Has COVID curtailed the art of customer service and value for money?

Ask anyone who has been venturing back into bars, pubs and restaurants over the last six weeks or so since lockdown restrictions were fully lifted and I am sure they will have good and bad stories to tell.

Sunday, 5th September 2021, 4:45 pm

For most of us, we have been eager to pop to the pub to watch the football with a pint, meet friends for a cocktail, enjoy a date night with the other half that wasn’t in your dining room or have a meal out with the family to make up for all those occasions over the last year that we have missed out on.

While most of us were eager to get to the bar, I have sort of begun to wonder over recent weeks if places are trying hard enough or are they capitalising on COVID.

An odd thing to say perhaps given that the hospitality industry has been hammered by the restrictions of this pandemic and guidelines that have followed.

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Are punters paying a high price for wanting to socialise again?

However, it got me thinking about value for money and are we getting it or are we paying the price for the pandemic.

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At another pub just over the borders near Skipton charged £12 for two pints and a packet of crisps and our presence seemed to be an inconvenience. Another local pub we frequent put the prices up by at least a pound for the same drink.

A pizza restaurant we went to was order by the app only but didn’t work to such an extent that, after 30 minutes of trying to order without success, we had to have table service anyway.

And, granted this was York, but a burger that took almost an hour to arrive and was no more than anything you’d buy from a van at a festival was £15. They took the money before we even sat down and we had to ask three times for cutlery.

But then on the flip side, the old school traditional pub at the bottom of the road is charging the same prices, with no need to claim style over substance and is as friendly as ever and another new favourite, upon making a mistake with my food order, couldn’t have been more apologetic and has a genuine warm welcome every time.

However, these are just one writer's experiences. Businesses have been through an unimaginably tough 18 months as a result of lockdown measures - and one 'off' day here or there won't stop the city of Leeds from getting behind them.