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“Good food but grumpy service”

Island Time Espresso Bar
Ranked #18 of 83 Restaurants in Terrigal
Price range: AU$6 - AU$22
Restaurant details
Reviewed 24 March 2024

Enjoyed an excellent bruschetta and poached egg for lunch in a pleasant location.
However overall experience diminished by negative vibes from the 2 waitstaff, who gave the impression they did not want to be there.
A welcoming smile or thanks for coming goes a long way and will be remembered.

Date of visit: March 2024
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviews (126)
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1 - 5 of 126 reviews

Reviewed 29 January 2024 via mobile

Food is fantastic!
Enjoyed a chicken wrap & chips, & a Classic Açai bowl.
The Açai bowl was tasty, but for $17 it was costly compared to the size & cost at my usual place.

Date of visit: January 2024
Thank Louise K
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 11 December 2022

Perfect bowl of fresh banana, orange, apple, pineapple, blueberries, kiwi and passion fruit with açai gelato, macadamia nuts, coconut and a sprinkle of granola. A great iced coffee alongside. Boom! Off to great start

Date of visit: December 2022
Thank MoneyPennye
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 15 September 2022

This place has great food and really, really good coffee, which is probably why they are still in business, but the service is surly, slow and discriminatory. Here's an open letter to their staff:

Dear Island Time Staff
Please understand that your job is so much more than just serving food. When people eat out they know that the food they are eating will cost way more than the same meal cooked at home, but they are happy to pay for a few different reasons; no cleaning up, a nice view and something fiddly to cook are all good reasons, but there is also the whole experience of having someone take your order and bring you food.

It's not at all unreasonable to expect that when I enter a café and take a seat that someone will smile, greet me and say something like "I'll be with you shortly". None of you do that. I've been coming to your café for the last few months for the great food and coffee and you still treat me like a total stranger. Nobody smiles or says hello. I often see people that have arrived after me getting served before me. If I walk into the café and try to order you tell me to go back to my table and the person I just spoke to comes out and takes my order. Seriously! You couldn't have saved yourself the walk and just taken it while I was inside?

A big part of good service is theatre. Sure, it's not brilliant money and it can be hard work (I've done your job) but part of your job is making people feel welcome and relaxed. If you do that, we come back again and again, and that means the business thrives and you keep your job. If six months of my money isn't enough to earn me a smile and a pleasant hello then I'm going to assume you would prefer I ate elsewhere. Actually, I expect a nice greeting the first time I walk into a café, and recently received exactly that when I walked into one of the other nearby cafés in Terrigal.

You should also keep in mind that it's illegal for dogs to be inside a café, so inviting people ordering take away coffee (which apparently CAN be ordered at the counter!) to bring their dogs inside is a definite no no. So is patting the dog and then serving food. I adore dogs but I wash my hands before eating anything after I've patted them and I expect wait staff to do the same.

My worst experience so far happened this week when my wife and I sat at a table for around 15 minutes while you all served other people, many of whom had arrived after us. When I went into the café and tried to place an order I was told to return to my table as if I was some kind of naughty school boy. We then waited ANOTHER 15 minutes before anyone served us. When someone finally arrived to take our order there was no smile, no apology for the delay and not even eye contact. When our meals arrived they were plonked on the table without so much as a nod by someone stony-faced and unfriendly. I gave her a big smile, thanked her profusely and received a polite grimace in return.

Your employer is doing the right thing with the food and coffee, and maybe that's enough for people to put up with the rude service, not being served, being served out of order or being treated like an inconvenience, but come winter you're going to need loyal locals to keep your job. Maybe it's time to think about what kind of service you like to receive when your out, and to give your customers that.

Date of visit: September 2022
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank 615joyk
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 14 April 2022

Excellent service and good food, had flat white coffee and the avocado smash was a good portion and very tasty

Date of visit: April 2022
Thank Nuttydarby
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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