Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

Sorry about that whole Spur rant in part one, it’s something that I needed to get off my chest, but it served an important point (several very pointy points in fact). Firstly, I hope that it demonstrated a certain level of appreciation of what a truly horrible restaurant is like. Hopefully, it showed that I possess a degree of hard earned expertise in the matter of judging the worst restaurant in the world and finally and perhaps most importantly it hinted at the unwavering passion I have for exposing poor service (and just complaining in general).

Now without any further fanfare or diversion, I present to you my submission for the title of “Worst Restaurant in the World”: (drum roll font) South African Airways! I know what you’re thinking… an airline doesn’t count as a restaurant, but I’m sorry it does and if you don’t like it, stop reading (please don’t stop reading).

I happened to go to this particular restaurant with my girlfriend a few weeks ago and was appalled at the entire experience. First of all we had to make a reservation about 3 months before hand; had to pay the full amount in advance and when we called to move our reservation by a few hours, they charged us a penalty fee. To make matters worse we had to pitch up for the meal almost 2 hours before our reservation or else, we were told, the entire restaurant would disappear into the sky without us.

I presumed the restaurant was extremely exclusive and was willing to forgive the exorbitant prices and the strict adherence to reservations, but I did feel the security measures in place were a bit excessive. Both my girlfriend and I were subjected to a body search and I had the embarrassing misfortune of having to remove my belt when walking through the metal detector. The only thing that was more embarrassing, was when a few well discipline Afrikaans children who started crying when I took my belt off.

When we eventually arrived at our seats (after being driven around the parking lot aimlessly for a quarter of an hour) I was not overly enthused by the décor. I’m not sure who the interior decorator was but the minimalist design and colour scheme left much to be desired. I was then suitably terrified when the waitress, instead of taking our drinks order instructed us to fasten our seatbelts and then began an interpretive dance about the life vests under our seats and what to do in case of an emergency landing (this reminded me of the birthday dance we had to perform as waiters at Spur – as both were embarrassing and caused children to cry).

Now I was hoping to have a lovely romantic meal and based on the prices I was expecting them to spare no expense in providing every luxury available. However for the R800 we each paid, all we received was a Chicken mayo sandwich and a coke. The menu was extremely limited (in the fact that there was no menu) and worst of all, my astute reader, no matter how much I complained about the food, the décor or the service… they never let me speak to the pilot.

Worst restaurant EVER! If it wasn’t for the fact that after eating there we were now stranded in another country we would never have gone there again.


I used to be a waiter at what I thought was the worst restaurant in the world: Spur. For those of you who have never been it’s a proudly South African chain of “steak houses” that is themed on Native Americans (don’t worry it didn’t make sense to me either).

Anyway I worked there during one of my summer holidays when I was in high school and it really opened my eyes to the fact that slave labour is still very much alive and well. Even as a 16 year old, before I had finished studying Labour Law and Equitable Employment Acts I knew that there was something seriously dodgy about this place and I’m not even referring to “salad valley”.

I don’t know why I decided to work there. Maybe it was the childhood memories I had of playing in the ball pit and getting my free Chico the Clown ice cream for my birthday; maybe it was the fact that they had removed compulsory military service and I required a painful passage from adolescence into adulthood. Regardless, I decided that I was a “person with a taste for life” (their jingle – terribly catchy; although the same can be said of the Ebola Virus) and decided to work there.

Working at Spur was certainly an immersive experience. I worked alongside some other bright-eyed scholars and students, who worked as temps, as well as some permanent staff or “lifers”. The motivators for each group were quite different too. While the scholars were looking for money to be able to take girls out on dates, the students were looking for beer money and the “lifers” needed the cash for maintenance or to pay for rehab. It really was a “dream factory”.

Although as memorable as every shift was at Spur, one particular shift will live on in infamy. It was Christmas Eve and instead of getting ready for Jesus’ birthday with my family; I was working at Spur serving the kind of people who are out at steak houses on Christmas Eve (real “go getters” and great tippers I must add). So anyway one particular table’s bill comes to R799.95, so I’m thinking here should be a decent tip).

In the bill folder however came R800…total (which is a shiny 5 cent piece for me). Now, to be fair, this was in the year 1999 so 5c back then is probably worth now… about 5 F***ing cents! Anyway, I went back to the table that gave me this bountiful fortune and was surprised to see that my generous benefactor was still sitting in the booth. So, being the “custodian of customer service” that I am (according to the orientation video we were shown) I asked her what seemed to be the matter; to which she replied “Oh nothing’s the matter, I’m just waiting for my change.” I did my best to not spontaneously combust from pure rage for just long enough to give her the 5 cent piece.

That shift, which turned out to be my last, wasn’t exactly the most lucrative shift, earning me a whopping R16. Well it would’ve been R16 if it weren’t for the fact that parking in the mall for the 12 hour shift cost R24.
And yet, with all these terrible experiences, Spur is still not the worst restaurant in the world… The worst is still to come (next post).