Inhospitality Industry

Normally I don’t like to hear of a restaurant shutting down, but in this case I’ll make an exception:

It’s not just financial reasons behind the latest Sydney restaurant closure, but “inconsiderate, greedy” diners, “intolerable” customers and “fast-food junkies”.

 News that Surry Hills restaurant Wafu is soon closing its doors swept the city’s food scene yesterday, after chef Yukako Ichikawa gave a scathing review of some of Sydney’s wasteful diners.

 Frankly, given her attitude, it’s a wonder Wafu had any customers at all.

Ichikawa’s restaurant has a notorious set of rules to cut food waste, with customers expected to eat everything on their plate and bring their own containers for leftovers and takeaway orders.

The Japanese eatery is often described as Sydney’s most exclusive restaurant because only members, which include those who attend an “orientation”, can make bookings.

An “orientation”? To get into a restaurant? This brings new meaning to the phrase, “door bitch”.

“First, many potential customers, and even some members, have entered Wafu without doggie containers,” she wrote on the Wafu website.

Word is she wouldn’t even make an exception for Barack Obama.

“Further, I found it distressing when, after eating, with obvious self-satisfaction, people said, ‘SO FULL!’.

This woman is in the wrong business. It’s called “hospitality” for a reason.

Perhaps this was meant as a compliment, but to me it meant that the utterer had deliberately damaged their body by wasting food through over-eating.

“It meant also that the utterer did not understand Wafu’s ways, and had not bothered to make the effort or take time to find out what these are.

Stupid utterers!

“Wafu is viable, as a business, if I continue to accept inconsiderate, greedy people.

“But I couldn’t do it. Wafu has always been, and will remain, more to me than simply just another business.”

To paraphrase Mark Twain, I did not attend the closing night, but I sent a nice note saying I approved of it.

 
Wafu on Urbanspoon

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8 Responses to Inhospitality Industry

  1. Eric says:

    She most likely considers herself an artist. So you should be grateful you wretches. I cannot remember the comedian that uttered this

    “I have had to suffer for my art, now it is your turn.”

  2. Simon says:

    WAFU in the navy means Wet And F-ing Useless

  3. Pogria says:

    I wonder if she’ll end with a ceremonial slicing off and cooking of her genitalia.
    It seems to be all the rage with sensitive Japanese chefs.

  4. Craig Mc says:

    So that’s where The Soup Nazi went!

  5. Great post. Unbelievable that a restaurateur could hate her customers so much! I had a few words to say as well: http://rcandelori.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/intolerable-hospitality/

  6. Anonymous says:

    The army equivalent of WAFU is WOFTAM (Waste Of F*cking Time And Money). Also terribly appropriate.

  7. TimT says:

    After reading that in the SMH earlier today I felt rather sorry that I missed out on the experience. Call me perverse if you like, but to me the sensible idea that customers should be treated respectfully these days seems to be taken less as a privilege than as a right, allowing people will go around making snobbish distinctions between different venues – often based on little more than their dislike of a particular waiter.

    My views on this firmed some time earlier this year when they had the Age Food and Wine Festival, and the advertising seemed to be all about a cashed-up Fairfax clientelle being treated like Gods by subservient waiters, chefs, etc. Also I tend to frequent the same venues over the years, and build up friendships with the staff there – honestly, I find it so awkward being served and wouldn’t ever forgive myself if I scorned these people because of some stupid infringement of customer service etiquette.

    Anyway, there’s plenty of restaurants in Sydney and this place sounds rather fun, given that it’s the exception rather than the rule. So on the whole I rather like the proprietor.

  8. TimT says:

    Would be interested anyway in your thoughts on ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food criticism James, and if you think there’s any validity on my reflections about customer service being treated as a ‘right’ and not a ‘privilege’, and also how this allows people to make ‘snobbish distinctions’ – merely because it’s been something on my mind for a while now and, well, it’d be good to hear from a critic what they think good criticism is. (You did comment in some earlier post that in order to have a restaurant culture Sydney diners will have to become faithful to certain venues… which I would have thought relied on friendships between customers and staff as well as standard customer service)…

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