Some of you may remember reading about the nightmare that was Piccolino Bristol. A couple of days later, I explained that I had decided to print off my post and send it to the company that owns the entire chain. And I promised to let you know if I received a response.
Well, a response has arrived – delayed by the snow and and glut of bank holidays.
The company's guest communications manager has asked me to call her so that she can "personally apologise" to me. All my comments have been passed on to the restaurant's general manager and operations manager for "further investigation".
And I have been invited to enjoy a complimentary meal for two at one of the Piccolino restaurants in London.
There's a side of me that wants to refuse the complimentary meal. Not out of some sort of bad grace or anything, but partly because I was hardly the only one who was affected by the Bristol experience and also because, when I wrote that piece and when I sent it to the company, it wasn't because I wanted some sort of compensation beyond what the manageress had given us the day after.
I wanted – I hoped – that I could have some small impact; that they would perhaps rethink what they're doing and see if there are not improvements that they can make so that those problems don't occur again.
If I take up their offer, does that compromise this blog? That might sound a bit daft, but as much as I can, I want this to be an honest and up-front endeavour. There's really no point in doing it otherwise.
On the other hand, let's see if they can do better on the food front. In terms of the letter from the company, I was impressed with the attitude shown. That's certainly a good start.
But the moral of this little story is that complaining works.