“Why settle for less than the best?” says Billy Murgatroyd. Why indeed? However upon our last visit to Murgatroyds we certainly received less than Billy would have had us settle for. Unfortunately it wasn’t the first time this had happened either and the car ride back from Murgatroyd’s had us questioning whether we would ever go back and we are still not sure whether or not we will.
The problem is not that Murgatroyds can’t produce quality food, when they get it right they make the “finest fish and chips” in England as they say. The problem is that we have to ask for quality before we get it. We asked for two regular Bill murg's Specials with with mushy peas and a slightly different order for my wife, who has her fish poached with new potatoes. All of the meals came out lukewarm – and I am sure Billy would agree that is not the best they could do. So we sent our meals back, now if you are thinking as we were that they were having difficulty because one order was slightly different (the poached fish) we were pleasantly surprised when the food came out ten minutes later. The fish and chips were excellent, the peas were still not as hot as we liked but we didn’t want to make a fuss and send it back again, even the poached fish was great this time.
We then ordered dessert, that is part of the special of course. Would my son like his chocolate fudge brownie hot or cold? He asked for hot, when the cake came the icing was lukewarm and the cake was slightly warm but definitely not what we call hot. We now felt the staff were becoming frustrated that we were sending back another order, but of course you must understand, we were frustrated too! We didn’t want to start sending things back, when you eat out you want it to be right when it comes. It takes time to send it back, and it isn’t what you expect from such a fine restaurant as Murgatroyds. When the cake came back we didn’t get an apology but rather an explanation “we didn’t want to burn the icing on the cake”. Although I understand that, the last time my son had this cake it was served just as it was this second time and we never were told about how the icing may burn.
We asked to complain at this point and we were given a complaints form, meant for the restaurant to complain if food or product was not to their satisfaction. This was not a customer complaint form which made us wonder if such a thing existed. When we got to the manager, or a young lad who claimed to be the manager but lacked any form of empathetic managerial communication skills we learn that Murgatroyds most likely never deals with complaints, or at least doesn’t deal with them well. We never even heard an apology all we heard (which we had heard from a previous staff member) was that “it was right the second time, wasn’t it?”. Yes it was but would Billy Murgatroyd really want that to replace his catchphrase of “Why settle for less than the best?” with “Don’t worry, it will be right the second time”. We have used the same car dealership for years, but if every time we picked up a car from them the engine didn’t work and we had to give it back and receive it a second time I doubt they could simply say to us “well you know, we always do get it right the second time”.
We have been here a number of times. Sometimes it’s good and most times it’s not very good. If you complain they are capable of producing a good product but only if you ask. Director James Chadwick is not concerned about quality control and nor is the manager. When we complained after our fourth bad experience the manager came out with the companies official policy "when you complained we corrected everything" this was the same phrase used by Mr. Chadwick in his letter to me. However neither of these two gentlemen addressed the real complaint why should the meal only be good when you complain. Lots of other customers that day said they were unhappy but couldn't be bothered to complain instead they wouldn't return.
On their site they say As Billy himself would have undoubtedly said,
"Why settle for less than t'best?" However a new more fitting slogan would be "if we don't get it right first time we will get it right a second time" Who is interested in waiting till they manage to get there hit and miss meals right and as for standards who in Murgatroyds cares. I refused to pay for the meals that day as the management were unwilling to listen. I have since paid but won't return as that seems fair. I'm sure most companies would have offered a reduction in the bill and a kind word such as "sorry this has spoiled your time here and hope you will come again." If that had been said we could of settled there and then.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
October 29, 2013
I am very sorry for how this situation has arisen, we are a family business which has been in operation for over 20 years and has been built up on strong business principals and very good friendly customer service. We are not a multi-national faceless company and we strive to serve all our customers with the best food and service we can possibly provide.
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Our waiters are all trained to check on customers to ensure everything is to their satisfaction, if there are any problems what so ever we will do our best to put everything right.
We serve a very large number of people both in the restaurant and takeaway weekly which tells us we are getting things right the majority of the time, but we are only human and if sometimes we do not live up to expectations we will strive to correct any issues at the time so the customer goes away satisfied. You only need to look at Trip Adviser to see the majority of our reviews are excellent.
I feel that if you do not visit us again it will be your loss as we are told week in and week out that we are by far the best Fish & Chips restaurant in the area.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.