Naming and shaming- Ramada Penns Hall

If you have allergies, you will know that it is difficult to eat out. However, when you have spoken to the eatery in question and have been assured that your allergies can be catered for, to be told 15 minutes before your booking that actually, they can’t is a bit off. But that is exactly what the Ramada Penns Hall Hotel, Sutton Coldfield did to me yesterday.

The event was a pantomine and dine, a three course carvery followed by a pantomime. Together with some other mums from my children’s school, we arranged to go. I did the organising and spoke to the events team before booking to ask if I could bring my own food for my son. I was told that this wasn’t usual and if I did this under no circumstances would I expect to pay any less for no food than for someone having three courses. This was, of course, discriminatory against allergy sufferers, but I was advised that the kitchen would be able to accommodate our needs on the day. I then rang up to book- the final number of attendees was 22. Again I was advised that the kitchen would be able to accommodate my son’s allergies.

So, six weeks later, the day of the meal arrived. Everything was paid four weeks in advance, but having a sixth sense about this, I rang the hotel as we were on our way just to check 100% that the allergy friendly food would be available. There was some discussion on the phone before they advised us that actually, they could not guarantee anything leaving the kitchen would be nut free. At 12.45pm before a 1pm booking.

I went home to take a packed lunch for my son- we couldn’t let everyone down at that late point- but I was angry. My son rarely gets to feel ‘normal’ and to be dumped back into his allergy box at this late stage was soul-destroying. If they had advised me at the time of booking I could have prepared him and made alternative arrangements. Perhaps we would not have booked, which is presumably why they did not tell me then- why lose 22 people’s bookings when you can just ruin one small boy’s day and charge him £11 for some hot water.

The Ramada Sutton Coldfield Hotel, run by BDL Hotels Ltd will not be getting my custom again, and I will be investigating whether I can challenge their refusal to cater for, or offer alternative prices for allergy sufferers under anti-discriminatory legislation.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Joanne Dewberry (@CharlieMoos)
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 12:00:57

    BOO poor J
    Hope the panto was ace though and this hasn’t upset him too much


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