I was all set to write something rather nasty about the service I received at Canele at Paragon, but to their credit they rectified the situation so well that now I’m feeling rather bad. To provide a fuller and more complete picture, let me explain…
I called the branch on Friday to order a Gateau Chocolat for Mothers’ Day. At first they told me collection was after 2 pm, but when I asked if I could come by at 1 pm, they said yes, and that the cakes would usually arrive from Robertson Quay by then (they’re all baked offsite at the Robertson kitchen and delivered fresh daily).
So on Sunday, promptly at 1 pm we turned up at the branch, only to be told that collection is after 2 pm. When I mentioned that the person who took my order had assured me at I could come after 1 pm, they said the delivery ‘uncle’ was on his way, and if I could please walk around for a while, they would call me the minute he arrived.
We didn’t want to wander around aimlessly, so we ended up getting a table at Starbucks opposite and nursed a coffee while waiting. Finally, at 1.45 pm we saw the uncle pushing the delivery trolley in, so after giving him a while to unload, I walked in 5 minutes later.
I was told to take a seat while they got my cake ready. After waiting for another 10 minutes, I realised that something was up when the waitress kept taking out cake boxes, checking them and putting them back, all the while looking harassed while on the phone.
Finally, she came to me and very apologetically said that my cake was still at Robertson Quay. After having spent an entire hour waiting, I couldn’t help but wail “What??!! I don’t understand, why is it still there?!” She apologised profusely, and said there were so many cakes for Mothers’ Day that they needed to do two deliveries, and it was on its way. She then said that she felt bad for making me wait any longer, and volunteered one of their delivery men to drop it off at our home or the dinner venue, whichever was more convenient.
She also offered to either give me a larger-sized cake, or something else to compensate for the trouble caused. Feeling duly mollified, I asked if she could give me a box of macarons, since I hadn’t tried Canele’s fairly famous macarons before. She agreed, and said the cake and the macarons would be delivered to our place that afternoon.
The delivery guy arrived at 3 pm, with the cake and two boxes of macarons, each containing a dozen. That was a lot more generous than I expected, figuring that they’d just fob me off with a box of 6, or 12 at most. After the delivery guy left, it suddenly occurred to me that in the whole hooha of the afternoon, I hadn’t even paid for the cake yet! I immediately called the branch and spoke to the same waitress, and when I sheepishly said I hadn’t paid yet, she said “No no no, it’s ok. It’s our fault, we made you wait for so long and caused you so much inconvenience, we’re very sorry.” By then I felt SO bad and offered to pay a few more times, but each offer was rejected. Ack.
So there you have it. Yes, perhaps they were a little disorganised, more so because it was Mothers’ Day, but you have to give them props for their fire-fighting and damage control. Very good customer service, and I must say it does pay off – now I feel obliged to patronise them more. Anyway for what it’s worth, the cake was good but could’ve been thawed a bit more before eating, and the macarons were rather impressive.
C probably scared the poor girl.
C is very scary.
She beats me.
Anyway, Canele has more than made up for the disappointing experience we had the last time. I can now recommend it again.
290 Orchard Road
Open daily: 11 am to 10 pm