The first time I ate at a YO! Sushi it was at this outlet in Rupert Street near Piccadilly. There were numerous service failings which together with experiences at other outlets resulted in my writing to their CEO. Since then, I must say how the manager at the Guildford outlet has been superb but as for Rupert Street...
Today (04/11/13) was my second visit and I felt confident that it would be a better visit having previously raised issues with the YO! Sushi head office. Sadly, that confidence was misplaced.
As I got my iPad out I saw a protected connection called 'YO-LCSQ-AP1' and assumed it was the on-site Wi-Fi. When I asked the waitress whether they have Wi-Fi she replied that they were "not allowed" to use it. Not very helpful for customers who may wish to work and eat.
YO! Sushi operates a promotion called 'Blue Monday' when blue plates are reduced. Whilst this may be great, I also wanted to order other dishes and yet their usual menu wasn't on display. They also have a 'premium' menu, but when I asked for the regular menu from the waitress, the premium menu wasn't brought out with it.
When ordering the Los Romanos Sauvignon, I was told they only had enough for two large glasses left in the restaurant. Stock control really must improve as it should never be possible to run that low on supplies - it's not as if wine is a fresh, seasonal ingredient!
The toilet cubicle in the men's toilet is so typically London in its size, there isn't even room for the toilet brush which has to be located behind the door.
Perhaps the only positive aspect of this visit was the fact that the kitchen staff prepared hot food orders incredibly quickly. That said, there were never more than 10 people dining from 1:30pm until I left.
The help button where I was sitting wasn't working and this further contributed to a poor experience. At one point it meant sitting without a drink for ten minutes before the waitress came over.
It wasn't just me getting frustrated. Two girls nearby were trying to attract the attention of the waitress. I asked them, "Don't you have a help button over there?" to which they responded by hunting around. They said they couldn't find it which I thought odd and then they found it - or at least where it used to be. Just a hole in the counter for where a help button used to be.
I raised the issue of the help buttons with the waitress and her reply was that they weren't working at all throughout the restaurant.
This is not the staff's fault or that of the manager. This is the fault of the YO! Sushi leadership team for not setting an appropriate budget for site maintenance.
When I finally got noticed by the waitress, I ordered a spicy seafood udon. Oddly it appeared with yellow pepper and red onion which I haven't had included in other YO! Sushi outlets. This dish is one I have had numerous times and that served in Rupert Street on this occasion was too spicy for me and so I left most of it.
There was no service check until one hour ten minutes after arriving and when the waitress came to add up my bill she failed to enquire as to why I had left so much of the udon. To be fair, there were so many service failings on this visit, there was little point starting to complain because it would have been difficult to stop. Speaking of which...
Waste checks on food should be carried out every 15 minutes as these are the intervals at which food expires. There were at least three plates of food which expired at 1415hrs still on the conveyer belt at 1432hrs. Whilst I am certain this food is perfectly edible, if YO! Sushi set certain standards, then they should be consistently applied across the brand - not just forgotten about at Rupert Street.
Every review I write starts off as a five 'blob' review. Given the fact that most of my visit was negative, YO! Sushi at Rupert Street is lucky to escape with two TripAdvisor 'blobs' not one. It is probably the prompt and efficient service from the kitchen staff which saved that from happening.
I would recommend YO! Sushi in Guildford, but I will not recommend or return to Rupert Street. Having previously written to YO! Sushi's CEO about this particular outlet, I am unhappy to discover that doing so was clearly a waste of time.
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