Marché: Yummy, Expensive, Awful Service

I’d been hearing about the return of Mövenpick, so this weekend, I took the opportunity to visit the restaurant.  Honestly, I never visited Marché while it was in Toronto, and I only visited Richtree once a few weeks ago.  Despite all the reviews declaring the superiority of Marché over Richtree in terms of freshness and taste, I couldn’t tell the difference; I’m not a picky eater in the least.

Regardless, I figured people would be looking for some info about it, so here are my two cents….here IS my two cents?

No doubt about it, Marché is a different take on dining out.  It’s set up like an old-time market with fresh ingredients on display and meals cooked right before your eyes.  There are a multitude of food stations, from salads, pizzas, pasta, seafood, rotisseries, and of course, a bar, both alcoholic and café.  When you arrive at the restaurant, you are given a magnetic strip card.

Once you’ve gotten your card, find a table you’d like to sit at.  Every table has a little swinging sign, sort of like a specials menu, and the sign will either say Free or Reserved.  If the table says Free, flip the sign to say Reserved, and go shopping!

Some of the stations are self-serve, like the salads, but you’ll see that there are no plates.  To get the plates, give your card to the station attendant.  They’ll charge you for the food and give you a plate.  Watch out, the food is expensive, and it can add up very quickly, if you’re not paying attention!

The main downfall of Marché, at least for now is the atrocious customer service.  Not every server is bad, of course, but in the one outing that my friend and I had, we interacted with quite a few bad servers.  At the crêpe bar, the cook was constantly interrupted by another staff member for no urgent reason, and getting the crêpe-wrap took way longer than it ought to have.  At the seafood bar, a customer rejected a bouillabaisse when he saw that it was made with no fish.  Then, the cook started talking in an angry tone in his native tongue to other cooks at the seafood bar.  Oh, the horror!

Now, to admit something, I stole a bottle of water!  The bottles of water were in tubs in the walkway, so I grabbed one, and I couldn’t figure out who I was supposed to give my card to, to have it charged.  I sat down to enjoy my meal, and a server came to take our trays away.  I asked her how I should pay for my water, and if she would please open the bottle for me (needed a bottle opener).  She looked at me with a blank stare, sort of indicated that she would come back, and then never came back!  I had to flag her down later, when I was parched with the salt of my meal, and she opened the bottle for me.

Finally, I went to pay for my meal, brought them my card, and told them that I had had a bottle of water that I didn’t have charged.  The cashier struggled for a bit on the console, and then just rang me through, because she couldn’t figure out how to charge me for the water.  Oh well.  I really tried to pay for it.  Oh, and there’s a 12% gratuity automatically added to your cheque.

For a small salad and a red snapper + rice meal, I paid a rocking $25.  Yep.  Pricey lunch.  No beverage!

Until they have a major overhaul of staff, perhaps with people who can speak English, I think I’ll spend less money in yummier places with better service…perhaps like Queen Crêpe and Funnel Cake!

One Response to “Marché: Yummy, Expensive, Awful Service”
  1. Babette says:

    hi Jysung

    Thanks for your visit and we are sorry that you were disapointed. we have 240 new staff members and we have to train and to improve every day. We are aware of it and we do our best to improve as fast as possible. We had more than 3580 guests/day at the weekend and the staff really did therefore a great job obvious .. not everything went well. Sorry for that. Just let me know next time and I will take care of your bottle personally 😉 greetings Babette from Marche

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