Venue: Inn on the Lake, Ockford Road, Godalming, GU7 1RH
Food: Casual dining
Group: 4 adults
Date: 8th November 2008 PM
This is an establishment that is so close to being great but fails on consistency. It tries to cram too many tables into the restaurant and the lounge area often has the apperance of a crèche with mothers and babies doing what they always do!
We have eaten there on at least 6 occassions in the last 6 months and each time they get something wrong and then the following time its put right – very annoying. The only thing that we feel is consistent is the food – well done Chef.
The waiting staff are dressed in a casual unifrom which suits the modern lounge style environment. We used to see a quite burly smiling duty manager that managed the staff – I am think he was from the southern hemisphere, but not seen him recently. Anyway he was great, pleasant efficient and very aware of what was happening in the restaurant and lounge areas. Recently we have not seen or recognised anyone taking over, as a result you see huddles of chit chatty staff that seem to wonder about.
My biggest criticism is that if you book to go on a Saturday evening or Sunday lunch then the cramming of tables into the restaurant is all too obvious. We booked a table for four on a Saturday evening and on arrival we found it to be packed with customers. Sounds good but as is so often the case the cracks in the system are all too apparent. Before making anyone aware that we had arrived for dinner we stood by the bar watching what was going on, it was not pretty. There were guests getting up from their tables looking for a waiter whilst others took matters into their own hands by going straight to the bar to order more drinks. There was clearly not enough staff and no one was managing the restaurant. Having seen enough I went to the reservations table at the entrance of the restaurant and told a waitress that we had arrived but we will not be staying for dinner. “Ok, what’s your name?”. She found me in the book then rubbed me out and was just about to walk off. I asked her if she wanted to know why we were not staying to which she felt obliged to listen to me. I told her in a very pleasant way that I had been watching proceedings and the restaurant was in chaos and we did not want to put our party through this trauma. “OK” she said and that was that. She could not have cared less. I would like to point out that whilst we were watching I did see that the food was still coming out of the kitchen very well prepared and looked great. So again well done Chef.
- Please fix the leak in the gents toilets – 3 visits and leak not fixed
- Get a duty manager that manages the staff and is not an extra waiter
- Reduce the number of tables in the restaurant and if thats a problem then increase your prices
- Fix the annoying rocking tables that dont sit properly on the floor
- Manage the crèche that is growing and making the lounge area look a mess with dropped food and toys
- Get someone to manage the loos as when things get busy they betray such events
- If tables are not to be reduced in the restaurant then more staff are needed
- The doors to the toilets need a good scrub
- Check the menus before they are given to the customer as our was dirty and tatty.
Would we go back? Probably, but timing is essential as the system shows signs of failure when things get busy.
If you have been to the Inn on the Lake please let us know what you think