We used to love The Old Spaghetti House or TOSH for short. I remember when I used to come to Manila (I was living in the province then) for a quick visit, I always made it a point to pop in at TOSH Waltermart in Makati for a bite of their sumptuous Eggplant Parmesana and mouth watering Aglio-olio.
Well, all that changed after a very rude manager at my ex-favorite TOSH outlet made our stay there very, very unpleasant. You see, TOSH partnered up with Ensogo. For those of you unfamiliar with Ensogo, it’s a group deal site that offers merchandise from retailers at a discounted price- the principle being profit through bulk. At the same time, it’s a way for establishments such as TOSH to promote their dishes to people unfamiliar with their product. And for faithful patrons like us to enjoy our favorites and perhaps cement out relationship with the establishment.
So it was that we bought two vouchers worth Php 2000.00 for half the price. Excited about the deal, we hurriedly reserved a slot at TOSH Waltermart to use one of our vouchers (worth Php 1000.00). As we entered the establishment, the staff greeted us as politely as always. And then things drastically took a nasty turn when we informed the waiter that we had a voucher from Ensogo.
The first thing we noticed was the manager’s distinct tone of disdain as he looked at the printed voucher the waiter was holding and said “Ah, Ensogo”. Then the temperature in the room dropped. The manager and the waiter serving us were now a tad cold and not that accommodating. Not wanting to spoil a happy moment, we decided to shrug it off. Perhaps we had the wrong perception.
Then the little things started to add up. Our requests for water, paper napkins and toothpicks was delayed considerably and in one instance, a refill for a glass of water was totally ignored. Which was weird because only two tables were occupied in the restaurant- ours and another sweet couple a few tables farther away. Plus, being regulars, we recognized the staff and knew they usually had excellent service.
We started to feel that we were being discriminated for using Ensogo vouchers. This is the first time we felt discriminated for having the vouchers. To top it off, the staff did not update us as to how much we consumed from our Php 1000.00 voucher. No updates, no nothing. And when I asked how much we spent already (I planned to order a drink if we still hadn’t reached our limit), they presented us with a bill and informed us that ordering was already closed as the bill had already been rung up.
At that point, I kinda lost it. Why in the world would they close the bill when I didn’t even request for it? As it was, we barely even reached our limit! We still had around Php 200.00 to spend! So I said so to the waiter and for my effort he gave me a blank stare. No apologies, nothing.
Needles to say, I was incensed! I asked for the receipt planning to take pictures of it and blog about my ruined TOSH experience later, but heavens, they declined! Imagine an establishment, declining, DECLINING to give the customer a copy of the receipt! Why? The manager, in a robotic tone said simply “eh kasi Ensogo kayo.” I wanted to scream at him then, but I calmed myself and with steel in my eyes told him that it was against the law not to give a receipt and that I was not leaving until he gave me one. I had all intention of calling the BIR hotline if he continued to decline. In the end, I got my receipt and we left the establishment, vowing never to return.
Since then we avoided eating at TOSH. Even when we had cravings for pasta, we went and looked for other establishments. Just not at TOSH. Of course, we also avoided recommending the restaurant to our friends. We were that slighted by what happened. That kind of treatment was just distasteful. I fully intended to blog about the incident at the time it happened or written a note to the management; but work and other demands of life made doing that inconvenient. We just avoided eating at TOSH.
Continued in part 2.