A lousy breakfast


Recently, I had gone over to The Fullerton Hotel for a breakfast meeting at the Town Restaurant. I had been there a few times before and my past experience was decent.

Power Breakfast is an important corporate exercise in accomplishing business goals and is totally different from a networking exercise at the bar in the evening. The Fullerton Hotel touts the Town Restaurant as follows: “Town Restaurant, an all-day dining restaurant, is ideal for a power breakfast, business lunch or idyllic buffet dinner whilst enjoying views of the Singapore River.”

Well, it did not turn out to be a good exercise during my most recent visit.

The service stopped from the moment a stewardess received and guided us to a table of our choice.

Then onwards, it was a downslide.

We ordered for coffee of different varieties – such as latte, thin latte, regular coffee, etc., The coffees did not arrive for a full 25 minutes, despite three reminders. We had to make do with the regular black coffee they keep pouring into every coffee cup in the meanwhile, which none of us wanted to do but there was no choice.

The food was average. Early on, before we settled down, I ordered an omelette with my specific choice of ingredients. The omelette-maker (for want of a better name) did not pay attention though there was just me standing in front of him and asking for the omelette to be prepared in a particular fashion. I asked for green chillies, mushrooms, tomato pieces, and onions to be added and the omelette to be prepared “well done” on both sides. Instead what I got is a “turned over” bulls eye fried omelette with red chillies and nothing else on it.

Perfection or an aspiration towards achieving perfection is a very critical aspect of doing business. In this case, the restaurant failed on several counts – very poor table service for a breakfast which costs upwards of SGD 50 per person, no response from several waiters despite our repeat reminders, water not provided on the table for full 10 minutes after asking for the same, and a lousy breakfast peppered with a lousily-prepared omelette (for me) which defied my previous experience and honest expectations of a good breakfast.

We don’t go to power breakfasts in the hope of munching or chewing away all that you can get in the buffet. The focus is always on achieving the business goal without constant need to remind the restaurant staff to urge them to deliver what they should be doing anyway.

I got disturbed with the poor quality of the service and I mentioned it to two of the waiters, but they did not respond even by saying sorry. By the way, it is very difficult to get an apology for even bad service in Singapore and this incident only reinforced my views on service levels and quality of service in hyped-up hotels and restaurants. Private Clubs in Singapore provide a far superior service, and sometimes they exceed one’s expectations.

Well, that is The Fullerton Hotel and its Town Restaurant experience enjoyed by me recently. I hope that they get to improve, but my next power breakfast is shifting elsewhere !

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
Singapore

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