Romeo's Place

 300-6551 Aulds Road
Nanaimo, BC

Romeo's Has No Respect for Femaly Customers

My girlfriend and I flew out from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to visit her parents on Vancouver Island the first week of August, 2009. My girlfriend’s brother and sister-in-law were also visiting from London, England and this was my first chance to meet them. We planned a quiet family dinner at Romeo’s Restaurant 300-6551 Aulds Rd. in Nanaimo, to relax and visit, and booked a reservation for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 8th, the day before everyone went home.

We got to the restaurant at 7:20, but it took until almost 8:00 p.m. to get a seat, which we received with barely an apology. Not a good start, but we decided to move on, since our waiter appeared to be polite and efficient. However, the next thing we noticed was a large table of young men, not far from us, who were obviously very drunk, and very loud. We had to yell to be heard by each other, which made conversation extremely difficult. The young men were sitting at a long table near the washrooms and were using a fishing rod to make casts down the hallway, and laughing at each ones’ efforts. My girlfriend had to pass by their table to use the washroom and when she did, she was greeted by whistles, catcalls and rude remarks. I had wanted to get up, but the other women at the table advised me not to and my girlfriend’s mother accompanied her back from the table. We complained at the front counter, but were told that there was nothing they could do because they were friends of the manager. We paid our bill and left a totally unsatisfying experience $150 poorer, without dessert, and without a proper family visit. We finally had a more relaxing experience at a local pub.

When we got back to Winnipeg, I phoned Romeo’s Head Office in Victoria, to register a complaint. I found out that the group of young men were friends of one of the
General Managers of Romeo’s Hillside in Victoria and that he was, in fact, included in the group of partiers, who were having a stag party in the restaurant. He apologized to me, said that they meant no disrespect to anyone, and offered to send out some gift certificates to my girlfriend’s parents. I accepted his apology and e-mailed him the contact information for both my girlfriend’s parents and her brother and sister-in-law, suggesting that it would be appropriate to send them an apology as well.

When more than two weeks went by without response to any family member, I sent an e-mail to him commenting on my dissatisfaction. I also called the restaurant with a second complaint. What I received in response was a nasty e-mail advising me that he found my attitude very offensive and suggesting that I learn to be more polite and respectful. He advised me that he had the gift certificates for my girlfriend’s parents in front of him, but suggested that I apologize to him before he sent them. Since I was too angry to give a printable response, my girlfriend sent an e-mail that we wanted him to send an apology to her parents as soon as possible. That was September 18th, and when he had still done nothing as of October 28th, I left a third complaint with Romeo’s Head Office and sent a letter to Dimitri Mavrikos, the owner of the franchise asking for him to intervene. I still received no answer.

My main concern is not the quality of the food or the efficiency of the staff. Both appear quite good. My concern is that the management seems to put very little value on customer concerns, especially when it comes to respect and proper treatment of women. For this reason alone I believe that every restaurant in the franchise should be avoided.

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