Last night I was told by the manager at this restaurant that if I didn't tip, the staff would not serve me if I returned. After a very average meal and unfriendly service at the Hare and Tortoise Ealing Broadway, I asked to pay the food bill by debit card and leave a cash tip.
At this point the waitress became very defensive and demanded to know how much tip I was going to leave. I responded that it was up to me how much I would leave (the amount was already at this point rapidly decreasing). The waitress then rushed off to point out a disclaimer on the menu stating that “for parties of 5 or more a 10% service charge would be added to the bill, at the customer’s discretion”. When I pointed out that this meant it was still my choice how much tip I would leave, she rudely marched off to get the manager.
When the manager arrived I expected an apology and some sensible conversation but unfortunately he was equally rude and offensive. He suggested that I pay the tip, then write a letter of complaint to head office explaining why I’d like it refunded.
By this point I was so offended by the treatment I was receiving I said I just want to pay and leave, forget about the tip. He then informed me that if I didn’t tip the waiting staff they will refuse to serve me if I come again.
I’ve never received such terrible customer service. All I wanted to do was leave a cash tip separately and they misunderstood me and proceeded to become so rude and aggressive that I don’t think I’ll ever return.
After visiting the trip adviser website I can see that this is a common occurrence for the Hare and Tortoise and I can’t believe that a business of this size can afford to treat their customers in this disgusting way and then bar them from returning!
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