IT IS far too easy for customers to take their frustrations out on the waiting staff after a below-par dining experience.

But maybe we need to look at the bigger picture before sounding off at those who are not the root of the issue.

My visit to the Didcot Harvester at Milton Gate was a prime example.

I brought some problems on myself by turning up on a Saturday night without having booked, but only had to wait ten minutes before a table became free.

However, during that time it became obvious we were in for a tricky evening.

On three separate occasions a waitress collected drinks from the bar, only to have to return moments later to correct the order.

Arguably the main attraction of the Harvester chain is the buffet salad bar – an instant fix for those desperate for immediate food.

However, to work efficiently you need to keep these items constantly topped up – and this rarely is the case.

We took our seats with the two tables around us still scattered in empty plates and glasses from the previous occupants.

They were cleared after a while, but merely provided further evidence of the lack of resources for the busiest night of the week.

With staff whizzing past carrying plates of food and trays of drinks, we took it upon ourselves to visit the salad bar (which was sadly lacking in contents) with seemingly no imminent risk of being asked to place an order.

Eventually our waitress emerged, very apologetic, but clearly under immense pressure.

The food took longer to arrive than ideal, but we had already feared this would be the case.

My triple combo (£12.49) was fine, although the grilled Cajun chicken could have done with being cooked for slightly longer.

Ruby’s ‘Build your own wrap’ (£5.99) was well-received, although quite how long the grated cheese had been left standing was up for debate – we eventually prised it out in one big, rather sticky heap.

But there was no point in complaining – the staff could not cope as it was and moaning about small things would not change anything.

I just hope management take these comments – and those of the other complaining customers – on board.

Our waitress was very professional and did all she could – it’s unfair she and her colleagues were getting the grief when others are the ones at fault.