Reading and Discussion: Eating Out

Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers.
Read the article, fit the words (you may need to change their forms), and then answer the questions below.

Feel free to protest

chain - сеть однородных предприятий (одного владельца или под одним управлением)
unscrupulous - недобросовестный; бессовестный, беспринципный
poll - опрос (public-opinion poll — опрос общественного мнения; выяснение мнения населения путём выборочного опроса)
steak house - бифштексная; ресторан, специализирующийся на мясных блюдах
encouraging - ободряющий; обнадёживающий
surly - угрюмый, сердитый; грубый; неприветливый
reserve - осторожность
word of mouth - устный, передаваемый в устной форме
please-make-up-your-mind - поторопитесь с заказом
descend (on/upon) - неожиданно навещать, приезжать без предупреждения; бывать наездами
persuade - убеждать; склонять, уговаривать

HOBSON'S CHOICE has taken on an added meaning at Berni Restaurants, the of more than 230 owned by Grand Metropolitan.
Nowadays if you don't like what is provided in your meal you don't pay. And that covers the service too.
Slow waitresses, soup-spilling waitresses, waitresses, and waitresses are out.
Under what Berni call a customer service guarantee, diners who complain about either the meal or the service have their bill torn up. One of the intentions is to get round the traditional British habit of not complaining, but not going back either.
A conducted by Berni found that 60 per cent of dissatisfied customers said they wouldn't go back to an offending restaurant. To break down this , the scheme was initiated by a group of Berni managers and tried out in the north of England, where results were sufficiently to spread the scheme to the rest of Britain.
Armed with this knowledge and thinking that it didn't seem too difficult to get a free meal, I on the Berni Inn at Wimbledon, where my waitress was Martha, who failed to provide me with any opportunity to use the repertoire of "Waiter, there's a fly in my soup" jokes I had rehearsed beforehand. The food proved a match for the service. Simon Smith, the manager, told me he had been pleasantly pleased at a lack of diners trying to take advantage of the scheme. Complaints had generally been justified.
In fact some people who did complain had to be to leave the bill to him. Many had not even realised the scheme was operating.
"We're finding that those who complained and had their bill torn up are returning and bringing others with them. In the first five weeks we lost £1,000 in unpaid bills, but we're getting a lot of favourable publicity by .
"I am sure we'll keep more customers longer this way."

James Allen

Decide whether these statements are true (T) or false (F), according to the passage.

1. The scheme was the brainchild of Berni's marketing department.
2. The scheme was introduced because Berni were losing a lot of customers.
3. The scheme was introduced because British people don't like to complain.
4. Berni wanted customers to complain if they were dissatisfied.
5. A lot of customers who complained didn't know their bill would be torn up
6. The quality of the food at Wimbledon was even better than the service.
7. The manager in Wimbledon approved of the scheme.
8. The scheme had to be abandoned because it was being abused.

Work in groups and discuss these questions:

1. Could such a scheme operate in restaurants in your country?
2. Have you ever complained (or been with someone who complained) in a restaurant? What happened?
3. What other situations have you actually been in where you made a complaint?
4. What are the qualities of a good restaurant? Describe a good restaurant you have been to and a bad restaurant you remember going to.


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