In case you missed it earlier this week, an email exchange between a blogger, his girlfriend, and the owner of Beluga restaurant in Green Point, was leaked online. Shaun Oakes, founder and editor of the infamous shaunoakes.com blog juggernaut, went for dinner at Beluga the other night with is girlfriend. The waiter was a bit of a nightmare and the meal was given to them at no charge. His girlfriend sent an email to the owner, just to let him know about what happened. That’s when the manager replied – in full force. Highly controversial. Let us know your thoughts..
This, from Shaun Oakes:
Upon ordering food and drink, we started picking up a “bit of a vibe” from him, as he openly started questioning the round of drinks we ordered. “Oh, you can drink but you can’t eat,” he said at one point, which annoyed me, as I don’t appreciated my drinking habits being put in the spotlight. (we had had one drink at that point) Eventually we asked him what he thought we had ordered to eat, and it turns out, he had taken our order down as a “bean curd” instead of a “green plate”.
Ha ha okay, honest mistake. Let’s laugh it off and move on then. Instead though, he (perhaps in a failed attempt at humour) kept carrying on about the drinks, and at this point asked for the 3rd/4th time whether The Girlfriend was sure she wanted what she ordered (a Cosmo and a prawn hand roll). The Girlfriend, who by this time was getting annoyed, pointed out that to her knowledge, the waiter wasn’t her father (I was pretty sure of this as well), and requested that he stop questioning her. The waiter, who I can only assume was still clinging on to a humour card even as he must have sensed the train wreck this conversation was turning into, then asked if she “wanted a hug”.
Now, this was a pretty ballsy thing for a waiter to say to a patron, attempt at humour or not. The Girlfriend replied with (and pay attention, because this bit will be important further down the line “What the f**k, you’re our waiter, you need to jack up. I want to speak to the manager.”
He seemed taken aback that we weren’t playing along with him, but then regained his composure and replied with a snooty “with pleasure” and disappeared. Feeling uncomfortable, we then asked someone walking passed our table to grab the manager, and explained the whole thing to him. We requested a new waiter, as things had obviously deteriorated between us. The manager, having listened to the story, apologised and said that the waiter was one of the best at Beluga, and that it was likely an attempt at humour that didn’t work well. He then offered to comp our meal. Fine, we were happy with that explanation.
The Girlfriend still felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave – but I have a rule about accepting free food – so we accepted his offer, had our meal, and then left.
Here Is Where It Gets Interesting
The next day The Girlfriend – who knows the owner, Oscar Kotze – sent him an email explaining what went down, and wanting him to be aware of how certain behaviour from staff can be misconstrued and be turned into a bit of a drama.
Follow the link below to check out the email exchange and the comments. Let us know your thoughts..
The Girlfriend Wrote:
From: The Girlfriend
To: Oscar Kotze
Subject: harassing waiter
I hope you, **** and **** are doing well.
I just wanted to bring to your attention an incident that happened to Shaun and I last night whilst dining at Beluga. Upon misunderstanding our order (prawn hand rolls, the Green plate, a cosmo and beer) our waiter started making snarky comments to us about what he had thought we ordered (a bean curd soup and prawn hand roll). He continued to harass us when ordering my second cocktail that “I can drink but I can’t eat”… We picked up the hostility and asked him what exactly he thought we had ordered, after we cleared up the ordering fiasco he enquired “Is that all you’re going to eat?”… When I asked why he feels the need to talk to me like my father and pointed out that he has no right speaking to patrons like that, he offered to give me a hug… flabbergasted I requested to speak to the manager, he arrogantly said he would be happy to get the manager for me. In a see-how-far-that-is-going-to-get-you tone.
****** was called and handled the situation by assuring us our waiter would be changed and our bill would be taken care of. He also mentioned that this guy is in fact a really good waiter and that it could be his humour. A lovely, efficient waitress named ** continued to serve us but by then unfortunately our ideas for a lovely night at Beluga were already diminished.
What I would like to point out, Oscar, is that both Shaun and I are bloggers/writers, having good friends who are the top bloggers in Cape Town. Shaun works at the biggest internet marketing company. My connection and the respect I have for you and the hard work and passion I know you put into the Caviar Group I reassure you I would never make a public stink out of your restaurants. I just would like you to be aware that something like this did happen and hopefully you could put a stop to something like this happening in the future. And if this is indeed the waiter’s sense of humour, maybe it will go down well at some pub in Brackenveld but educated young professionals in Seapoint go out to have a pleasant experience.
Oscar Kotze Wrote:
To: The Girlfriend
Subject: Re: harassing waiter
Ok, so here goes:
The fact that you swore at my waiter **** is completely unacceptable – I have convinced him to lay a criminal case against you, and the company will back him all the way – its the year 2011 and no one has the right to speak to people the way you did – even your mail below is degrading and condescending
>From my side, I am sorry that I was not here, I would have chased you out of my restaurant if I was
As to your personality, lack of manners and general attitude to life I will refrain from commenting – the fact that you even have the audacity to contact me and threaten me after what you did – seriously, wow, what a joke
This will be the last communication that you will receive from me – I have asked ***** to provide me with your ID number so that we can use that for the criminal case
Obviously I never want you to come close to any of my businesses ever again – and if your friends condone the way to deal with people, and you convince them not to come to my restaurants, well then that will also be ok
Read all about it (and check out the comments)
Read about what other bloggers are saying here.
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