Review: Shakey’s (SM Dasmariñas)

Friday: Around 8pm: May 21, 2010

After four days spent eating home-cooked meals (no complaints there), we thought it would be nice to indulge on a Friday night. There was this craving for Shakey’s mojos so we opted to dine at SM Dasmariñas, which required more hours of walk from the GT Express Terminal conveniently located near Robinson’s. The four of us, dragging our four-day luggages, conjured images of crispy chicken, and mojos (and have I mentioned mojos?) as we made our way to SM.

Baggages checked, more than a few minutes walk, and minutes of waiting for a table and we’re finally seated comfortably at Shakey’s SM Dasmariñas.

Quality of food, service, amenities, Decor/restaurant layout – these are the things we usually take note of. It’s default in any dining experience – for this group at least. Positive and negative comments: it’s basically a discussion on “Am I getting my money’s worth?”

We arrived at Shakey’s SM Dasmariñas around 8pm. The place was busy and there was another group waiting for a table. There were a small number of free tables which makes one wonder why the staff lets its customers waste time waiting.

Kuya Sherwin had to identify a free table and request for a member of the staff to prepare it for our group. Ideally, there is a staff member waiting at the entrance of the restaurant ready to lead customers in their tables ASAP. People go to restaurants because they are hungry – and they want to be fed immediately.

Waiters were quick to take our orders which is good. The place has a wash area and a comfort room – a major plus.

The house blend iced tea was served and was found bland. It was too diluted (as diluted as the hand soap in the wash area). We did share the bland house iced tea comment to the staff. To set things in context, two Shakey’s patrons both said that the iced tea was bland. It was lacking in its “tea-ness”. Although, the quality of the house blend iced tea improved (during the last refill).

Then came the mojos that the group craved. We were disappointed. The potatoes were fried in a temperature below the ideal. The oil just wasn’t hot enough. The mojos usually has a layer of batter which becomes a slightly crispy coating when fried in the right temperature. What was served to our table wasn’t mojos – it was a pile of tasteless, limp slices of potatoes soaked in cooking oil with a very thin batter. This was not similar to the Shakey’s mojos served in other Shakey’s restaurants and we’d never believe that’s the way it’s supposed to be cooked.

While waiting for the rest of the order to come, the waitress approached our table with our supposed “change”. We explained we haven’t paid for the bill yet – we haven’t even started eating (which I think was quite obvious). She then left and went back to the cashier. A “thank-you-for-your-honesty” would  have been nice. Not required, but it would have been nice. Even an apologetic smile will do. But nope, we got none of that.

The fries were in better condition. The classic spaghetti and the chicken was great.

Then came the request for ice. I requested for ice and I got a glass with few ice cubes. Wouldn’t it be better if the waiter had asked rest of the occupants of the table if they also wanted ice? And perhaps bring us a mini bucket of ice?  I again requested ice from the waitress assigned to the table. She seemed to have forgotten about it. We had to follow it up with another member of the staff after a long wait. The follow-up resulted to at last – a small bucket (half-filled) with ice.

When it was time to pay the bill, Kuya Sherwin gave his credit card. The waiter requested that he pay in cash. Here’s the good part. We can’t use the credit card because the cashier made the mistake of processing our receipt. The waiter explained that since it has been punched in, it would be better that we paid in cash.

Point number 1: You always find the most convenient method of payment for your customers – and let you customers choose the method of payment they want to use. Their convenience is priority.

Point number 2: You are not to cause any inconvenience to your customers because of an error made by the staff. Deal with it.

Point number 3: Perhaps you could have been nicer? The idea we got was we needed to pay in cash because your cashier made a mistake. The least you could have done was offer an apology and politely request if we can pay in cash – and least thank us when we did decide to pay in cash.

It would be great if you are more aware of the needs of your customers by constantly checking the tables. It’s not limited to refilling bottomless drinks. It takes a while before we get your attention and even a loooonger time to get what we requested for (of course we have to follow it up).

Yes, perhaps the shop had a busy day and the staff are tired – but that’s no excuse. I’m not claiming this happens all the time but it’s what we experienced – and we know this isn’t how things are supposed to be. Been to other better performing Shakey’s branches so there’s a basis for comparison.

Customers go to restaurants expecting the quality service and food  promised – wherever the branch is, whatever the time.

Ratings

  • 1 -excellent (worth recommending) 😀
  • 2 -good (not crazy about it but it’s above average) 🙂
  • 3 -average (so-so, okay) 😐
  • 4 -tolerable (below average but I can still take it) 😦
  • 5-poor (disaster) 😡

Shakey’s SM Dasmariñas

  1. Quality of food: 4 😦
  2. Service: 4 😦
  3. Amenities: 2 🙂
  4. Decor/restaurant layout: 2 🙂

Overall Rating: 😐

Translation: I’m not excited to go back but I’d probably give it another try – not in the immediate future. And hopefully they’ll serve real mojos.

_________________________________________________________

The manager personally came to Los Baños (all the way from Dasmariñas), about three hours commute, to inquire about what happened. We greatly appreciate the effort.  He was apologetic. He explained that he was not on duty the night we dined but it was his responsibility to make sure it does not happen again. I do think that if he were present that night, he would have handled things better.

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