Life Science... I Guess...? My mid-pandemic restaurants’ journey from the past weekend…

Believe me, I would not create it on purpose even if I could!!

So, my dear readers, I have some stories I would like to apprise you with - pertaining to the recent weekend.

Let's start from Sunday of this past week…

After the completion of my voice repair session with one of my dear clients, I invited her for a cup of a nice Iranian tea to a cafe owned by the married couple and, apparently, owned altogether by the whole family.

We both (my client and I) each ordered a cup of tea and also asked for some honey and lemon; and I "dared" to order a small pastry. Then my student had to go home and I stayed for a bit more, enjoying the tea and relaxing after a stressful week.

Then, I picked up the check and went to pay for our goods at the front counter. Lately, and through the pandemic times, I became somewhat regular there - going there myself and also bringing my clients and my associates to this place.

This time I had some cash on me and was ready to pay for what we had. To my surprise, the bill (before tip), was over $18 dollars - which seemed to be more than what the usual bill would be. I inquired about it and learned that both my client and I were charged for (at best) half of a teaspoon of honey - at $2.00... each?? I found it very strange, and later, expressed my confusion to my client who originally was there with me. On that, she commented: “Diana, what if we had french fries, would they be charging us for ketchup packets...?”

The owner, who I already had given a lot of business, would not even say a word!! She was just staring at me and looked like a complete “monument”; and, nonetheless, with no apparent presence… Trust me, the person in a coma, no doubt, by far, shows more vital signs than she had possessed while staring at me in complete silence. LOL!!

So I paid and, on that premise, I have decided that I will not come back there ever again… That was not about four dollars in total. That was about low class and non-existent business acumen, which I personally cannot stand!! We are offering thousands of dollars in discounts to people - especially during this very trying and challenging times.

The owner of this doomed cafe, on the other hand, obviously did not show any appreciation for my past and present business.

A little later on, I had met my dearest friend and student of 1990 (from 30 years ago) and invited her for a dinner to a Russian restaurant, which my assistant and I had visited multiple times before and during pandemic times. We loved their food; and therefore, I’ve decided to treat my friend (of Filipino descent) the Russian food this time.

We had ordered a whole bunch (familiar to me) food and both were in anticipation of the good food and fun evening… One of the items (very popular in Russia) was a lamb stew. When that specialty dish arrived at our table, we right away discovered 1 potato on a top and 1 red pepper which was also on the top. All the rest was some meat and a lot of sauce…

With that said, both of us were a little puzzled (to put it mildly)... Meanwhile, nobody would come up to us for quite some time; and thus we ended up eating the meat with a lot of sauce - and with no starch whatsoever! Then, suddenly, one of the waitresses appeared and asked us if we needed anything else..? We, sort of, complained that we only had gotten 1 potato and 1 pepper… We were hoping that she would say: "No problem. I will bring you more potatoes and peppers..."

The waitress, however, never said that, but offered us to get a side order of mashed potato - nonetheless for the additional charge...?  Since we had not been offered any other alternative, We reluctantly said: “OK, so be it”.

By the time she arrived back to us with our order, we had nothing left of our stew; and therefore now had to order another lamb dish - (and of course pay for that too). Go figure!

That new lamb dish came with tons of rice, which now we did not also know what to do with. We ended up ordering 3 extra dishes based on the inadequacy of this establishment and, nevertheless, we had to pay for it also...

But the worst was yet to come...

In this restaurant, my favourite (pre-pandemic) dish used to be Meat Blintzes (stressed Meat). Nevertheless, I ordered the above-mentioned dish, and soon discovered that instead of meat, those blintzes were stuffed with… chopped liver?

I returned it back and pointed out that the menu still said that those blintzes were supposed to be Meat Blintzes. The owners of that restaurant told the waitress to tell us that they had changed the stuffing. This action, on their part, was obviously designed to save money via substituting the quality of the real deal! What a shame!!!

We know that many food establishments, during the pandemic, had lost a lot of money and now have been trying to recover it, while “robbing” their previous and present clients from the promised quality of the food trying to recover their losses…?

And lastly:

Near my studio, there is another establishment to which I was trying to return a couple of times for breakfast...

What do you know? In this very hot weather, the owner does not want to turn on an air conditioner; and, nevertheless, he keeps it off at all times - clients or no clients…

While there, being extremely hot, I finally spotted the fan. I asked the waitress to turn it on, and she did. But the owner came on to her with anger - like a tiger to his prey.  He angrily asked her why did she turn the fan on  (in front of me - his regular client). He then, immediately, ordered her to switch it off - and as soon as possible!!! Go figure!.

All of those restaurants’ owners, evidently, have a perverted logic, to put it mildly. They are trying to save money on a customer's expense and think that they will “win that game”.

My question is… Could they be more stupid to think that way? From where we sit, we had been offering very substantial discounts (especially in pandemic times). Regardless though, the care and the quality of our services had never been compromised or changed!!!

On the contrary, the quality and expertise of our services are exponentially evolving to the best of our extensive knowledge. And that is why our clients trusting us. Not any of them (since 1984) had been disappointed, or let alone complaining about anything.

Quite a few of them (close to 30.000 people went and gone through our doors) had always said: "It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life… The results, however, I had achieved were beyond my expectations. I also have to say that the best time I ever spent was with you in Toronto, Diana.”

If I could say so myself:

The business acumen, the dignity, integrity, and loyalty towards our clients, is and always will be the most important thing - which each and every one of us, are proud to express to the whole world!!


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