PAMPA Brazilian Steakhouse offers a unique prix-fix dining concept known as “rodizio.” It features continuous service of 10 different cuts of beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and wild game cooked in the traditional churrasco style.
Don't waste your time and money at this overpriced restaurant with mediocre food and a greedy owner with poor personal customer service and business building training.
The Good: The Serving Staff were Great! We had a wonderful waitress, and the guys that bring around the meat were hilarious! They really made the evening enjoyable and full of laughter with their interactions at the table! You are to be commended!
The Bad: The food was way overpriced for what we received in quality of taste and flavour.
The Mediocre: The food.
SALAD: I love salad bars - and their presentation was very pretty. But I barely ate more than one or two bites of each dish that I tried, and had to spit out one of them. There was nothing that wowed me even a little. The only saving grace was the fresh mango slices. We were all hoping for pineapple... but none until the very end of the night, and it was sliced sliver thin and layered on the plate with pork - meaning my friend that cannot eat pork couldn't have ANY pineapple. It was also very weird to have the salad dressings right after the plates. So are we supposed to go past, get our salads, and THEN go back to the start of the line to get to the dressings again? i gave up!
MEAT: At other brazillian restaurants, I have been jokingly accused of making 'inapropriate sounds' while fully enjoying the beautiful flavours of the many different cuts of meat. At PAMPA's however, I was very dissappointed! Only ONE of the 10 cuts of meat warrented a 'wow' experience - the rest were mediocre... and FOUR of them tasted like LIVER! *BLECH*!
DESSERT: Ordered separately at an additional charge - which was far overpriced for what we got. We were having a birthday party and did not see anything we could order as a 'birthday cake'... so ordered some other items instead just because the dessert menu items looked interesting. Enjoyable, but not 'wow', and about double the price it deserved.
The ugly - The Owner: Oscar.
So once everyone was completely finished with what the restaurant had to offer, I brought out 2 'backup' birthday cupcakes, because a birthday just isn't a birthday without cake (and the restaurant did not have cake to offer that we could buy for this purpose). I knew their bellies would be full, but just wanted a photo with the 2 birthday people before they could put the cupcakes back in the box and take them home to have the next day. One person chose to put theirs back, the other person ate theirs.
When the bill came - we were shocked and surprised to be charged $18/ DOLLARS CAKE PLATING SERVICE CHARGE!!!!! SERIOUSLY? a labour/service charge for a labour and service that they never performed! To add insult to injury - it was explained that the charge was based on $3 per person for every person at the table of 6! Regardless of the fact that only 2 cupcakes were on the table, and only 1 was consumed, and that no service of any kind was performed by the restaurant staff. The owner noticed the cupakes and ordered the waitress to add the charge to the bill. So we asked to speak with him to sort it out. We comfirmed that this surprise fee/policy was not posted anywhere in the restaurant (and have since confirmed that it is also not posted on their website).
The proper thing to do:
Option 1: at the time of noticing the cupcakes, approach the table immediately and politely explain the policy - allowing us to put the cupcakes away without any hard feelings, nor any further action, leaving the owner with his dignity and the customers with a pleasant experience. If the customer doesn't understand there is a problem, they cannot make informed decisions. Offering that information is a service to the customer. It makes the restaurant look good at the end of the day.
Option 2: if they didn't have the courage to perform option 1, and just wanted to see if we would notice the extra charge, or NOT notice it an pay without knowing... then at the time of being questioned, the smart thing to do would be to either wave it, OR to at the very least seek the middle ground. As a matter of principle - math has to make sense. If we brought in 2 cupcakes to serve and didn't know about the fee, then we should pay $3 x 2 cupcakes. So reducing the fee to $6 would have shown that the owner is reasonable and has compassion, and wants these 6 people and all of their friends and family to return.
Oscar - the owner - did not care about the math of 2 cupcakes vs 6 people vs no labour or service provided. And would not back down. Is $18 really worth the loss to reputation and future business? or in this case - if option 2 had ensued - is $12 really worth it? Apparently Oscar is greedy enough that he wants the $12 so bad right now he is willing to put blinders on and refuse to think of the future ramifications of his actions on his business.
Oscar - there is a lot of training out there for you in the realm of customer service, and proper choices and recourse to PROSPER and BUILD your business. I hope you put that precious $18 towards enrolling in such education! Especially since one member of our party who had been talking earlier in the evening about this being a good choice for her Father's birthday of 15 people - has now abruptly cancelled any such thoughts! But it's just as well... she had never been to other Brazillian restaurants of this nature and therefore had no comparison to base the quality of the food, and therefore to think of 15 people paying that overpriced charge is hard to fathom anyways!