Banff Lodge Customer Ignored, Sent to Chicken Inn

Updated below

Here is a disturbing story from a Bulawayo resident, who had a nasty experience at a local restaurant.

[On the 22nd January 2016] I went to dine at The Deck at Banff Lodge. I arrived just after 8pm and sat at the bar. Some of my friends were already there and were having drinks. On arrival I requested a menu from the Bartender and he said a waiter would bring me one.

I continued chatting to my friends and 30 minutes into being there no waiter had brought me a menu neither had I been offered a drink menu. I asked again for a menu and the Bartender yet again said one would be brought. I kept looking up but non of the waiters were coming my way. Eventually after almost an hour had elapsed a waiter came to inform me the kitchen was closed.

At this point I was extremely annoyed and I stood up and went to the reception area where two white girls seemed too busy to assist me. When I eventually got their attention I told them I had had to wait for over an hour to be given a menu only to be told the kitchen was closed. To which one of the girls responded the kitchen is closed. I then exclaimed the only reason I was at Banff Lodge was to eat and the girl simply responded “Chicken Inn is still open go and eat there.”

While all this was happening the tables with white people had been served food.

I then left after being told to go to Chicken Inn.

Thanks for following up on my nasty experience.

If this indeed happened as narrated, it is something that should never happen again.

We have forwarded this to Banff Lodge for a response.


Update 4/2/16 – We have received a reply from Banff Lodge (in record time).

Thank you for forwarding this complaint onto us at Banff Lodge.  I have read this complaint and am horrified at this incident.  We are in the business of serving food and drinks, and it’s definitely not good business to either turn a customer away or to refer them elsewhere, wherever possible.

Please be assured that we are taking this complaint very seriously and all staff members involved will be disciplined.

I do hope that the customers involved in this are not put off coming back to our restaurant and I do hope that they can come in to our office to discuss this further, should they wish, and accept our apology.  No customer should ever be treated this way.

Kind regards

Banff Lodge Hotel

Lisa Dixon


Image © Tripadvisor

8 Comments Add yours

  1. General says:

    As one of the employees at bannf who witnessed this whole incident, let me put the record straight. whilst it’s very unfortunate that our customer did not have a chance to have food, I feel there are some issues in that article which are not real. Firstly its very impossible for one to stay for an hour without getting service at the deck. That’s a very big lie the world must not be made to believe. According to her she waited for one and half hours!!, She also said she joined her friends who were having drinks, where were the friends getting drinks if there was no service? Were they drinking one round of drinks for one and half hours? complaints are most welcome but the levels of exaggeration sometimes lives much to be desired!!

    The customer did not arrive at 8pm as stated but something towards 9pm of which our kitchen closes 8: 45 pm. I’m sure the customer signaled the bartender for a menu of which the he also told the waiter. The waiter went to the kitchen to know if the chefs can do something before giving the menu because it was already after time. When he returned with the news that the kitchen is closed, all hell break lose!

    it’s also very possible that you can find people finishing off their dinner or getting served desserts but the kitchen closed for any other food orders. so its not an issue of saying tables of white people were being served food, no. Friday is our busiest day of the week and the kitchen can tell the waiters not to take any more food orders for efficiency’s sake but you can’t stay for an hour before being attended.

    When our kitchen is closed and chefs are gone, we can offer hot chips, biltong and peanuts. if indeed the customer was told to go to that said outlet for food it was out of a helping heart not the other way round as presented. Bannf is a place where everyone is welcome and where is everyone gets equal service , therefore everyone is welcome.

    1. Joe Ruzvidzo says:

      Comrade, how can you say you “witnessed this whole incident” and then question where they got the drinks?

      Even just from reading the story, it says he sat AT THE BAR and asked the BARTENDER to get a menu and a waiter, so it follows logically that the BARTENDER was serving them drinks.

      Please, c’mon.

      1. General says:

        pliz take your time to read carefully again what the customer said and my response . You will discover that what you just said doesn’t fit anywhere at all. I tried by all means to answer every complaint the customer raised in that article. The question does not require answers at all but someone to think.

        The customer said she/ he arrived at the bar and joined friends who were having drinks at the bar. She/he was neither offered a drink menu as her friends continue getting served because she said they were drinking. My question which you didn’t understand, is it possible that the friends were getting served drinks whilst her alone was being neglected for one and half hours? Instead of saying she was neglected, it was going to make sense if she had said they served my friends and neglected me but we were seated together.

        1. Joe Ruzvidzo says:

          I understand the instinct of self preservation, but I’m not sure whether it’s lack of understanding or just lying.

          Initially there was no drinks menu offered. But going further, the issue of drinks completely disappears from the complaint.

          Meaning that obviously the drinks menu was sorted.

          Why don’t you focus on the actual complaint, the food issue, instead of trying to hide behind a story of drinks which is obviously not the problem here?

          Is it fear? Since you claim to work at Banff and “witnessed” the whole issue, wouldn’t you rather be tryin to apologise for a terrible experience than trying to obfuscate things and raising such questions like “how someone can sit for one and a half hours without a drink” when clearly the complaint is about food service?

  2. Tangai Murangari says:

    I frequent Banff Lodge as both a guest and dine at the deck. My experiences have been so pleasant it pretty much is the only place I take meals when in Bulawayo. Extremely pleasant staff are always at your beckon call. I think its a sad case if true but I vouch for this establishment as one of the most outstanding in the country!

    1. Joe Ruzvidzo says:

      Glad to hear you’ve had good times at The Deck. As with every business, there are good and bad experiences.

      1. Eleanor says:

        hate it when people negate your negative experiences for their good ones. Are we the same person? Are we ever going to experience anything in the exact same way? While one’s happy for your positive experience, it doesn’t ignore the fact that other people will have bad ones. And not only is it dismissive to downplay that, it smacks of wholesale arrogance. Each person is entitled to their expression of events that personally affected them.

  3. Banff Lodge says:

    Dear Joe.

    We are extremely disturbed to hear of the bad experience that you had here at The Deck. It absolutely is not acceptable by any means and we will be taking this serious matter up with all staff members involved.

    Please feel free to come in and speak with us regarding this incident, and I do hope it has not put you off coming to our establishment.

    Management @ Banff Lodge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.