Earlier today I had what amounted to the worst restaurant experience of my life at The Liberty Restaurant located at 25 Liberty St. in Liberty Village, Toronto. The Liberty was featured by Restaurant Makeover back in 2005. NOW magazine also posted a similar bad review on the restaurant after Restaurant Makeover had completed its makeover.
Han and I went there to try out the brunch since they were advertising that they serve brunch from 11AM-4PM. So after sitting down on the patio, their first mistake was that they served 2 people who had arrived after us. Normally this is no big deal; I wasn’t too concerned about it (at first). After the couple that arrived after us ordered their food, the waitress brought us their menus because they were now done ordering. We first ordered 2 glasses of orange juice and the waitress promptly brought out our orange juice and took our food order.
After we placed our food order, we waited for over 45 minutes for our food. The waitress hadn’t even stopped by our table to ask us if everything was okay. She wearily approached us after the 45 minutes and told us that she had forgotten to place our order but she had just done it now. She told us they aren’t busy so we should receive our food quickly. She then tried to shift the blame to us by saying that we should have flagged her down and reminded her. I was a little bit shocked that she expected us to know that she had forgotten our order and we should have wandered around to find her to tell her that we hadn’t received our food yet. Despite her comment, at that moment everything was still okay because I figured she felt a bit dumb for forgetting to place our order for that long and she told us that she would “take care of something” on our bill. By this time, the two girls who arrived before us had already finished their food.
Within 5 to 10 minutes, our food came out. Everything was good at this point until about 5 minutes later when it started raining. Since we were sitting on the patio, our food was getting wet so we decided to move inside. Nobody was around to help us carry our things in, so Han and I each carried in our plate, utensils, and our orange juice inside. I left the Ketchup bottle outside because I had no capacity to carry it in one trip, and it was close to being empty anyway so I figured we would just ask the waitress for a new one once inside.
Ten minutes go by. I’m eating very slowly because I’m waiting for her to come by so I can ask for some new ketchup. I finally get fed up when she didn’t come by our table at all, so I walked outside, grabbed the ketchup off our old table on the patio and wiped the rain off it and proceeded to use it.
After finishing our meal and another 5 minutes went by. The waitress still hadn’t come by our table since giving us our food, even though she could clearly see us because we saw her several times behind the bar across the room we were sitting in. So I decided to walk Han’s leftovers up to the cashier and ask them to wrap it and ask for the bill because I hadn’t received any service. (On a side note I also noticed another frustrated couple who had been served by the same waitress had to walk up to the cashier and explicitly ask for the bill). So the other waitress who was at the cashier area took Han’s chicken wrap to package it up for us to take home.
Our waitress then walked up to the cashier desk and printed out our receipt. There was still no apology for not coming by our table AT ALL after receiving our food and no apology for forgetting our order. She simply says “I’ve taken your two orange juices off the bill”. I was appalled that after this whole experience, she was only offering to cover our OJ’s. So I told her I expected that one of the meals would have been covered, not simply 2 orange juices. She then tells me that the orange juices are $7, and the other waitress in an extremely bitchy voice says out loud to the other waitress “It’s $7”. She finally agreed to charge me for the orange juices but take one meal off the bill after I told her that waiting an hour for food is worth more than a couple orange juices (Which weren’t worth $7 anyway; it tasted like Minute Maid orange juice and the glasses were full of ice which is a big no-no in my book).
So I paid the reduced bill which amounted to $22 and walked out of there stunned that a trendy restaurant like this would have such poor customer service. I swear I’ve received better service at McDonalds than that. It wasn’t as if they were busy; there were only 4 or 5 couples eating there, and there were 2 waitresses working.
Shortly after leaving the restaurant Han and I realized that they hadn’t given us the chicken wrap that we had asked them to wrap up for us. We thought better than to reignite our anger and frustration by returning to the restaurant so we just let it be and continued on our way home.
with wait-staff nightmares like that, it is probably best not to take away the doggie bag… you never know what they will do to the food after it leaves your sight. that’s quite the harrowing story dude. i’m almost tempted to go and check it out for myself to experience the worst service in toronto!