The food court at the Raglan Street supermarket welcomed its first customers last week. It can fit up to 130 diners, as well as offering takeaway or delivery options. It is the third Sainsbury's branch to host a Restaurant Hub, after Selly Oak and Sydenham, London.
Caffe Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Slim Chickens, Ed’s Easy Diner and Harry Ramsdens Fish and Chips, have all opened at the Wolverhampton branch, but customers who have visited recently were not blown away – quite the opposite, in fact.
Overall, the Restaurant Hub has a rating of 3.2 out of five on Google, with the majority of comments from unimpressed diners.
One customer, Darryl Starr, complained of the food and service two days ago: "Nobody seems to know how the tills work, the service is slow and the hot dog was inedible. Really expensive for what you get. The staff are nice though. Maybe it’s because it’s new?"
A response from the owner said: "Many thanks for taking the time to feedback on your visit. Yes the team are new but we' clearly didn't get everything right on this occasion. We'd have gladly replaced your hot dog if you'd have let us know so please speak to a member of the management team should there ever be any issues. We hope you'll give us another chance to put it right."
Another frustrated diner, Nik Andrews, detailed his experience, and does not recommend the spot. He wrote: "It opened 3 days ago. One of the ordering points wasn't working. Diet coke and Dr Pepper not working, nor part of the coffee machine.
"Although you can order Slim Chickens at 11am and pay for it, the manager told us it'll be an extra 20 minutes because the oven wasn't warmed up.
"Our food arrived and the meal was not even as big as a McDonald's meal, but costs £10.95. It was nice, but not £10.95 nice.
"Despite having 20 minutes to prepare, the milkshake (which was an extra £2) had been forgotten. The manager said it would take another 10 minutes. She also said she'd fix the diet coke. Neither was done.
"20 minutes later the milkshake hadn't arrived and we'd finished eating. I went to ask for a refund for the milkshake, by which point they had just made it. No use now!
"The manager said she couldn't refund the milkshake because it was part of the meal. Maybe, but we paid £2 extra for it! She did eventually refund the money for that part of our order because the till couldn't do just a £2 refund.
"There was no apology, just a very surly woman who, incidentally, was called away by another member of staff to do a refund! Bad attitude won't get you repeat customers."
The owner replied to Nik's complaint saying: "Many thanks for taking the time to feedback on your visit. We' clearly didn't get everything right on this occasion. We're looking into the issues you've raised to ensure they don't happen again and hope you'll give us another chance to put it right, we're definitely a lot better than McDonalds."
Complaining about the breakfast, Steve Smith said: "Just had a breakfast, it was cold, probably the worst breakfast I've had for the price. I will not eat here again."
In response to Steve, the owner said: "Really sorry your breakfast was cold, if you'd have let us know we'd have gladly replaced it. Our Flying Start Breakfast is only £5 and one of the cheapest around so we hope you'll come give this a try next time you're in store."
One review about the fast-growing fried chicken chain Slim Chickens said: "Absolutely shocking. Waited an hour to order, then told it would be another hour to get the food. They then said 'by the way we don't have the stock in for what you want'. Would save your time and money for somewhere else."
But it's not all bad. One reviewer under the name 'Lita_Meww' enjoyed the food, but agrees that the service took a while: "I really like that the restaurant hub is open near our place. It's clean and tidy.
"It was not busy when I arrived but the food takes a long time. The staff are so helpful and polite.
"We ordered fish and chips from Harry Ramsden’s and a chicken sandwich from Slim Chickens. I will be a regular customer here."
In response to Lita_meww's review, the owner said: "Thanks for the feedback, we're glad you enjoyed it and look forward to serving you again soon."
A Sainsbury's spokesperson told the Express & Star: "Since opening last Thursday, we’ve been really pleased by the response from customers and the number who have wanted to try The Restaurant Hub, our new food hall offer in Wolverhampton.
"Unfortunately the volume of demand led to some teething issues and we’re sorry that a small number of customers found it did not meet our usual high standards. We are working with our restaurant partner to resolve these as quickly as possible.”