Tag Archives: Customer service

Elegant Filipino Hospitality at Elias

I would like to take this opportunity for the wonderful feedback I am getting from my Chic-Boy review. I have been getting a lot of messages that management should really get into training their staff. Who knew a lot of people were feeling the same way?

To my readers: thank you so much for the feedback. Hopefully, the same message would echo to other establishments, so that instead of loosing customers, they would gain patrons!

Since I’ve been starting this website, most of my friends are giving me feedback on what they want featured here. I wish I could accommodate all. Really. But given that I need to attend to other projects, I am constrained to whatever is near me or when I have the opportunity to go out with friends (like the review I am about to show you).

Anyway, two of my girlfriends and I tried this restaurant in Fort Bonifacio High Street – Central called Elias.

Come and visit Elias sometime :)
Come and visit Elias sometime 🙂

Have you guys been there?

My friend, who is a foodie herself, said that you can never go wrong with this restaurant choice because the dishes are all Filipino. Again, I was very hungry and anything sounded good.

Dinner with some girlfriends: Joyce and Jade.
Dinner with some girlfriends: Joyce and Jade.

Based from the interiors of the restaurant, the owners wanted to imbibe the “elegance of a 16th century Filipino home during the Spanish colonial period while infusing the modern, classy restaurant of the 21st century.”

Guess what? They nailed it.

If you have been to Vigan and Ilocos, you will know what I am talking about. Years back, I once stayed in an inn at Vigan and that inn still had the remnants of the style and function of a home of what our Spanish/Filipino ancestors once had.

The restaurant brought back memories of my trips to Pagudpod beach, the kalesa rides at the cobblestone streets of Vigan, and the infamous bagnet and sukang Ilocos.

And you can sense the Filipino history from the chandeliers, the names of the dining staff and event the menu itself!

A 16th century Filipino home during the Spanish colonial period...
A 16th century Filipino home during the Spanish colonial period…

When I flipped over the menu, I was tickled pink by the ingenuity of the dish names: Noli Me Talong, Pilosopong Pinakbet, Mi Ultimo Felicidad, Crispin At Basilio.

Obviously, the person who made the menu was quite the Rizal fan.

What we had: Calamares ni Tales, Sinigang Gomez, Enseladang Erehe and Pandan Plain Rice.

Food verdict: Lahat masarap!

Let’s not forget the most important part: customer service. (It’s funny when I talk about customer service and professionalism, some people don’t know that these go hand in hand.)

“It is the service that we are not obliged to give that people value the most.”

My rating: Superb.

This cute little pugo bird was how they gave the bill to their clients. Cute concept.  Wanted to take home my pugo bird...
This cute little pugo bird was how they gave the bill to their clients. Cute concept.
Wanted to take home my pugo bird…

The place (including their wash rooms) was spotless. The dining staff, all smiles and very attentive: all of which reflect the trademark Filipino’s are known for the world over, hospitality.

You want delicious food combined with elegant Filipino hospitality where you can entertain family, friends and colleagues? Drop by Elias.

The Not So Charming Chic-Boy

As much as possible, I don’t like to speak ill of businesses. It just goes against my professional ethics. I don’t like to talk ill of anyone, period. My battle cry has always been about encouragement and inspiration. However, my website is also about excellence and based from that, everything is a level playing field from here on.

Sometimes I am forced to put my foot down because of circumstances that are beyond my control.  Now that I have calmed down, I think I am fully capable of composing this post in a gentler, professional and more reasonable manner.

Chic-Boy Pasong Tamo, Chino Roces branch
Chic-Boy Pasong Tamo, Chino Roces branch

Have you guys heard of the fast food chain Chic-Boy? If you’re Filipino or an expat living in the Philippines, I’m sure you have. In fact, I bet you’re a frequent customer of such chains. They are cheap, fast and the menu easily caters to the Filipino palate and appetite.

Fast food restaurants like this are sprouting like mushrooms. Their menu is composed of barbeque meals/chicken/liempo inasal, etc. If you want a quick barbeque meal Filipino-style, these types of chains are the places to go to.

Personally, I don’t find their food inspiring. Believe me, once you’ve tasted one brand, you’ve tasted them all. I seldom eat out unless I’m with friends (and being health conscious people, we don’t do much fast food). But since I was so hungry, I decided to give it a try.

I came upon the Makati, Pasong Tamo Chino Roces Chic-Boy franchise on April 10, 2013 at 5:30pm (more or less) after my meeting. I was so tired and hungry, with Chic-Boy being the closest, it was a no-brainer for me.

From the outside, I could see that most of the male kitchen and dining crew were all having a ball loitering (at the store entrance nonetheless!) with cigarettes in hand. They were loud and horsing around that I felt I was entering a sleazy beer house.

As I stood in line to order, I noticed that a majority of the tables were still waiting to be cleared. The floor was disgusting, the condiment section was a mess, practically everything was just out of control all the while the beer house boys enjoyed their little brouhaha at the front.

As I was done with my order, I scanned for a spot to settle in. I didn’t feel like sitting near the door (though it was the only available clean area to sit on) because of the smoking loud men who felt like they owned the place.

I chose a spot near the cashier. I didn’t sit down unless my table was cleared. So I guess the waiter took the hint that unless he cleared it, I wouldn’t sit down to a messy table.

I guess this waiter (Marky) was having a rough day. He seemed annoyed at everybody since he didn’t talk to the other guys poking/making fun of him. He was also doing a lousy job of cleaning the table (how hard can cleaning the table be, seriously?): he was just throwing the dirty dishes/utensils/cups in his little tub, spreading the grease more instead of actually wiping the table fresh, and he was taking out his annoyance on me?!

I said sternly, “If you don’t like what you’re doing, I’ll be glad to do it”. I think he got my point when I stared back at him.

But after a while, I cooled down. I just hate having to talk to people like that, in general. It’s condescending. So I guess Marky, just a word of advice: next time don’t bring your troubles to work. We all have our days.

When I left the place, I think I stepped on something squishy under the table (could be a piece of chicken skin, I don’t know, I just shook it off while I walked out) — and yes, the floor was that dirty.

Question: Chic-Boy franchises, right? So I take that their staff has undergone customer service training?

Chic-Boy Pasong Tamo, Chino Roces branch
Chic-Boy Pasong Tamo, Chino Roces branch

I worked once for a restaurant whose business and income evolved around setting up franchises. Their standard operating procedure was to rigorously train their personnel and staff (both on technical skills and customer service) before they were deployed to their respective areas.

I guess, from what I’ve experienced, Chic-Boy is not so serious about their personnel and staff training. It could also be an area to work on by management.

To tell my readers not to support this specific Chic-Boy franchise is totally their decision, but know this: You have lost a customer.