I have always enjoyed pizza express pizzas, more..
I have always enjoyed pizza express pizzas, more so than any other pizza brand, but tonight in your Whiteley branch my wife, daughter and I received one of the worst customer service experiences I have had for some time. I had pre-booked and arrived at 20:00, which was the time we had booked. No table was made up but the person who greeted us quickly cleared a table and we were seated and menus brought. We then waited 25 minutes before someone came back to see if we wanted drinks. During this time it became apparent that it was very cold in the restaurant, with around half the people eating in their coats. My wife did not want to stay in her coat but remained uncomfortably cold all evening. After we ordered drinks, a shared starter and our mains pizzas, it was a further 20 minutes before our server came back to say they only had enough stock left to make one of the cocktails we had ordered. So I asked for the menu so I could pick another drink. After a further 10 minutes the two drinks for my wife and daughter arrived and only then did I get a menu. Having spent a short while selecting a drink it took me over 5 minutes to get anyone’s attention to take my order. After a while my drink appeared and then our pizzas turned up. I said to the person that delivered them that we had not received our starter, but as the pizzas were here to forget them. This was very disappointing. The manager came over and said he had heard we had not had our starter and, I quote said “that’s fine, we will not charge you for that”. I did not think it was fine at all, and there was no apology at all. So over an hour after we arrived we actually received some food, and the restaurant was only half full at that time. The pizza was very tasty as usual but we all said it was rather cold, probably due to the overall coldness in the restaurant. My wife and I had both finished our pizzas but my daughter still had about a quarter of her pizza left. But the waitress came over and cleared both my and my wife plates. My daughter felt like she needed to hurry up. This is quite unacceptable service. Whilst I would have usually had a dessert the evening was so bad I just asked for the bill. When it arrived it included both the cocktails even though they had only delivered one, so we had to have that changed. All in all a really poor experience, and we paid £57 for it. A real shame and absolutely unnecessary, as the pizzas are really good. Given I live in Whiteley and there are many alternative dining outlets it is surprising the team there delivered such poor service. One other thing that was apparent, when the waitress took our order she spent all her attention on working the phone to take the order rather than engaging with us as guests. If technology is getting in the way then it is not right, I have eaten many times in both the southampton and winchester pizza express restaurants and always had really good experiences, but Whiteley was truly awful, regrettably.