Paul Trace from the Rock Salt Bistro shows off his trophy for best presentation of food in the Bundaberg Food and Hospitality Awards.
Paul Trace from the Rock Salt Bistro shows off his trophy for best presentation of food in the Bundaberg Food and Hospitality Awards. Mike Knott

Rude staff leave bad taste in comp

RUDENESS to customers in city eateries was one of the main complaints anonymous judges in the first Bundaberg Food and Hospitality Awards reported.

Foodie June Bunt launched her campaign to lift standards in the city’s cafes and restaurants in January, and it culminated yesterday with awards handed out to the winners.

The winner of the award for best presentation was the Rock Salt Bistro at Across The Waves Sports Club, with the Park Lane Restaurant second.

The best customer service award went to the Metropolitan Hotel, with the White China restaurant runner-up.

Rock Salt head chef Paul Trace said it was a nice reward for all the effort his staff put in.

“You’ve got to give people a good experience from the time they walk in and sit down until they leave,” he said.

“First impressions are important.”

Mr Trace said he had had to deal with some difficult people during his career, but that was part of the industry.

Metropolitan Hotel owner-manager Jarrod Murphy said they concentrated on good food and good service.

“It’s all about being treated as you would like to be treated when you go out,” he said.

Mr Murphy said the atmosphere at the Metropolitan was because they had aimed at families and business customers.

“A lot of good things come out of a hotel, but we do have problems from time to time,” he said.

Presenting the awards, Mrs Bunt said her two judges had been very impressed with the winners.

“The staff were pleasant and their plates were removed quickly after they were finished,” she said.

But she said a lot of coffee shops and small food outlets were let down by the rudeness of their staff.

“They were very rude to the customers, and that needs to improve a lot,” she said.

“In one coffee shop one of the waiters approached a customer and said, ‘What do you want?’”

Mrs Bunt said there was not a lot of interest in some of the outlets in customer service and food presentation.

She plans to run the awards again next year, and hopes in that time to see a big improvement in standards in the Bundaberg hospitality industry.



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