Im sitting here with my wife watching in disbelief at how rude the staff are. We walked up tithe counter, no greeting at all. When we ordered he was rude. Then he proceeded to have an argument with another female staff. My tea is looseleaf but served in a press so it's now bitter and I can't drink it. My wides coffee is cold because the cups are cheap thin junk. The steam wand on the espresso machine has a days worth of crud on it.
Good luck cocoa! With the poor service and ho hum average tea and coffee you wont make It till next spring
A few weeks ago, my wife and I decided to stop into coco et olive for a light lunch. We were greeted and helped by a young girl who was very polite and helpful. I ordered the french picnic panini and the chicken lemongrass soup, and my wife ordered the caprese panini and the chicken lemongrass soup as well. The girl helping us had a little bit of difficulty ringing in our order, but immediately told us it was her first day, and she was sorry for the delay.
We took a seat at one of the tables, and waited approximately fifteen minutes before the owner, I'm assuming, brought us a french picnic sandwich, a caprese sandwich, and two sandwiches that we did not order. My wife told him that that was not what we had ordered. The man immediately got into a huff, stormed over to the girl who had helped us, and without bothering to lower his voice told her that something was wrong with our order, and that she needed to come fix it. He then stormed into the back.
The girl came over to us and asked what was wrong. I explained that we had ordered the french picnic panini, the caprese panini and two lemongrass soups. She apologized and explained that she thought we had ordered the lemon chicken panini, and not the soups. She took our plates, told us she would fix the problem and returned quickly with our correct orders. She was very apologetic and was good about remedying the situation. Our complaint is not with her, but with the owner.
We watched as she went back behind the counter, and the owner yelled at her about her mistake, and then disappeared into the back again.
No one likes when there is a problem with their order, but the girl helping us was very good about making sure we eventually got what we ordered and were happy. The owner however, couldn't be bothered to help his customers when there was a problem, and actually stormed away from us without apologizing or even saying a word when we complained. And then sent someone to deal with unhappy customers on her first day. And then proceeded to yell at her infront of customers, for making a simple mistake, that was easily fixed, on her first day.
The employee who helped us was very pleasant, our lunch was indeed quite good, and that cafe itself was very charming. However, an owner who can't be bothered to even try to help his customers and treats his employees the way he did when my wife and I were there left a bitter taste in our mouths. Coco et Olive, if you want to stay in business, consider learning a few things about manners or customer service.
My wife and I recently visited Vancouver and thought it was necessary to open an account here on dinehere.ca simply to extend my experience at Coco et Olive to any potential customers.
The main problem with Coco et Olive is the total boor of an owner. He was so rude to my wife and I that we literally couldn't believe it -- I thought I was in an alternate universe where the owners of small nondescript cafes were in a position of power over the masses. Ordering our food took forever -- they haven't seemed to master the cash register. Likewise, our drinks took forever -- so much so that once my coffee arrived it was cold. My complaint was met with utter indifference from the staff, and they suggested that they didn't burn the milk as at other coffeehouses, hence theirs were usually tepid.
Next, our food was taking forever -- around 25 minutes passed -- so I decided to go speak to the person at the counter. Not a good idea, apparently. He doubted my ability to read a clock, insisting I had only just ordered 5 minutes prior, and then went on to suggest that if I didn't want to wait for good food I should leave. Usually I would've left, but my wife was starving and the prospect of finding another place quickly was slim as we are not familiar with the area -- plus being on vacation I wasn't exactly in the aggressive mood to argue with this gentleman.
Anyhow -- the food comes and it is very mediocre. We ate about 1/2 of our plates each, and decided we'd satiate our hunger and have a better meal later on in the day. The owner comes over and proceeds to lecture us about how lucky we are we waited because his food was the best in the city -- at which point I'd had enough of his BS and told him we'd left 1/2 of the food on our plates not because we were full, but because we felt we didn't want to waste filling up on his drab offerings when there is so much incredible food in Vancouver. This set him off like crazy, and he just raised his voice further and further, embarrassing himself and causing me to simply laugh out loud.
I don't know why this gentleman feels he has the right to yell at customers, esp considering the very mediocre food and drink he produces...as another reviewer stated, perhaps Vancouverites think his "French" personality is quaint, but I don't find being yelled at by a pathetic little man the least bit ingratiating.
After reading another reviewer's experience I thought I'd share my own. Coco et Olive has reasonably tasty food and a reasonable ambiance to it. The imported goods on the back and side wall compliment the old tables and chairs and give it an 'old world' feel. The music is rarely offensive and sometimes enjoyable.
If only the same thing could be said of the owner - he is frequently rude with customers and extremely rude with his staff. I suspect he only gets away with this as a result of being French such that naive Vancouverites think that this is 'authentic' French service. One example:
The cafe had run out of change. Instead of going to get more change (there is a TD bank nearby) the owner began telling customers that they could purchase things but simply wouldn't receive change. Essentially a mandatory (and frequently large) tip. One customer wanted to purchase a couple of small items but didn't have exact change and didn't want to leave a mandatory tip. So the staff told him that he could return later with the correct change since it was the cafe's fault that they had no change. He left with his small baked goods. Upon hearing this the cafe owner became extremely angry and chased the customer down and demanded the goods back taking it from his hands.
