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Only Dutch are welcome at Restaurant Huson Rotterdam

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Only Dutch are welcome at Restaurant Huson Rotterdam

IvorK | Oct 26, 2017 01:47 PM

In brief, Restaurant Huston in Rotterdam clearly discourages the patronage of anyone who is not a Dutch speaker. At greater length... by way of background, I have traveled to the Netherlands several times. I speak three European languages, but sadly not Dutch. In the great majority of occasions I have found Dutch people to be open, friendly and graciously welcoming. I found Restaurant Huson highlighted in the Guide Michelin, so recently when I traveled to Rotterdam for a single night, I eagerly placed a reservation. After walking for half an hour to a fairly remote location I entered, mentioned my reservation and was greeted in an angry tone "You called here earlier today, and I told you we were full!" I assured the young gentleman that we had never spoken in our lives, and retrieved from my phone the email from the restaurant, entirely and exclusively in the Dutch language, with the word "reservering" in the title and the correct date and time in the body text. He looked at the email and informed me that the message states my request for a reservation was denied. I responded that his translation was helpful but that it might have been much more helpful to offer a translation before I arrived at the front door. His response was "How are we supposed to know that you are not Dutch?" How indeed? And yet such an common uncertainty would normally be dealt with inclusively by communicating welcomingly in at least two languages. Clearly, the Huson approach is just the opposite. As he declined to find me a table either at that time or any other, I requested the assistance of another member of staff. This young woman had a much more professional demeanour. She also refused to seat me that evening. When I insisted that she suggest another restaurant of similar quality and style and make a timely reservation for me, she complied. Twenty minutes later I was seated at a much more expensive restaurant (five euros per oyster!) that was thoroughly mediocre. No apology. Not much of an effort at service recovery. Why would business owners and managers who have chosen the hospitality industry design a consistent customer experience - both online and in-person that is xenophobic? It makes no sense to me! My recommendation in summary... if you too are shown the door at Restaurant Huson because you are not a Dutch person, don't follow their advice on a different place to dine.

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