The customer, who complained about being served “virtually raw food”, said that when the manager came over to discuss the issue, she was “greeted with a face of misery”. The reviewer, identified as Janet, visited the Oaken Arms in Codsall, Staffordshire, earlier this summer.
Taking to TripAdvisor, she told how she did not have a pleasant experience but did praise the staff who were “rushed off their feet”, reports Birmingham Live.
The Oaken Arms as a 3.5 rating on Tripadvisor – with nearly 800 independent reviews. One recent reviewer said it was “without a doubt the best food in the Midlands”.
While another customer who visited in July said they had an “amazing lunch”, adding: “Thanks to everyone here for your amazing service that day.”
But Janet left her one “terrible” rating following her visit at the end of June. Her review’s headline simply said: “Miserable manager”.
Her review in full said: “Booked in for a table today as the manager was unable to find me an adequate table the day before.
“We were hoping for a more pleasant experience than the day before however this was certainly not the case.
“The food was virtually raw, staff were rushed off their feet and when I asked for the manager to come over the table was greeted with a face of misery.
“I can’t fault the other staff on tonight as I eventually received help with my complaint however the management tonight was appalling and were completely at fault for my bad experience.”
But the general manager of the Oaken Arms, identified as Mike on Tripadvisor, decided to respond to her complaints on Tripadvisor – apologising that she felt the “service was not up to standard”.
He added that the pub had been very busy that and had been fully booked most of the evenings, so they couldn’t offer Janet a table on the first evening.
He also said he felt it a shame that the first time Janet had left a review for them was a negative one after he said she has been complimentary in the past.
Mike’s response said: “I’d like to apologise if you felt the service was not up to standard this particular time.
“It is a busy week at The Oaken, and we have been fully booked most of the evenings, so if you have not reserved like you hadn’t on Tuesday, then it’s pretty difficult for us to find anything for you unfortunately, and likewise if you book and have no requests with that reservation, we allocate any table that is available.
“I have spoken to the supervisor on shift about this evening and we will look to make sure we can avoid any issue again.
“You have visited us on numerous occasions and been very complimentary about our food and service, in particular the lasagne; which we no longer serve on the menu but look to procure from wherever we can upon knowing you are visiting us to further improve your experience.
“So it is a shame you have chosen this one unfortunate event to leave your first review for us, and the first 1* star of my tenure here as manager, but you have seen us at our best before, and I am sure on your next visit normal service will be resumed and we can get a five star review as redemption.”
The Oaken Arms has 792 independent reviews on Tripadvisor – of which 480 are either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’. A reviewer who visited earlier this week, said: “Without a doubt the best food in the Midlands. The atmosphere, the staff are excellent and the menu is varied with the portions filling and satisfying.
“A special mention to Chloe our waitress who was attentive to our needs and served us in a professional manner with a smile. We will be booking up again very soon. Thank you all so much for making the wife’s 60th birthday meal such a marvellous experience. 12/10.”
Mia said: “We visited the Oaken Arms on a lovely sunny day, we was greeted by Chloe who assisted us to our table with a lovely smile and very pleasant. Our food was cooked to the highest standard by Craig Lewis and his lovely team, thoroughly enjoyed our lunch.
“Served super fast too! I will definitely be returning here as I saw some lovely meals being served so need to give them a try! I had the beef brisket sandwich, so flavoursome!
“Also a lovely bonus to this place is that you can take dogs, I took my little puppy and he loved all the attention he got. Lovely view to sit outside also on a hot summers day. Thanks to everyone here for your amazing service that day.”
And Emma added: “My partner and I are regular customers to this pub. I always leave happy and full of delicious food.
“The servers always do a great job to make me feel at home. Laura is great at knowing what we want and is always efficient at getting our order sorted fast.
“Never had a problem at all with this pub and would highly recommend the place to anyone looking for good value for money.”