It's always a shame to see a business you like run down by a new management.
It has been a favourite of our since it reopened a few years back, lead by a dynamic team of innovative and creative people. The whole place was refurbished, the menu changed, local produces were favoured, an innovative wine list and a small set of original meals were offered to its clients.
The staff was smiling, available and caring. The management pitched in daily, serving clients and welcoming guests. It was just perfect.
Until this year.
One warm Sunday afternoon, we saddled your bikes and rode up for an afternoon fruit tart and tea. Sure enough, the place was open and clients were basking in the Spring sun on the terrasse, but something had changed. There was only one waitress and no food was being served.
We didn't think much of it on the time, until our next couple of visits in the evening, when we were told what had happened.
A new management took over last September, cut the staff down to two waitresses for the terrasse and the restaurant, changed the menu and wine list, opted for cheaper produces and beer (e.g. you what's up when they switch to Heineken). It is not the same anymore. It's not the place we use to like so much.
After chatting with the waitress we knew, she explained to us what was going on.
This was is (was) a goldmine. people passionate about what they do revived it and gave it a second life. They got involved, the management pitched in, made their staff feel responsible and treated them right. Everyone was happy. It felt like a win-win situation for both the café and the guests.
I am afraid that these new managerial decisions won't profit the customer, nor the staff. Short term profit might be good, but I'm not sure it is sustainable.
You can't treat your staff and your clients like that without risking to loose soon of later.
The web site has changed for the worse, the tone of the mailinglist is blunt, it regularely discloses all receipients on their mailings and they have stopped answering their email.
Not a good omen. It's a pity.
Disclaimer: this post reflects my personal frustration as of May 2011. It might well be irrelevant when you read it in a few months or a year.