I normally love our family trips to Pizza Express..
I normally love our family trips to Pizza Express but today has been very, very disappointing at the Northampton store. We arrived at 5.45 having booked our table online and there was no record of our table. Once we were seated we ordered etc. It took a while for our starters to arrive but it took an hour and a half for our Pizza's to arrive! I was there with my 1 year old and 7 year old so as you can imagine they were then too tired to eat. We asked for our Pizzas to be boxed up ......a staff member came over and gave us the boxes so we could do it ourselves....having made a comment about this someone told the new staff member that they should do it for us. Having then spoken to our waitress who did apologise and was clearly embarrassed about the service, we discovered that training was going on for the new Rushden store. It would have been useful to know this when we arrived as it is clear the problems has been occuring before we got there. As we got ready to leave I was putting a coat on my 1 year old, she was stood up blocking the way of a young waiter (this would have been the case no matter where we stood as the Northampton restaurant is very cramped with chairs pretty much touching each other back to back in many places). I was just about to move her but before I could he placed his hand on her back and "guided" her out of his way, There was no malice intended, it was just a thoughtless gesture but he essentially pushed my 1 year old daughter out of his way. This is not an acceptable way to treat any child especially when I was clearly going to move her. Finally, I asked to speak to the manager and very politely explained that we had a less then ideal night, I think the most frustrating thing was that he was aware we had been waiting for a long time, he caught our eye a few times but actively avoided coming to apologise and clearly wasn't going to until I spoke to him about it! He basically left his staff to deal with lots of unhappy customers. This was supposed to be a birthday treat but it was actually just a very stressful visit. It has also guaranteed that I won't use the Northampton restaurant again. I totally understand training etc. but the manager wasn't new and his customer service was very disappointing. Instead, I will go to Milton Keynes where the staff have always been lovely. I have never, ever complained in a restaurant before, it's just not something I normally do. However, it was such a shambles tonight that I really felt I had no option. I might suggest that you review your staff training systems as the whole restaurant was chaos and there were a lot of unhappy customers tonight. Sorry for the long grumble but thought you should know :-(