I dropped into this place one morning in early October, intending to have breakfast. However this was not to be.
My very simple request to swap an item from the set breakfast menu (probably an egg, since I'm not keen on eggs, or it might have been a sausage: it was a few months ago) for a vegetarian sausage was met with outright refusal by the young woman who wandered in from the kitchen to take my order. Her attitude was, to put it kindly, unwelcoming, verging on hostile. I'm a middle-aged woman, polite, well-spoken, on my own. There did not appear to be any other customers in the cafe. I asked again, reasonably, to swap whatever it was from the set breakfast menu for a veggie sausage, thinking the girl had misunderstood what I was asking for. The same response: no. Bemused, I asked why, and was told, brusquely, that a veggie sausage was 'more expensive' than the egg or whatever I wanted to replace, so, accordingly, I couldn't have it. The attitude and tone of voice remained downright rude. I couldn't quite believe what was happening: a customer comes into an empty cafe, makes a request for a simple dietary preference to be accommodated, and is refused, twice, no thought evidently having crossed the mind of this young woman that maybe she could actually offer some sort of service. Like, for instance, just accepting my request but explaining that she would have to charge me a bit more. And even, perish the thought, addressing me in a pleasant manner.
By this time a couple of young men had come into the cafe behind me, and were party to this bizarre exchange. At this point I gave up: hungry as I was, I was not going to allow this young woman to take any of my money in return for rudeness an an apparent inability to comprehend the basics of customer service. So I said, tell you what, just forget it, and walked out.
That wasn't the end of it though: as the door was closing I heard an exchange of comments, very obviously about me, followed by gales of laughter, between the young woman with the attitude and the two lads who'd come in after me. This really annoyed me, and I went straight back in and thanked the trio for their contribution. Evidently none of them had expected a middle-aged woman on her own stand up for herself: the shamefaced expressions and silence when I did so were rather satisfying.
Afterwards, I was fuming. I'm a regular visitor to St Davids, as are several friends and colleagues. Word of this sort of experience gets around, a fact which is doubtless ignored by the proprietor and staff. The best that could be hoped for by this establishment is that the rude young woman who didn't want to serve me what I asked for last October will not be returning to this particular holiday job (which I sincerely hope it was: nobody with that sort of attitude has any future in the hospitality business).
So to sum up: if you want an expensive breakfast that isn't what you want to eat and is delivered by somebody who doesn't want to be polite to you but who does want to have a laugh at your expense with a couple of lads, then The Sound cafe is your kind of place.
If you're used to professional standards of service, go elsewhere. There are many and better alternatives to this sort of 'couldn't-care-less, just give us your money' sort of place in St Davids these days. And I've been coming here for over fifty years, so I know whereof I speak.
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