With the market for high-end, unique dining growing, Waitrose launched their new supper club at the supermarket’s Haywards Heath store. But diners were left far from impressed.
What they were going for
After Waitrose announced their supper club style restaurant events, customers were looking forward to a different dining experience. They made plans for eight events throughout April and May in the hope that they would live up to the supermarket’s reputation for good, quality food. They also announced that the experience would be rolled out to other branches should it be a success. However, things didn’t go as well as first anticipated.
With ambient lighting and jazz music playing to encapsulate the trendy supper club experience, customers were greeted, and their coats taken to be hung on a rail. Specially selected wine was chosen to accompany the meal but customers were left feeling underwhelmed, especially by the food. Many complained about the portion sizes, with one diner stating that their starter was too small to taste. Others believed that they could have done a better job in making the meals at home, at a much cheaper price than the £35 per head they had to pay.
However, some diners felt that the ambience made up for the shortcomings and when taking into account the price of the food, plus the wine which was served alongside it, it would be roughly the same price as a similar meal in a restaurant.
Supper club equipment
Of course, when you attempt to follow the trend, you need to keep up with the equipment, not just the food. Whether that be commercial ovens, such as those found here https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/catering-equipment/heavy-cooking-equipment/commercial-ovens-ranges or spoons covered in nails – http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/supper-club-mindful-eating-steinbeisser-slow-food-movement-amsterdam-california-a7196901.html. Maybe Waitrose just didn’t take it far enough?
The response from Waitrose
Waitrose were quick to apologise to the guests and stated that with it being their first supper club event, they are aware of things they can improve on. They added that the majority of the diners gave positive feedback, with ten of those even booking for a forthcoming event. The disappointment shown by some customers hasn’t put off others from trying the experience as the other evenings are now sold out and with waiting lists set up for those who want to try it out for themselves.