Wednesday, 29 November 2017


For this, our third successive combined medical/shopping visit to Dunelm in Wisbech, it was apparent, that things have deteriorated in one area, visit on visit. This one was by far the most memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.

We arrived in the Pausa cafe at 12:40 and had sat down with coffee by 12:50, waiting for our meal. No one was in the queue in front of us so we mistakenly thought we would get our jacket potato and soup reasonably quickly.

Behind the counter however, was just one poor girl, taking orders, making the coffee, then fulfilling the orders. Chaos rapidly ensued! There was a young chap clearing tables, his first day, who was falling behind doing that, as she had to keep asking him to help then spending time telling him what to do.

DB received his meal at 13:15, having watched people arrive after us, getting their meals before either of us. He also went to the till to mention about my soup. By 13:30 no soup and by now, yet more people were getting served who had just walked in. Finally, two other people arrived to help (one possibly management), so I went to complain.

Not only was I hungry, but I now had severe  indigestion and was incensed. I didn't want to take it out on her but when asked if all was well, filled her in, as politely as possible, about what had occured.

I received an apology, was informed about staff shortages (not my problem), training 1/2 day (again, not my problem) quick turnaround of staff due to university and college recruits being taken on/leaving, (even more not my problem). I told her what a trojan the poor girl was, coping on her own, behind the counter and didn't wish to complain about her.

I informed her that I was now so mad and very hungry and was now leaving, no, I didn't want my soup (which still had not been dealt with). She offered to give me a refund and could I have the till receipt. No, she couldn't because we hadn't been given one:(

A few minutes later she came to the table and refunded us for my soup and also DB for his jacket potato - a nice gesture. We thanked her and left. In the end I had to find a supermarket to get something cold to eat on the way home.

I hope to complain officially, but after trying to do it online, they wanted so much information, after which, they then promise to get back to me within 72 hours - say what!

Don't hold your breath!


  1. I feel your pain. One of the Morrison's cafes up my way is soooo slow. Food is good value and pleasant when it arrives but you can be sat for half an hour waiting and the new fandangled hot drinks system means that by the time your food arrives your drink has long gone - and no free re-fills either. All day breakfasts are the slowest - delayed on one visit as the chef was out in the store buying bacon.

  2. Oh that is so infuriating when that happens, isn't it? I do feel for you...

  3. This is happening in so many places at the moment, cost cutting and staff shortages are now starting to impact on most companies with terrible results.

    And then the problem is made even worse by the people on the front line ... ie the girl who served you ... being blamed by most of the customers (not you thank goodness) which will then make her leave and the company having to recruit again and again and 'train' again and again.

    In this country we HAVE to get back to a time where we valued and therefore kept good employees, we need to once again take on board good working practices and listen to the people that actually pay for our goods and services.

  4. I called the manager down to the Morrison's cafe last year. It was disgusting. No cutlery, no milk, rubbish all over the floor. I threatened to film the disgrace and upload it to Facebook. He was on his radio PDQ and lots of white collar workers came to help the struggling staff behind the counter. I was offered free food, I declined politely because I wasn't hungry I just wanted a cup of tea with milk!!!

  5. Went Christmas shopping in Milton Keynes on Monday with my daughter. Thought it would be lovely to treat her to a meal in a local restaurant. Part of a chain I had eaten in many times with find memories. Huge mistake. Staff who didn't know their apex from their elbow, and bland food (to keep the story short). Complained and the bill, which would have been over £40, was wiped. Didn't help the fact that we were now hungry and tetchy. Blast!

  6. How disappointing for you. I agree with Sue that staff should be valued, but unfortunately they're not, even those who are excellent at their job and go above and beyond. The staff in that cafe will doubtless be on zero hours contracts and minimum wage and will be viewed as very dispensable :(

  7. Thanks for your comments, interesting that it seems to be happening everywhere.

  8. It's so difficult when the only person you can see is in no way responsible for the chaos. Whenever I complain about something now I almost always say "I know it's not your fault, but could you let the "manager" know that I'm not pleased with this level of service?"


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