I do like Wetherspoons pubs, and this one was no exception, the food and drink prices are good, and, as an added bonus it was right underneath the Travelodge we were staying in. So result – roll out of bed in the morning and down for a cheap breakfast, then after a hard day exploring the delights of Fort William spend the evening in Wetherspoons, eat, drink, be merry, then roll out and crawl back to the Travelodge. Magic!
Well that was the plan anyway
The sad fact is that this one just didn’t entirely fit the bill – not for us anyway.
It was obvious from the outset that Wetherspoons were cutting costs by simply not employing enough staff to run the place efficiently, which in a place as popular as this is madness. We walked in on our first evening and the bar was four deep with customers queuing for service – with only two members of staff behind the bar! So it was a long wait, jostling for position at the bar, before we were finally able to get our drinks and find a table.
Eventually we found a free table and found ourselves positioned alongside the kitchen which had a serving counter. We watched with interest as food prepared for customers was placed on the counter underneath heat lamps ready to be served – and stayed there!
It soon became evident that the two members of staff behind the bar where actually the only staff working the pub floor. So until they had an opportunity to leave the bar area, the food was left to sit under the lamps drying out.
The food was eventually served, but how appealing and appetising it was is anyone’s guess, and if it was my food I’d been watching I probably wouldn’t have been too impressed
We had planned to use the pub a fair bit for meals during our stay (as detailed above) so although we weren’t impressed at what we had seen, we decided to come back in anyway, and try out the breakfast for ourselves the following morning, hoping that the lack of staff was a one off, and that the food would be freshly cooked and served – but that turned out to be a mistake!
When we walked in there was no one queuing and I thought we’d struck lucky, but when we got to the bar, the girl behind it apologised, walked off and asked us to bear with her for a while because she had other things to do. She returned to explain that two members of staff had failed to turn up, leaving only her and one other member of staff in the kitchen to run the place because the manager was busy in the office! Eventually she was able to take our breakfast order and we took our seats, but it really wasn’t worth the wait.
Firstly, when I stirred my “large” cappuccino my froth disappeared, leaving me with only ½ a cup of coffee, I asked for a top up – only to be told it was company policy that a cappuccino could be 50% liquid and 50% froth! So no – no top up!
Then our breakfasts arrived, they were barely warm, congealed in grease, looked like they had been sat around for a while, and they were anything but appetising or tasty!
Too be honest with you I blamed myself for being stupid enough to come back in there to eat in the first place, especially after what I’d seen the night before. And after the response to my complaint over the coffee I decided I simply didn’t want to know the company policy on cold / unappetising food, so we just left. Not surprisingly we didn’t eat there again
This is a nice looking pub, and like I said earlier, I do like Wetherspoons pubs, but I wouldn’t recommend walking into this one if there are people queuing at the bar, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend eating there!
The prices are cheap, but they do everything else on the cheap too. So apart from going in for a drink when it’s quiet, this is probably a good one to avoid until they sort a few issues.
I certainly couldn’t fault the staff working there; despite the pressure they were under they maintained smiles and were very professional nice people. But service really suffered, simply because there weren’t enough of them there to cope with the workload.
Just employing an adequate number of staff would have resolved most of the problems here, but they really need to work on the food in this particular establishment. So buck up your ideas Wetherspoons!!
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