Poor service remains London diners' biggest bugbear

24 January 2012 by
Poor service remains London diners' biggest bugbear

Bad service is the biggest bugbear for restaurant diners in the capital, according to a new survey.

Grumbles over poor service in restaurants amount to 45% of all complaints and eclipse the second-largest area of upset, which is ambience and decor (19.5%), reports the 2012 Square Meal Complaints Survey.

The restaurant guide's annual look at the industry, based on the opinions of about 8,000 London restaurantgoers, found that rude staff, slow service and unknowledgeable staff as well as the practice of automatically adding a service charge to the bill, contributed to ruining guests' dining experience.

Also on the capital's list of annoyances was disappointing or overpriced food, although this has remained steady at 18.5%, with diners enjoying set menus at high end restaurants and other offers.

London's favourite restaurant was Jason Atherton's Pollen Street Social, which was awarded the BMW Square Meal Award for Restaurant of the Year. The first solo venture from former Gordon Ramsay Holdings' Maze chef director Atherton, the Michelin-starred Mayfair restaurant was praised for offering top quality food, good value and impeccable service.

Cash-strapped consumers reserve eating out for special occasions >>

Simon Rogan's Roganic named best new restaurant by Square Meal >>

Jason Atherton wins Time Out's top fine dining award >>

By Kerstin Kühn

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