Newest Review: ... it's surprising how much the standards of service, quality of food and particularly cleanliness have declined. Service takes about 15 min... more
The Positive and the Negative.
Member Name: Emmald
Advantages: Good coffee, tasty food, friendly staff.
Disadvantages: Cluttered tables.
We often have a wander to our local Sainsbury's store and today we decided to live life on the edge and enjoy a bite to eat after we did our shopping.
Sainsbury's cafe always looks inviting, it is tucked away in a corner of the store and considering it must trade fairly well it looks clean and it is well furnished. The tables and chairs are fashionable and the chairs are upholstered in `Sainsbury's orange`.
The cafe staff are a credit to Sainsbury's, they are helpful, pleasant and they greet you with a smile, which in my book goes a long way.
The cafe is self service and you take a tray on your way in, the pile of grey plastic trays were well stacked and most importantly clean.
There is a chiller cabinet that is filled with sandwiches, cakes, scones and sanwiches that you can have toasted, I chose a ham and salad sandwich that had been reduced in price. The reduction was quite significant (£1 off ) so I was quite happy to eat my bargain lunch.
The Other Half wanted something more substantial and he chose an `All day brunch` which cost £4.59.
I noticed that fish and chips were on a special offer at £3.99 and it seemed that there was something on the menu that would suit everyone, from Vegetarian lasagne to ham, egg and chips. There was also a very good offer on for a cream tea, it worked out at little over £2.
You help yourself to hot and cold drinks and the selection is good.
There is only the one till which does hold the queue up but luckily none of us were in a hurry. The brunch, sandwich and two cups of hot frothy Latte cost £8.98 and I thought that that was reasonable, plus you can hand over your Nectar card and earn points on your purchase too.
Obviously the `Brunch` had to be cooked, so the cashier then gives you a tall stand that has a number at the top, you place that stand on your chosen table and when the waitress comes out of the kitchen with your meal she can see your number straight away.
So, all was going very well. We found a table without any bother but although the cafe was fairly quiet the empty tables were all filled up with dirty crocks. We got a few paper napkins and cleared a table ( by moving the crocks onto another table that was already full) and then we wiped the surface of the table with the napkins, so maybe this was not the best of starts.
The Other Half collected the cutlery and he decided that the cutlery looked decidedly jaded, the stainless steel was covered in watermarks and I have to admit that it was lacking.
Anyway off he went and got another couple of napkins to shine the cutlery up.
The coffee was nothing short of wonderful and we both felt that it was well worth the money.
The `Brunch` arrived and it looked really hearty, two thick rashers of bacon, two sausages, two fried eggs, baked beans, mushrooms and chips ! A mammoth feast in anyone's eyes.
I ate my sandwich, the ham was excellent and the salad was crispy even though it was a reduced priced item.
The Brunch met with full approval , the portion was generous and it was well cooked. I heard a murmur about a slice of bread and butter but I ignored that comment thinking that there was plenty enough food on that plate as it was !
We had enjoyed our lunchtime snack and customers were still trickling in and each and every customer was confronted with the same problem as we had had, dirty crock filled tables.
I realise that some are going to read this review and say `Well why didn't you ask someone to clean the table?` but staff were a bit thin on the ground to say the least.
On reflection maybe the cafe was having a staffing crisis, or maybe the staffing budget did not allow for any more staff . Whichever one it was it was a shame, the whole experience was a positive one that was only slightly spoiled by the cluttered tables.
Maybe it would pay Sainsbury's to take an in depth look at the problem and see if they can improve on those couple of points.
Marks for the staff - 10 out of 10
Marks for the food - 10 out of 10.
But from then on the marks decline rapidly.
Will I visit the Cafe again ?
Yes, but by then I am hoping that they are running on full power.
Summary: It is funny how certain issues can put you off.