To the management of The Manhattan Fish Market

Dear Management of The Manhattan Fish Market,

As a frequent patron of your restaurant, I enjoy your food and have recommended many to your doors. Today was no exception. To celebrate a friend’s birthday, we made a call to your Plaza Singapura outlet to place a reservation for 10 people at 6.15pm. I was worried that your restaurant wouldn’t accept reservations on a public holiday such as Good Friday, but an employee of yours confirmed our reservation for 10, taking down our contact number and even adding a friendly “See you later!” before ending the call.

We arrived at 6.15pm, only to be told by Shafi, an employee, that the restaurant wasn’t accepting reservations for the day, and that there was only a “priority waiting list”. He was “sorry” that a colleague “must have made a mistake” by promising us a table, and that he would “try his best and place us on the waiting list, but no guarantees”.

Under other circumstances, I would have understood that your restaurant must have been swarmed with many requests given the occasion. But given that your employee’s earlier promise led to us making other plans for the night, the option of “placing us on the priority waiting list without guarantees” came as an insult. The ability to have an enjoyable dinner before our movie at 8.20pm was crucial. To “join the queue along with the rest” and “wait for a table for 10 to clear up” was not an option, but the restaurant was not able to take responsibility for an employee’s mistake either.

On another note, there was a row of empty tables (big enough to fit 10), but we were informed that it was “for customers who were on the priority waiting list”. If calling way ahead of 6.15pm to place a reservation for 10 did not qualify as being on a “priority waiting list”, I wonder how customers get on this prestigious list?

You would think that a restaurant’s word to its customers (employee mistake or not) can be trusted. That an F&B company as distinguished as yours would place customer service as one of its top priorities, insist on quality service and nothing less. I’m sorry that an incident like this had to happen, affecting my impression of Manhattan Fish Market and changing my dining options in future.

P.S. As for our dinner before our 8.20pm movie, don’t worry. We took it next door with your neighbor, Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe. They were understanding of our customer needs and accommodated 10 of us within minutes.

With deep regrets,
Ann Lek

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