What comes first in Le Jules Verne, Paris.. Safety or Money?
9.30PM on February 18th 2015 — Terror Threat to Eiffel Tower..
Time to Dine at such a world class, 5* experience restaurant. Surrounded by unforgettable views and the finest service known to man. The LeJulesVerne is a ‘rare experience’ for anyone, something that isn’t quite like anything I have personally ever experienced. The staff throughout the first 5 courses where utterly divine, insuring that our every need had been catered to. A sommelier to guide us both through the food-wine pairing.. along with a wine course suggestion. However, I had at this point been engaged to my now Fiancé for a little under 3 hours, a cause for celebration.. so champagne accompanied our meal throughout the night. We had booked for a 6 Course Experience for 230€ each, totalling for both of us with our drinks throughout the night to just over 520€.
We cannot at all fault the staff and food, for the first 5 courses as it was to say the least an experience of a lifetime.The 6th course looked heavenly we could see the couple seated just across from us have their desert carefully delivered to their table and the aroma that burst throughout the room as the waiter slowly swished through the tables. We were excited to taste this dish, whilst admiring from a far.
Window SeatTo begin the journey of our 6th course, we were greeted by the head waiter of the evening, with no 6th course to be seen.. ‘Madame & Monsieur’ we have been notified that there is a Terror alert on the Eiffel Tower and we must evacuate the building.. he leaves our bill on the table (for all 6 courses) as he begins to take other guests payments leaving us to sit and wait whilst.. having just been told that we are under threat. My first thought as soon as we had been told this is get out of the building as quickly as possible, as i’m sure would go through anybodies mind. Three Armed Police guards at the entrance door to the 2nd Floor Restaurant, makes you feels a little uneasy to say the least. In the meantime we are watching the other waiters anxiously, preparing themselves to leave the Eiffel Tower with there personal belongings. So we both wait and wait, eventually we give up waiting for the waiter to take our payment, but take with us the bill so that we could process the payment the next morning and grab our coats preparing to exit the building.. at this point I was panicking. This waiter has literally kept us waiting in order to take payment, when this could potentially be a terror attack. There had recently been many terror threats lately in Paris which have been followed through, so we where very anxious, We wanted to remove ourselves from this building as soon as humanly possible. We picked up our coats from the cloakroom, at this point the cloakroom attendant is literally throwing our coats at us in shire horror as we begin to make our way out of the restaurant and down the staircase to the larger lift.
Escorted by the armed guards to the elevator where about 30 people have just been taken down to the ground floor. We then wait about 15 minutes, which felt like an hour.. in the cold and wet weather waiting for the elevator to arise once more. Watching armoured vehicles arriving below us in the alert of this terror threat. We all make our way into the elevator with the staff and other guests.
The Red Alert ‘ Tower EiffelThis is the exact point that I lost every ounce of respect for the staff at the LeJulesVerne, the head waiter stood in front of us as we had been packed into this elevator shoulder to shoulder. The head waiter calls out to the waiter on the other side of the elevator that had waited on us that evening.. ‘’Is this the couple that haven’t paid’’ the waiter call back ‘’Yes’’ pointing towards us and begins to laugh.. The head waiter turns to my Fiancé ‘’so you were going to leave the restaurant with out paying eh’’ in literally the most vulgar and disrespectful way, this was very embarrassing for the both of us. My fiancé replies ‘’we had been told there is a terror threat we wanted to be out of the Eiffel Tower as soon as we could, with the intention of coming back and paying for our meal as we had brought with us the bill’’.. Then all I can explain this as is ‘Pig Headed’ the waiter begins to speak in french to his colleague.. they laugh. He turns back and says to my fiancé ‘’Right give me your payment card and I will take down your payment details’’ and does so in full view of all of the other guests. We agree out of ease and begin to ask ‘’We will only be paying for the 5 courses wont we as we have only eaten 5'’ we ask this as the bill shows payment for all 6 courses.
The waiter replies ‘’No. You had selected the 6 course menu so you will pay for all 6, otherwise it is not fair!’’, we then begin to explain that ‘’Surely as we haven’t actually eaten this 6th course, it is more unfair to ourselves having not eaten what you are making us pay for?’’ His reply ‘’No, No you will pay for all of the courses’’ he insists.. at this point he had already taken down all of my fiancés card details, we are just happy to almost be at ground level.. this elevator was really slow.
Could this ‘head waiter’ not have waited until we were at least out of the terror alert zone and safely on the ground, out of harms way before he decided to make a ‘display’.. this was completely humiliating and disappointing to have had such a great experience spoilt and made to feel like thieves. We were of course happy to pay for what we had eaten and had already discussed that the following morning or that night once all had calmed down, that we would go back and pay for our meal. The restaurant had already taken down our card details online for security of payment anyway.So we have been left out of pocket by almost 100€ and irritated by this ignorant and arrogant, bad mannered ‘head’ waiter.
Obviously the essence of safety for their guests, comes a far second to payment. This was at first my very best customer service received our waiters were delightful throughout the evening until the dreaded threat. Thankfully nothing did come of this threat, but had this situation been handled in the same manner if this was a terrorist attack, slowly and with poor interpersonal skills we may not have been here today. The staff had all turned from very professional personnel, to obnoxious individuals.
You would think that if a couple whom have just spent over 500€ dining in your restaurant that you would atleast approach this with a kind manner and the respect/ decency you would have for any other human being. They should be ashamed of the service provided, understanding that they may not have been 100% professional as there was a terror threat however, being polite costs not a penny.
We have contacted the restaurant since the happening and have been refused a part refund for the food that we had not eaten. They have offered a complimentary glass of champagne off of our next visit, I’d much rather our money back. Needless to say I don’t think I will be dining with them after this experience. It’s such a shame that this had spoilt such a special day of ours.
What do you think?
Good or Bad Service?
What would you have done differently?
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and your customer service out ways the above!
x ♡ Love and Hugs ♡ x