We had an amazing day watching a very entertaining movie and wifey was happy as she was able to do quite a bit of shopping and get some great deals. So we decided to visit a very famous restaurant on East Street, Camp for our dinner, as we had heard a lot about the kebabs and tandoori dishes. So we reached the restaurant at around 2130hrs IST and the restaurant was having a fair bit of crowd. The waiter told us that the waiting was 15 mins. We got our names noted and were waiting our turn. After waiting for roughly 25 mins, and seeing some tables empty, when still our name was not called out, I enquired and was told that they have received some reservation for a big family and the tables were kept empty for them. We were hungry and this was a lil too much. When I questioned that we were waiting quite a while, I was told only families are allowed to sit inside and couples have to sit in the open seating area. Infuriated I was, but I decided to keep my cool. After roughly 45 minutes we finally got a table and was allocated a waiter. After placing our order, while we were waiting for our food to arrive, suddenly another weird looking couple came and in this very famous and fairly expensive restaurant on East Street in Camp, sat on the very same table where we were seated. Me and my wife were unpleasantly surprised and started looking at each other not realising what to do. We told them the table was occupied and we had already placed our order. We started looking for our waiter and that ridiculous couple started creating a boundary with the glasses on the table and the couple told us they cannot wait that long in the queue so they have a deal with the waiter and he allowed them to occupy our table.
For a failting moment, I would have got butterflies in my stomach thinking I am soon going to be on MTV as Cyrus Brocha will come out and call me a Bakra soon, But Alas, the Grand Finale episode was aired an year back, so this was happening for real.
Back to reality - these wierdos were giving us instructions that we can continue to eat our food on one half of the table and they will eat on the other half and they will not disturb us. To top it all, the lady was chewing some sort of tobacco or ghutka or something like that and her mouth was stinking really bad.
This was the final nail in the coffin. We were hungry, we were exhausted and the last thing we wanted in a nice expensive restaurant was to share our table with a couple of wierdos who had no etiquettes or civic sense. We asked for the waiter and yelled at him about what the hell was going on. It was an expensive restaurant and not some roadside eatery. But the waiter was like sir Bhid bahut hai adjust karlo na. I was infuriated. I asked for the manager or someone senior, and to our surprise, there was no one available to whom we could complain even after waiting for 10 mins. During this ordeal, that couple continued to behave as if everything was normal and asked us to calm down and made us feel as if we were unnecessarily making a fuss about it. My wife was pissed and just wanted to leave. A beautiful day was spoilt because of this experience.
This was way back in 2011. I was young and felt helpless, as not only I lost a perfect ending to a perfect day, it left a sour taste in my memory. I wanted to do something, talk about this incident and do some sort of a damage to the reputation of the restaurant so they also realize the importance of respecting customers or suffer some loss. But back then, we did not have that many options. So while sitting and thinking, frustration took the better of me and I came out with the idea that I will create a group for foodies in Pune, where people who regularily eat out, could share their experiences while visiting the numerous restaurants we have across Pune and provide a platform to vent out in case if they had a bad experience.
This was roughly 9 yrs back on 11th May 2011. I never thought back then that Pune Foodies - created to vent out about the frustration a couple had with a restaurant in Pune, will turn out to be such a beautiful and large group of such amazing and beautiful people spread across more than 45 countries. Today the Pune Foodies group is a humoungous force to recon with. The best of Five Stars, A La Carte speciality restaurants, Chefs, Bloggers, are all part of this community. The Foodpreneurs of Pune want to promote their new ventures in collboration with Pune Foodies. Radio City, Alpenlibe, Farzi Cafe, BiryaniArt and multiple other brands have had collboration with Pune Foodies for various promotions in the past. To top it all, the brand has grown to such an extent that we now have 9 duplicate groups with the same or similar names. But it does not really bothers me, because I follow a very simple formula in life. If the idea is good, it will sell. And if the other groups are also contirbuting to bring the foodies together, and giving them a platform, they are helping me in my mission that too without charging me any cost.
So thats how Pune Foodies had its humble beginnings. Although the pleasant day went for a toss that evening, and I was cribbing for quite a while, it makes me look at that experience and think, if it was not for that unpleasant experience that night, I may not have created this group, which has brought together so many foodies in Pune in close contact of each other. Every end marks a new beginning !
Admin and Owner
Thank you for reading my first post on this blog. Let me ask you something.
Try to put yourself in this situation. What would you have done. Share your response in comments.