Dinner at the D’Bay Tavern

We have recently moved to Deception Bay and decided to try the “local” for dinner tonight. I share with you our experience..
d bay
Our first visit to our new local, the Deception Bay Tavern, what could possibly go wrong?  
We arrived just after 6pm and entered a clean, warm environment.  Convenient and clear signage directed us to the nearest ATM and then we wandered back to the bistro area, reading the posters and getting our bearings along the way.  
There appeared to be plenty of staff, bustling passed us as they went about their tasks.  We paused, looked about, unsure what the protocol was, and eventually stopped a passing staff member to enquire if we should wait to be seated, take a seat, order at the bar….or what???  Upon being told to sit anywhere without a reserved sign and “order over there”,before she hurried off, we noticed a specials board that we perused before selecting a table and looking at the rest of the menu & wine list.
Decisions made, hubby was dispatched to order the meals while I went to arrange some beverages.  I requested a red wine…and the bartender told me that wine was at the bistro….when I asked if I needed to order elswhere he said no, he could do it.  I was then somewhat surprised at the bartenders lack of knowledge as to the products and location of stock, eventually settling for a glass of the bottle he found and presented to me.  I was further surprised when the red wine was poured into a glass taken from the fridge.  Nevermind, paid, got my change and he was gone…no thank you, enjoy your night, nothing. 
Returned to our table and sat with hubby, waiting for our meals.  The bistro environment was warm and vibrant with the customers seeming to be having a great time, sadly this exuberance did not extend to the staff.  Actually I commented that the staff appeared to be sad, disinterested and almost depressing to the atmosphere.  I dont know what may have happened to cause this (trauma among the team etc) but it showed on their faces and  in the lacklustre service.  
Our meals arrived fairly quickly and exceeded our expectations. The food was plentiful, tasty and as ordered.  Nothing flashy or pretentious, but represented value for money.  We ate it all. 
As mentioned earlier, there were plenty of staff on but not one of them paused in passing to enquire if our meals were OK…..  not even once.  There is a fine line between hovering at the table being overly attentive (which I hate), to checking on a guests enjoyment and finding opportunities to enhance their experience or upsell (good service)  …. but then there is totally ignoring the customers….which is what your team managed to do.   That is, until our plates were empty…and the clearer came by and asked “have you finished, can I take these?” as she lifted the totally empty plates.  Hmm too little, too late…oh and the plates were empty & moved aside…so obviously we had finished. 
We left the bistro area, contributed to the pokies and left the premises without further interaction with any staff members. No passing comments, no farewell.  Sad. The meal, cleanliness and premise environment have so much to offer.  
I hope that the new Assistant manager, when appointed, can inspire the staff to provide a level of hospitality that  local establishments are known for, that will compliment the quality of the food and will inspire customers to become regular – perhaps begining with the basics of a welcome, product knowledge and a farewell.
As for us, we will try further afield to the Dolphins or RSL next time we venture out.
This Review has been submitted to management who responded promptly – 

Hi Janey,

Thank you for your time and informing me on your experience at the Deception Bay Tavern.
I would like to start by apologising for our staff who must have been having an off night.
I normally work Friday nights due to peak trading times but I am away from the venue today.
I like to lead my team from the front with a focus on “The Customer Experience” I have trained my staff in meet and greet and to acknowledge customers with a simple smile and hello as they enter the Bistro or Gaming room, then direct the customer to the appropriate destination they require.
I have a mixed team of experienced staff and  new staff who require a little guidance from management.
I have informed the manager on duty and we have organised a team meeting after dinner service to help staff in moving forward to provide a higher standard of customer service. I will endeavour to train our staff and provide them with the proper tools and knowledge needed to do the job.
I would like to offer you $50 venue voucher to come back to the venue and give us the chance to improve our customer service.
If you would like to talk in more detail please do not hesitate to call.

Kind regards

My response to this included….

…While I appreciate your offer of a venue voucher, it is my strong belief to not accept vouchers or freebies in response to ad hoc reviews I write.  They are not written for this purpose but rather to give credit, where it is due, and to provide a platform for continuous improvement across our industry.  I wrote some stuff around this a while back. Considerations around accepting free meals for favouravle reviews  As part of my business plan I do offer fee for service mystery dining services and would be happy to discus this with you, although again, the purpose of my review was not to drum up business. …

We will go back and give them another go.... 
Deception Bay Tavern
07 3203 1342
Deception Bay Rd
Deception Bay, QLD, 4508

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