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Colchester Rd, Tolleshunt Knights, Maldon CM9 8HX, UK – 01621 868888
We stayed as a family at the Crown Plaza; this review is independent of our stay at the hotel. Its aim is to help improve the restaurant, not to judge it. We arrived at 9pm sharp for our 9pm reservation. A couple was waiting patiently before us and we were on the other side of the hostess’s desk. I can’t know how the couple had been welcomed, but my kids and I stood for 10’ without a single verbal acknowledgement. Let me write this again for the keen store manager who came to apologise, but left having insulted us. Three humans were standing at the entrance of your restaurant for 10’ and they were not even granted the respect of a verbal acknowledgement. So read on if you want to learn how you fix this: Take your staff to the nearest Apple store. If it’s too far, take them to Starbucks. 1) Apple welcomes everyone at the door. They are masters at resetting the clock. “How are you? Sorry to keep you waiting, we know you are here and will make sure the first available employee/table will be... you get the picture. 2) Starbucks takes your order. They know that after 90” people lose track of time so they make use of your time and reset the clock by actually moving the order forward. Several other restaurants do the same. They welcome you, tell you there is a wait. They apologise for that with a smile and then get on with their work. It’s not my place to comment on the productivity of this restaurant, we saw at least 6 waiters for what appeared to be 14 tables at peak and fewer than 5 on average. Not busy, never use that as an excuse in hospitality or you will end up like the banks. I left the food for last; frankly average, but you can wrap average around the environment of a nice hotel, put some kindness and service around it and charge £20pp without wine. As it stands, 3* because my wife and kids said to be generous and forgive. Not every patron will, though. So pull your socks and start caring.