‘ZO­MATO PE DEKH LENGE’

‘Jaanta hai mera baap kaun hai?’ is pal­ing in com­par­i­son. Peo­ple now have a new line to threaten restau­rant own­ers...

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Aditi Caroli aditi. caroli@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

Dress code: Strictly for­mal! If you get an in­vite like this, or if you see this out­side a restau­rant, would you still barge in wear­ing slip­pers and a tee? Well, some don’t mind do­ing that and if de­nied en­try, their favourite threat is, “We’ll give you bad re­views on food por­tals.”

A few months ago, HT City was the first to re­port how restau­ra­teurs are be­ing black­mailed with bad re­views, and cus­tomers get­ting per­sonal.

The lat­est to bear the brunt is Lord Of The Drinks, a ca­sual din­ing lounge in Con­naught Place. Af­ter the place re­fused en­try to a cus­tomer in rub­ber slip­pers on Hal­loween Night (Oc­to­ber 31), the cus­tomer, as threat­ened, posted a bad re­view. “Be­ing a chilled out Satur­day evening we were in our floaters and bermu­das.... But didn’t know it’s NOT AL­LOWED !!!!!!!! The per­son at the desk was damn rude and told us we can­not en­ter in open shoes. When asked where it’s men­tioned, they had no an­swer. We re­volted, but a cer­tain Mo­hit from their man­age­ment started abus­ing and asked us to leave (sic),” reads the post by Vishal Bha­tia.

Priyank Sukhija, the owner of the place, begs to dif­fer, “Cus­tomers should be more eth­i­cal about what they write. We don’t al­low slip­pers and shorts on Fri­day and Satur­day nights. Cus­tomers should ask club rules while mak­ing reser­va­tions. Rub­ber chap­pals cer­tainly don’t go on a Hal­loween night. We po­litely de­clined them en­try and not in a deroga­tory fash­ion, as re­ported. Food re­view­ing web­sites are a pow­er­ful tool,” he tells us. Sukhija adds, “Why don’t peo­ple re­spect bar poli­cies, ac­cept it grace­fully and make sure that they fol­low it. If this was Lon­don or New York they would stand in a queue, get dressed and talk nicely. Why not in Delhi?”

De­spite re­peated at­tempts, the peo­ple at Zo­mato were un­avail­able for a com­ment.

Be­ing a chilled out Satur­day evening we were in our floaters and bermu­das.... But didn’t know it’s NOT AL­LOWED !!!!!!!! The per­son at the desk was damn rude

Vishal Bha­tia, re­viewer We don’t al­low slip­pers and shorts on week­ends. If this was Lon­don or New York they would stand in a queue, get dressed and be more cul­tured. Why not in Delhi?

Priyank Sukhija, restau­ra­teur

Restau­ra­teur Shiv Karan Singh speaks in de­fense of his clan. “Ev­ery­one has the right to ad­mis­sion re­served on prop­erty. For me, stags and trou­ble­mak­ers are not al­lowed. Un­for­tu­nately, th­ese peo­ple have the right to butcher us on pub­lic plat­forms. If you are go­ing out, you must be pre­sentable. Gymkhana Club, Golf Club, Friends Club, ev­ery­body has their own rules like no slip­pers, no tees with­out col­lars, etc.,” he says.

Chef Man­ish Mehro­tra of In­dian Ac­cent says door pol­icy should be men­tioned on the web­site. “In­ter­na­tional res­tau­rants al­ways men­tion their dress codes on their web­site. I was once de­nied en­try at The Ritz Lon­don as I was not wear­ing proper shoes. In my restau­rant, as long as no one is dressed in dirty clothes, stained shoes, it’s ok,” he says. As for food re­views, Mehro­tra adds, “Res­tau­rants should take neg­a­tive feed­back pos­i­tively if it’s a gen­uine com­plaint. If it’s in­cor­rect, ig­nore it be­cause the chain of ar­gu­ments is never-end­ing.”

As far as cus­tomers go, a tool like Zo­mato helps them voice their con­cerns. “I vis­ited this a re­ally pop­u­lar pub in Delhi. When I asked the usher for a ta­ble for three, he said, ‘Sir, it’s ` 3,000 per per­son’. Did he just look at our clothes and as­sume we won’t be able to af­ford it? I com­plained to the man­ager and also posted the in­ci­dent on Zo­mato. Own­ers of res­tau­rants should know how their staff be­haves with cus­tomers,” says Neha Malude, a re­viewer.

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