Round About – Sheesha, Drinks & A Wrong Candidate! 

I’ve been going to then ‘U Turn’ / ‘Derby Cafe’ and now ‘Round About’ since years now. The first time I remember going there was in my junior college days in 2006-07. That’s a really really long time right? I like the way the place has evolved – the ambiance, the food, the staff etc. Round About until recently was one of my ‘go-to’ Sheesha places, when in Khar/Bandra. Until recently…

Round About Bar & Kitchen, Khar West

Round About Bar & Kitchen, Khar West

It was one of those days post work when I was meeting up my sister – A Restaurant Manager and her friend – A Celebrity Chef, both visiting from the UAE. When some sheesha cravings happened after dinner & drinks at the beautiful place called The Daily in Bandra, we headed to Round About. My sister’s friend ordered for some Whiskey and both of us settled with our Grape-Pan Rasna. The drink arrives on the table and we find a cockroach in the glass. Now, if you’ve followed the blog or know me personally, you know I don’t use this platform to ‘crib’ about my experience. But the way the staff (including the Restaurant Manager, btw) handled the fiasco, convinced me to report about my experience here. A bad and for me an embarrassing experience at one of my favorite places – Round About, Khar West. Below is what my sister (a Restaurant Manager in the UAE herself) thought about the experience, how the incident was handled and how it could have been handled –

Oh Bombay! You clearly have a lot of mouths to feed given the population you tolerate. What I don’t get is, with so much population and talent why do you have the wrong candidate take your money and make you look bad.

To mention clearly why I say this, well because recently I went out with my friends who were visiting from oversees and so we landed in a restaurant closer to where I stay. And the experience was well I thought worth a shout out to the people of Bombay (not in a positive way).

So to continue, we all ordered for a round of drinks to start because we arrived there post dinner and just needed to hang out for sometime before we all dispersed. One of my friend’s drink however came with some extra love and care. Before you guys wander off to your imagination and think let me tell you it was a cockroach. Yes! A healthy, fully alive cockroach in his drink. To be honest, we didn’t react very badly, as I mentioned coming from the same industry and giving the fact that I’ve visited some kitchens of Mumbai restaurants we understood and kept our calm.

But then we see just over our shoulder where the bar was visible; three guys including the bartender holding the glass and talking about the issue. And as unexpected as it came to me the guy jus took the insect out of the glass with a stirrer and (in his head generously) poured it into another and served it. My brother obviously being a blogger was not going to take this sitting down so he went back to them and asked for a fresh drink which should have been the right thing to do in the first place.

We all kept our cool and let my brother handle it besides, killing the vibe for all of us and a group of five or six people unleashing a week’s frustration would be a lil too much. But it was when the server said “ha baba change karta hu drink” is when we all lost it.

We asked for the manager immediately because we saw no one had informed him just yet and tried to sort it out with their competencies (as foolish as that sounds).

For obvious reasons we thought a manager would make sense and have a logical explanation to why this incident happened but much to our disappointment we had another oaf in a heinous pink shirt attending our table. Except for his horrible pink shirt and flashy gold bracelet there was no difference between him and his staff.

To cut it down short, here are things that you DO NOT DO AS A MANAGER-

1. You do not come to the table with an explanation without letting the guest even speak out. Reasons? Your staff may have told you only the part that saves him and secondly the guest might be upset about a completely different issue and most importantly letting the guest talk first always helps as they want to be heard. (Speaking with a lot of experience here)

2. You DO NOT and I emphasize DONOT roll your eyes at the guest when they explain their grief. Reasons? Do I even have to mention ?

3. You do not say “if you can’t I’ll pay for the drink from my pocket” Well genius, I’m pretty sure a 30ml drink of whiskey does not make a huge difference to my pocket or yours but the reputation and guest experience does make a hole in yours. Reasons? I could pay for the drink and never return back which is the case 99% of the time or you would take it off from the bill as a gesture and have me return back as a regular guest that you retrieved (given his horrible choice of shirt I’m sure I’m asking a lil too much from him)

4. You never call your guest “Yaar” when you try and explain the situation no matter how frustrated your day has been or how annoying you find your job. Reasons? You could get slapped. And I rest my case.

To conclude a manager is the leader and the attraction of the restaurant as the team members look up to him and he is the face of the restaurant for the guest, so try and act like one. PLEASE.

– Yours truly,

Guest and a fellow Manager

Courtesy – Shweta Nair

Shweta is a Restaurant Manager & blogs at vividcanvas

Shweta & I

Shweta & I

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