A FEW weeks ago, to be exact on the 3rd of February, we organized a surprise birthday party for my father’s 50th anniversary at the Arebbusch Travel Lodge restaurant run by Anne’s Catering. Such a special and happy occasion was spoilt and ruined due to unprofessional and arrogant behaviour from the manager of Anne’s Catering. A few weeks prior to the surprise party, we approached Anne’s Catering. The manager, being Anne-Marie Strauss, accepted to host the event.
The stipulations laid down were that she would provide a menu with all the main courses, including starters and desserts, and also a cash bar. We concurred and asked whether we could add various starter dishes and a few desserts from our traditional cuisine, and of course the birthday cake. The reply was good natured and she accepted (the additions)as well. The fact that my family and I are Portuguese and many of the guests coming were too, meant that the need to maintain our traditional cuisine was of importance to us. On the day of the party, the additional food was delivered. All seemed to be going fine, until the manager approached me, very upset and complaining that the additional food was way too much and she had not agreed to this. I tried calming her down and explaining that it was our tradition to have a lot of food, specifically to remain over for the next day, plus there was nothing to worry about because we were still going to pay for her menu anyway. She threw a tantrum, threatening to cancel the function and demanding that the party end sooner than later. Shocked as I was, I remained calm. The manager had a negative attitude towards all the people helping to organize the event.
The party did in fact go on, and fortunately ran smoothly, but the manager continued with her less than professional behaviour, not having the decency to show face or even ask if all was well with the party. At 23h15, lights were switched off around the function arena. The bar was then closed as well, right after the lights were turned off. To avoid further confusion, we asked our guests to begin leaving.
Now I ask, was this treatment dished out to us because we are Portuguese? The next day, more was to come, “the cherry on top”, is the best way to describe it. When we went to pay our bill, we were charged an additional “levy” of 33,5% as “feed cost for extra food not according to agreement”, as so quoted. We paid the account and left.
We wish to inform (the restaurant manager) that the so called “levy” was donated by us, as in such a competitive world, she proved cannot compete. I challenge Anne’s Catering or Anne-Marie Strauss to explain in an open letter to the newspapers the foundation / legality upon which this “levy” was charged and I also enquire from the Ministry of Tourism if such a levy can be charged.
We contacted the management of Arebbusch Travel Lodge to lodge a complaint. They apologised for the incident and mentioned that it was not the first time a complaint had been lodged against her services. They said they would do their utmost to avoid such incidents again.
Last but not least, Anne’s Catering or Anne-Marie Strauss should be rest assured that all of us shall do our utmost never to set foot there again, and hopefully she’ll take this message into consideration when dealing with our Angolan brothers.