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Source: ghanareporter.com

“The customer is always right” is a motto or slogan which exhorts service staff to give a high priority to customer satisfaction. But there are doubts if indeed Ghanaian service staff from the security man to the managers adhere to this motto.

Popular Ghanaian actress, Lydia Forson has been venting her spleen on a supposed professional security at Coco Lounge for disrespecting her and ruining her mother’s birthday dinner on Thursday evening, when she, her mum and some friends went to the lounge for her mother’s birthday dinner.

Below is a post by the actress and producer on her Lydiaforson.com about what really happened:

The Devil,COCO LOUNGE, and my Mother’s Birthday

YEP, you read right. Last night Coco Lounge became the devil trying to kill my mother’s birthday mood. But I quickly sent them back to where they were sent from.

Now I need to state that I have no problem with this place, well up until last night I didn’t. I actually love their food and I frequent there a lot.

My mum loves their pizza( she’s a pizza addict) and for her birthday all she wanted was pizza from Coco Lounge(go figure). I would have preferred something else,but it wasn’t my day and I just wanted to make her happy regardless of how it made me feel.

I arranged for a few friends to join us, one in particular who’d become like a son to my mother.

We got there earlier than the rest and since the place was full we were asked to wait upstairs for seats.

A few minutes later and I got a call from one of my friends, that he was downstairs and they wouldn’t let him in because he was in shorts.

I went down myself to see what the problems was, and I was actually about to him give hell for dressing inappropriately. But when I saw what he was wearing, save for the shorts I didn’t get what the problem was. Especially since I’d seen people wear worse and be let in. The security guy there simply stated that people with shorts weren’t allowed in after 6pm. Shorts?

I understand each restaurant reserves the right to use whatever policies they seem fit to run their place. And if shorts was one of them, It was their decision; however it wasn’t the dress code they wouldn’t permit that got to me, it’s how the message was delivered.

First of all, I need to understand WHY coco lounge, a fairly inexpensive place(well by my standards at least) would have such a dress code? Were they catering to the elite or they allowed only a certain class of people there. If they did, did shorts determine what class one was in?

It’s like a bronze, ok let me make it gold, place demanding platinum treatment. Didn’t make any sense to me, but ah well to each their own then.

Reminds me of a time some bouncers in Ghanaian clubs would refuse you entry solely based on how you “look” and if you looked like you could afford to be there. The sheer stupidity of it all. Adzeeen are their toilets gold plated? Or their cutlery made of pure silver? What was it?

Would they refuse Mark Zuckerberg as he’s so casual all the time?

Because we all know rich people rarely ever over dress. They don’t need to prove their worth to anyone. But the nkrasisem Ghanaians exhibit when it comes to these things is next level.

Another guest , a Lebanese attempted to enter and they stopped him. But to be fair it was only because I was standing there that they did(or maybe not, because I’ve had similar experiences) Deny it all you want, but we all know in Ghana between the foreigner and Ghanaian the assumption is the foreigner can “afford” or “fits in ” ( but that’s a topic for another day)

The security guard was so dismissive and wouldn’t even look our way as if we were some non-entities who seemingly couldn’t afford to be there.

He didn’t so much as flinch when I tried to get him to explain what was happening. I called my mother and told her we needed to find somewhere else to go. When she came down she was confused by it all, and to be frank a little embarrassed. My friend decided he didn’t want to be the reason why we couldn’t enjoy our evening, and offered to just go back home and let us enjoy our evening without him. But at that point I had been totally put off the place.

Because if you’re going to turn guest away due to your company policy that one wouldn’t even know of before coming there, do it with some respect at least?

Politely let the individual know that “we are sorry this is company policy” , however stupid.

But he just said ‘eh he can’t come those are the rule” and turned to someone else, leaving us to stand there like a bunch of fools.

Kind of like how the female doctors were turned away from MovenPick because they didn’t have male escorts. How do they just come up with these policies?

When I took my bag and decided to leave, one of the waiters I think rushed to me saying “oh madam why are you leaving, is everything alright?”

I simply told him we’re leaving because they clearly didn’t want us there. He tried to come after us, but then I heard the security guard I think, or one of the workers say

“CHALE JUST LET THEM LEAVE”.

I was shocked to say the least. Wow. We obviously didn’t matter to them, and our opinion of the place didn’t either. I guess some where in their peanut butter brain, losing us wouldn’t have any significant impact on the place.

Well, that’s where your wrong Mr.Peanut Butter and Jam head, no customer is ever not “valuable enough”. If we’re going to pay for everything we eat and drink, then our money however small contributes to your salary and running of the place.

A lot of companies in Ghana suffer from this diseasese, they invest in everything except the people who have to actually deal with their customers. Security guards, secretaries, house helps, waiters, etc. are often the ones who give a place a bad name. They use the little power they have to” humble people”, as they call it.

They are the ones who can grow or kill your business; when people come to a place it’s for the food, ambiance and how they are served or treated.

You may have the best food and most beautiful decor, but if your service is bad, it’s enough to get the place closed down.

I was appalled by what happened last night, and at a point my mother was just tired and wanted to go home and sleep. But we were already out and I couldn’t imagine ending such a great the day like this for her. I mean all this for a slice or two of pizza?

Coco Lounge, your security guard and the manager or whoever was standing with him last night really took the piss.

Now I’m sure a lot of you would immediately think, oh but shorts di33, because it’s easy to think that this individual looked shabby.

But imagine turning Pharell Williams away because of this look.

A lot of clubs in Ghana tend to do the same, they refuse you entry for the dumbest reason. I would expect that more than anything they should be checking ID’s to see if legally the person should be allowed alcohol or not.

One time my brother was refused entry at a popular club in Ghana because he”looked” underage. He offered to show his ID but they just weren’t interested.

So Coco Lounge, you’ve lost a customer , someone who genuinely liked the place.

You may think I’m not enough to make a difference but it I’m enough to tell the few friends of mine not to come there again, I’m enough to tell the few fans I have not to come there again, I’m enough to tell the few people reading this not to come there again.

And that’s a few thousands you will lose, and although it won’t ruin your business immediately, it’s money you would have used to pay they rude security guard.

The devil sent you yesterday, and you nearly found me, but I swerved you quickly.

If you’re going to have a dress code, have good reasons for it and probably put a sign-up and teach your security and staff how to relate to customers. Teach them discretion, because a smart person can immediately tell who really shouldn’t be allowed into a place from who should.

Oh and here’s another dumb thing you did, one of my friends was journalist goes to say you never know who you’re dealing with, so don’t wait to see them in their powerful positions before you get straight.

We ended up going somewhere else, more expensive yet didn’t require us to “look” a certain way.

We couldn’t even eat much as we were so exhausted and although my mother tried to keep a smile all through, it was obvious at that point all she wanted was to go back home.

But this doesn’t change the fact that she had a wonderful day.

And on a positive note, I have to thank you for your wonderful wishes and kind words.

Especially from all who don’t know her, that more than anything touched her heart with so much love and attention on her birthday.

For a day you made her feel like a star, and it’s more than anything I could have bought for her.

And today we’re going to use that feeling to cast out any negativity that happened last night.

Thank you all.

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