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Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Duck’s Round 2 (or “a lesson in customer service”)

So, following my post on my experience at Ducks at Kilspindie, I received the following email from Malcolm Duck, Owner of Ducks at Kilspindie, Experienced Restaurateur and Chairman (for what seems like donkeys) of the Edinburgh Restaurateurs Association.

Mr Boyce,

I was absolutely aware of you last night while you were dining even though I was in Dublin. Here at Ducks we take what we do very seriously and the team has a great deal of pride in their work. Whilst you blog for fun we work for a living.

I take all comments, good and bad seriously and try to learn from them, we give every guest the chance to leave comments on the dockets which come with the bill. I read them this morning and as usual they made very pleasant reading.

I note your comments and I have discussed them with my staff. We will learn and move on. I will also take onboard the views of my wife who was there on the evening.

As you have made comments and published them about my business I will give you some constructive feedback which I hope you will also have the good grace to publish.

If you write and wish to be taken seriously, do your homework. The chefs at the bar had nothing to do with Ducks so your comments are wildly inaccurate and misleading, not to say offensive to those working hard in the kitchen. It also calls into question the validity of your entire essay! Serious reviewers do not announce themselves to all and sundry. Calling some one a 'prick' (Roy Bret review) is simply offensive, abusive and just plain wrong. There is a real danger some might just think the same of you!

I have copied my reply to my Wife and my general Manager.

Malcolm Duck

So, I guess that's me told; I gather that I'm wrong, the service was up to scratch and the food wasn't burnt.

Except, Malcolm, please do bear in mind that I have no pretentions to being a journalist (I couldn't take the pay cut for one thing) and as such I don't expense my meals; all visits, good or bad, are paid for meaning – and this might be a tricky concept for you – that I'm a paying customer.

So, attitude to customers noted Duck old bean.


Ondine - Update

I'm not going to review Ondine again, I promise.

Well, not for a while anyway, otherwise people will think I'm some cyber-stalker-blogger or summat; but I did pop in yesterday for lunch with my eldest (who tells me that, at three and a half, he's almost a grown up and will get to drive my car soon) and I thought I'd share a thought or two.

They were completely accommodating when we arrived, I asked if they thought the restaurant would be appropriate for a child and they welcomed him and made a fuss as appropriate but also seated us in a quieter corner so our chat didn't annoy other guests and meaning I wasn't bumping into anyone when helping Jamie cut his food which I appreciated. The food, as always, was very good (Jamie loved his "real" fish fingers and his Jelly though he wasn't too sure of the mushy peas) and the restaurant almost full which I liked to see (support you local sheriff chef) and the service was right on the money.

I'm really, really happy, patchy service was the only thing which let Ondine down previously and now we can but wait for showers of accolades to fall onto Roy and his team.