I no longer go to this cafe thanks both to how he treats his staff and how he treats his customers.
Ever been yelled at in front of an entire restaurant and banished from frequenting it because your sandwich just happened to have the careless remnants of the chevre wrapping?
I am part of an intimate Thursday lunch group. We meet, discuss the latest in our lives, dissect reality tv and eat! Over the past few months Coco et Olive had become one of our regulars. The relaxed, and at times abusive, rude treatment notwithstanding- we had added this casual, hole-in-the -wall to our repertoire.
Well, all this changed after I munched through plastic. I did what any patron would do; I merely pointed out the issue. I only wanted an apology, an acknowledgment and perhaps a replacement sandwich. My plate was whipped away without the slightest indication of surprise, remorse or concern. ..After 10 minutes, inquiry into the status of my new plate was met by a thorough thrashing by the French owner. He made it difficult for me to explain that while I realized he had not purposely fed me the plastic, I had ingested a portion of it and was awaiting either a new meal or an apology. He concluded loudly, in front of his sheepish, embarrassed wife and the disbelieving lunch crowd that my friends and I were no longer welcome in his establishment. They, who were innocently chatting and guiltily enjoying their food, were forced to stand and exit the joint. So, we bid farewell to one another on the sidewalk amid the intrepid stares of fellow patrons. Some no doubt confused that the recipient of a foreign and potentially dangerous object in her food should be banished.
In retrospect I realize that he was clearly anxious of bad press or worse. Perhaps his wrath was transferred from his prep staff to me. Either way it has left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
I was really looking forward to visiting this cafe in Vancouver's west side. However, after my experience there I will not (and in fact probably cannot) go back there ever again. I went there for lunch with a friend. We decided to order a quiche and a sandwich and to split both. Immediately we were a bit taken aback when we approached the cashier to make our order. In response to my friend's cheerful "hello," the man behind the counter (I presume the owner) responded with a cold "you'll have to wait". After waiting several minutes we made our order. With our quiche still heating in the oven, we sat down and cut the camembert, turkey and cranberry sandwich directly in half. I took a bite of mine, and it was fine, although overpriced at $8 considering that the flavours weren't really that exciting, and the bread dry. My friend tried her half, and immediately realized there was no cheese at all on her half. After we each checked our half of the sandwich, the whole thing only had one slice of camembert, about 1.5 by 2.5 inches, all of which was on my half. I realize that perhaps the sandwich is intended for one person, but who wants a cheese sandwich with cheese on only half of it? My friend approached the girl behind the counter and asked for one more slice, and the girl, somewhat stunned, went to the kitchen. Shortly after the owner came out to the front to ask, pretty defensively, what the problem was. My friend explained the lack of cheese, and was a bit surprised that this was being made into a problem. The owner seemed very insulted. He insisted that his "sandwiches are good, that they are "handmade". He basically inferred that because they are handmade that sloppiness in ingredient distribution should be par for the course. My friend responded that she felt that considering the price, it was not unreasonable to expect at least some cheese on her half and that she was sorry he didn't like her as a customer. The owner just shrugged his shoulders so my friend then sat down to finish the cheese-less sandwich. At that point we decided to just leave and I asked the girl at the counter to pack up the quiche to go. About 45 seconds later, the owner came out for round two. He told my friend "I really didn't like your comment" to which I said, "It's fine, we're leaving" and he said "Yes I think you should" as he stood over our table. Rather than allowing us to leave quickly, the quiche took several more minutes. It wasn't until I said that we would take the quiche unheated or wanted our money back that they produced the thing.
I have never been kicked out of anywhere before, and I am really surprised at how we were treated. I know that in other places you can expect mistreatment if you make a complaint about the food, but in Vancouver generally restauranteurs are good-natured and want you to enjoy the meal. The owner treated us as if we were idiots who didn't understand his gourmet foods. He was pretentious and rude and I was very unhappy about the experience. If you do decide to go to Coco et Olive, I recommend you ask for more cheese, just to see what happens.
I go to Coco et Olive at least once or twice a week and have never been disappointed. Always, they greet me with a smile and attend to me as quickly as possible but if I am in a hurry I don't go to this type of café -- and think that people who are in a panic, should go to places like MacDonald's which is just down the street. If you want to hand out and eat incredible food, meticulously prepared, then go to Coco et Olive, and enjoy the ambience, the people, the fun and the best coffee in the city. While I am there, I usually read a good book or magazine, listen to their great selection of music, have a second coffee, buy some great olives, or some superb Olive oil or some lentils du puy, some take home hummous (try their curried hummous!!) or a loaf of bread. I also enjoy the other people, many of whom are regulars, like me, who know that after a short wait, what comes out of the kitchen is always superb. The smiling Frenchman behind the counter has helped me kick start my Vespa on more than one occasion when I couldn't get it going -- I didn't even have to ask!!