A little change for this week! No doubt you are full & fat from Valentines so no food reviews today. Instead read our Top Seven Customer Musts…. (Although you might be hated by the owner)

Think First Thursdays

This week Universal Levels have tailored our content for Think First Thursdays. This week we have been to so many dining/drinking spots with our partners and family. Because or the service we received over this Valentines Period we feel that our Top Seven is necessary.

Eating Out or Drinking The Night Away?


  1. Service Charge. We are not paying it unless we want to. We will dictate to you what we feel the service is. Unless we are told on arrival or the menu is swarmed with service charge reminders; we are not paying. If you think that we are paying extra for a lazy waiter or poor food then think again. You may encounter problems at the venue when you request to take it off. Stick to your guns and explain the reasons why you refuse to pay it. We would rather tip our servers than tip the venue, at least this way these runners may feel job satisfaction. Thus delivering every service with the aim of getting a tip.
  2. If we want to change the menu, we will change the menu. If you cannot let us change it then we will leave. We will not sit in a restaurant that cannot change their food. It makes us question whether their food is fresh or even cooked properly. Your venue becomes a case for speculation as ALL venues should be able to cater to their customers needs. If we want no Mushrooms in our Spag Bowl then give us no Mushrooms. Do not tell us you cannot do this as we will leave.
  3. Try the Wine before you buy. If they cannot let you try it we suggest you do not buy their overpriced wine. Many restaurants choose a house bottle that tastes like vinegar. This toxic wine at approx. £8 a glass dampens the mood if given before a meal. Why drink chemical wine when you want a smooth quality Merlot? Do not do it! Request a sample of their wines and choose what you like. If the venue doesn’t accommodate then opt for the cheapest drink on the menu. The gross profit these places are getting from some of their wines is ridiculous. So the least they can do is offer you a teaspoon of wine to taste in the hope you will neck the whole bottle.
  4. Visit the toilets before placing your food order. If the venue cannot keep this area clean then you should think about the cleanliness throughout their establishment. Tell the restaurant about their dirty toilets; do they act on it or do they delay? Lets say they delay activating hygiene requests, then would they do the same with your food? When your cooked burger is dropped on the kitchen floor will the chef cook you a new one or serve you the same grime burger?
  5. As a host keep yourself clean. If you see your host and feel their hygiene is a problem then we suggest approaching the manager. We will change our server if we feel it is needed. Last week one waiter wiped his nose with the back of his hand and then came straight to us with our food. We refused to eat the food, discussed what had occurred with a manager and left the venue. We dread to think if he washed his hands after his toilet break. Another lady waitress was twirling her hair over the salad bar; by the time we were finished with the venue every salad bowl was changed. If you are clean and tidy why would you eat from dirty people? You wouldn’t.
  6. Request where you want to sit. We hate being sat in an area for the benefit of a restaurant. Do not place us at the window when you are empty; we are not here to advertise your food. Do not tell us we are sitting in an area with no ambience. Do not tell us that our romantic meal will take place on the table next to three children. We  will choose where we sit and if your reason is valid as to why we cannot sit there, we will accept this. Yet if you are fobbing us off and refuse to seat us where we want then we will leave. You have the right to enjoy your meal to the fullest and feel satisfied with every aspect of your visit.
  7. Anything you receive that does not taste right, is undercooked, is not what you asked for, etc, etc. Then speak up. If you do not tell the management or server then you must have money to waste. Why burn currency on a meal that is not want you wanted? If we ask for a rare steak and you send it well done, then you will get that steak back. We heavyily suggest you deploy manners as your food will be prepared again by the staff. So if you talk to them disrespectfully then expect a case of food-borne illness the next morning. We cannot see what happens in a kitchen, we trust them to feed us; yet I am not trusting a chef I just annoyed to feed me a meal like its my last.


Universal Levels have stopped our rant at seven key points. However we feel in the hospitality sector you could write a much longer list. It is apparent from our team discussions 50% of us were not fully satisfied with our Valentines venues. We want you to remember that you have a voice. The money you are spending is YOURS and not the restaurants until the bill arrives. You cannot leave without paying as that is a crime; however we happily accept free drinks, a reduction on our bill or even a voucher. Take charge of your satisfaction.



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