the other one. Turns out the customer on the adjacent booth pulled the bench closer to their table, leaving a huge space between our side of the bench and our table. The table, by the way was a huge mess, and not one of the crew members was paying attention to it until we made them clean it up.

Once they finished cleaning it up (except the floor which had food crumbs and other stuff), we settled down and I immediately asked for a high chair. Iaine obediently sat in it and played with a menu book while the rest of us decided what to order. The lady, who introduced herself as our personal waitress, handed us the menu and promised to get back to us at once. Well she didn't, and we had to ask someone else to take our orders.

It wasn't long before our meals were served. The taste was great. Not excellent, but great.

We were done with our main course and dessert was served. Side story: The waiter had a chance to make some small talk and found out that Iaine isn't not my mom's youngest like he thought, but my eldest. He was surprised and I was flattered.

I actually feel proud when that happens. People often say I don't look like I've given birth already. Well I do try to keep myself from looking like an old hag cos being a mom is hard work. The least I can do for myself (and my husband) is try to look good.

So anyway while we were having dessert, Iaine took a huge bite out of the pizza and it looked like she was about to throw up. My sister and I took her to the ladies room and I was surprised to find a crew member (#1) gussying up in front of the mirror, crew member (#2) was just about done using one of the two cubicles and another crew member (#3) , A MAN, was cleaning up the other cubicle. Iaine, my sister and I squeezed ourselves in the center of the tiny room and none of the crew members were budging. The door burst open too, because another crew member peeked in to talk to the employee in front of the mirror, and because it was a very small space the door hit my arm. She said she was sorry, but STILL.

Weren't they suppsed to be somewhere else? Say, a comfort room for employees only?

CW #2 AND #3 finally left, giving us, the costumers, a chance to use the cubicles for chrissakes, but #1 was still standing in front of the mirror trying to make herself look better (although impossible). I was carrying Iaine becase there was no space for her to walk so I told my sister to go do her business before I do. When she was done she took Iaine and I told them to go back to the booth cos I figured Iaine wasn't gonna throw up after all. I sent them away and finally had my chance to use the toilet.

CW #1 was still there. God, she was irritating.

When I was done she had already left. I hurried back to our booth because I thought my mom would have paid the bill already. But when I got there everyone was still seated. Still no bill.

It took us around 30-45 minutes before the bill was handed to us, giving my mom time to talk to a waiter she knew and giving dark clouds plenty of time to hover and make it drizzle outside. And I was sure that if it wasn't for our constant "bill please" reminders we would have stayed for like an hour more and we would leave the restaurant mid-rainfall. The crew made some excuse about a technical problem with their computer but whatever, that kind of service is still bad for business! I guess calculators don't exist anymore?

I just really wanted to get out of there.

We exited the building and the security guard had the decency to escort us with an umbrella. That was nice, but it will never compensate for our first dining experience in Shakey's Pallocan.

I don't know if it was because employees were new at their jobs and they're still getting used to it, but hell, customers don't care about that. Customers go to a restaurant of their choice because they expect something GOOD to come out of a dining experience. Whatever that is it's up to them, but it all boils down to one thing: customer satisfaction.

I'm thankful that my mom was kind enough to take us to a popular restaurant and pay for everything but I just wish the money she spent was money WELL spent.

TLDR; Loved the food, hated the service. I guess you can count this post as a restaurant review so I'm giving Shakey's - Pallocan a 4 out of 10. I'm not nitpicky about restaurants and I don't write about them at all really, but this one, I just had to.

The service was average and I'm still being nice. I hope to have a better dine-in experience next time.

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