Dubai fine-dining outlets sparkle in Service Spy
This month, Ethos Consultancy’s team of mystery shoppers glammed up to visit three of Dubai’s top fine-dining establishments: so were their experiences Michelin-star standard, or lacking sparkle?
Fine dining outlets with Michelin-starred patron chefs
• Rhodes Mezzanine
• Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire
Caterer Middle East has partnered up with customer service experts Ethos Consultancy to highlight F&B service standards at outlets across the UAE. Each month, we’ll reveal mystery shoppers’ assessments of four different F&B outlets, to explore what these venues are doing right and what could be improved.
This isn’t about catching F&B outlets with their trousers down: by measuring performance and providing expert advice on areas for improvement, we want to help better these operations — and the industry in general.
Ethos Consultancy’s trained mystery shoppers are given a specific selection of outlets. Each shopper visits their assigned restaurant and dines as usual. Within 24 hours of every experience, each shopper fills out an online report, providing Ethos consultants with the information they require to offer constructive advice.
Each mystery shopper is instructed to look out for the following:
• Did the outlet appear clean and tidy?
• Were menus clear and easy to follow?
Sales and service
• The greeting received from staff
• The appearance of staff
• Time taken to be served
• Did the waiter ask questions to establish his customer’s preferences and needs?
• Was the waiter knowledgeable about the items on offer?
• If an item was not available, did the waiter provide other helpful suggestions?
• Did the waiter attempt to up- or cross-sell by suggesting complementary items?
• Would your experience encourage you to visit this outlet again?
• Did you leave the outlet with a positive impression of the venue?
• Would you recommend this outlet to friends, family or colleagues?
• What could have been done to better your entire experience?
The expert analysis:
What better way to welcome another year of Dubai extravagance than by visiting three of the best fine dining restaurants the emirate has to offer.
We were delighted to find that reports were positive, with all three restaurants scoring around 90% and above.
Rhodes Mezzanine and Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire stole the show, with only 2% between them. Our shoppers were blown away by their experiences and found it very difficult to fault either of these locations.
Rhodes managed to score a perfect 100% which is a first for Service Spy!
Reflets came very close with a total of 98%, only losing points for placing one mystery shopper on hold for too long while making the reservation, with another shopper felt that they didn’t quite receive value for money.
Overall, reports from both Rhodes Mezzanine and Reflets were a pleasure to read. All shoppers were warmly welcomed, and felt their waiter was extremely knowledgably and helpful with food and beverage choices — all of which contributed to the thrill and experience of eating exquisitely delicious dishes.
Ossiano at Atlantis should not be forgotten either, scoring a brilliant 89%. Food and beverages were amazing and the venue was impeccable, however one of our shoppers had trouble booking their table as no one would pick up the telephone.
This shopper decided to take a risk and just turn up; as a result, she had to wait in the bar while the table was prepared, which was fine, but as she was hungry the shopper decided to order a taster while she waited.
After a lovely drink and taste of what was to come, the shopper sat down at her table and explained she would only be ordering a main meal as she had just eaten her entrée in the bar. This caused a few problems, and both entrée and main arrived at the table.
The chef was extremely generous with the amuse-bouches and warm fresh bread, but our shopper was unable to finish all the food. She couldn’t help but think all this could have been avoided if someone had simply answered the telephone so she could have got a table when she arrived!
What could have been done better?
• A fine dining ‘experience’ is rare for most, which is why it’s important to listen to your customers’ needs and do everything possible to exceed them. Nothing should be too much trouble (of course this should really be the case in all restaurants). This month’s Service Spy clearly indicates a customer is less than pleased when they feel they are not being listened to.
• One of our shoppers noted they had a food allergy when they made their online reservation. This allergy was not mentioned by the waiter once the customer was seated and ready to order — they had to bring it up again of their own accord.
If you go to the trouble of adding this question into your online booking form, it makes sense to use this useful information to ‘wow’ your customer with your attention to detail once they arrive.