date of visit: Sat 28 August 2010
Yakumi, a tiny Japanese restaurant on Jetty Road, Glenelg has been something of a favourite venue amongst my extended family for quite some time. So much so that my uncle and aunt actually booked out the whole restaurant for my cousin’s 21st birthday.
So you might be thinking that you’re about to read about the family’s latest, greatest experience, eating fabulous Japanese food and enjoying an all round top night out.
You could not be further from the truth.
There aren’t many seats at the Yakumi as it’s popular and, as we were planning a Saturday evening sortie, my father rang the Tuesdsay beforehand to book a table for 6 people for 7:30pm. The phone was answered, the booking was taken (including name and contact number) and the family promptly put the date in its collective diary.
And when we arrived at the restaurant on Saturday night we found my uncle and aunt on the footpath … apparently not a record of our booking in sight. With a full restaurant there was nothing that could be done except leave and find somewhere else to eat – always a handy thing to do as it pushes 8pm on a Saturday night.
So there’s no raving about the food here, just a comment on how truly awful service is at the Yakumi. Taking a booking isn’t rocket science … 6 people, 7:30pm, Saturday … I’m pretty sure even I could manage it. And if I ran a restaurant, I’d want to keep both potential customers happy and I’d be making sure that repeat customers keep on coming back – and that starts by not messing up bookings.
I’m prepared to accept that mistakes happen and bookings do get lost … but this isn’t actually the first time my family has had this experience so we can only conclude that while whatever happens in the kitchen at the Yakumi might be good, front of house leaves a lot to be desired.
Perhaps you won’t mind the embarrassment and hassle that a misplaced booking causes but for us, it’s more than a good enough excuse to check out some of Adelaide’s other Japanese restaurants.
If your front line staff can’t take a booking, customers will never have the opportunity to try your food. The eating out experience starts when the phone is first answered …