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As my manager was leaving, we sorted out a workís night out/ leaving do. Someone else was picking the location for the restaurant and we ended up at Prezzo in Norwich. Now, there are two Prezzos in Norwich and the branch we went to was right near the train station so it was easy for everyone to get to/ from seeing as we were coming from out of the city. Before that night, Prezzo isnít a restaurant that I had been to before but had always heard good things so I was looking forward to a nice meal and a fun night out.
From the outside this branch of Prezzo looks very inviting with its large, open windows, large but pretty tree like plants and the cute tables and chairs set inside the iron fence. As you enter the branch there is a small bar, a room with tables to the left and stairs straight ahead which leads up to another seating area. Overall, Prezzo has a very upscale look to it and one which would have made me want to eat there regardless of our table being booked beforehand.
As this was a work night out, there were 18 of us eating on that particular night. My friend and I had a bit of car trouble on the way there and therefore, got there about 15 minutes late. Upon arrival at the bar we were told that only this once could we order drinks there as we were late but afterwards, everything had to be charged at the table. Our server was extremely rude and abrupt with us which was the last thing we needed after being at work all day and having the car break
When we were shown to our table, which was in the small room to the left of the bar, we were all a bit shocked at the layout. We had one long table with a round table stuck at the end while there were also two other tables for two at the back of us. Being set up in this way meant that we were obviously going to be quite loud in order to be able to talk to each other. I felt extremely sorry for the tables of two as they were seated later during the night. One of the couples actually got up and left. Working in this kind of industry myself, I was appalled because if I were the other people, I wouldnít have wanted to sit in the same, closed space as a large booking.
When it came to ordering our food, things didnít get much better. Our waitress, who turned out to be the manager, could not handle such a big table at all. She was going back and forth between people and not even taking orders in a logical manner. Also, as we didnít want to order drinks at the table to add to the confusion of splitting up the bill for each person we asked for jugs of water and glasses. We were brought a couple of jugs of water but not nearly enough glasses for everyone at the table. The restaurant didnít have any air conditioning whatsoever and we happened to visit on the hottest day of the year so far at that point. We were hoping the water would cool us down but the majority of us sat in our seats sweating horribly which made us all very uncomfortable too.
We had an extremely long wait for our food which I could kind of understand considering how many of us there were. We got to the restaurant (after my lateness) at 7:40 but we didnít get our food until nearly an hour after that. Price wise though, Prezzo is very reasonable. Many of us had pizzas with a margherita costing £7.20 while some others had pasta or spaghetti. There are plenty of options available on the menu and for many different price ranges which was great. There really was something for everyone at our table and when the food finally arrived, we were all extremely happy with the taste and value for money. Prezzo also do a great range of sides which are fabulous for an event such as ours because it meant we got to share with the person sitting next to us and we were able to have a better range of food without stuffing ourselves silly.
After everyone had finished their meals, we realised that not once were we asked whether or not everything was ok or if we needed anything else. Considering it was the manager and sometimes one other waitress serving us, I found this to be completely unacceptable. We knew our bill even without desserts would come to well over £250 and if that had been me, I would have made sure the whole table was happy. Not only were we not asked if everything was ok but one girl was extremely ill due to the heat and was sick at one point during the night. The staff did not care one little bit about any of the problems we had during our meal.
At the end of the meal, due to everyone ordering on the same bill and having drinks as well, it was a nightmare to figure out what everyone owed. Some people drank more than others, some had desserts while some didnít and some had main meals a lot more expensive than others. After taking a long time to sort out everyoneís money, we also noticed a £25 service charge had been whacked onto our bill without our consent which none of us were prepared to pay considering the terrible service we received.
As we paid the bill at the end of the meal, the girl paying (also who booked the table) noticed a note behind the till with her name and number on saying she was never, ever to come back. Now, if she hadnít seen this I donít think any of us would have been as angry as we were when we left. It was extremely bad form to have this on show for us to notice. Yes, we were loud but then what table of 18 isnít but other than that, we did nothing wrong. We may have gone outside a little more than they would have liked but it was ridiculously hot in there and we needed the fresh air to cool ourselves down. The staff at this particular Prezzo could not cope with such a big booking.
Considering this was my first visit to a Prezzo, I wasnít at all impressed. While the food was lovely, the service was possibly the worst I have ever had while at a restaurant. I would go back to Prezzo but definitely not this branch and Iím pretty sure none of the other people I went with that night will be going back again.