Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Welcome to Excuseville

TJ and I went out on a date for New Year's Eve.

We started the night around 7PM. We went to Applebee's, where we waited for twenty minutes for a table. That was no biggie. They were busy. We got our booth and made ourselves comfortable. Ten minutes pass and our waitress finally decides to check on us. She asks for our drink order. we order the complicated Diet Coke for TJ and a water for me. (I don't do Coke products.) Five minutes pass with no further contact with any waitstaff. The waitress for the booth beside us is telling her customers how they are understaffed tonight, and weren't expecting such a rush, and the managers are in the back and refuse to help out. We decide to take our business elsewhere.

We drive to the second of four available 'sit down places' to eat that aren't fast food in our town. We arrive at Cracker Barrel. We are told there it is a thirty minute wait. We decide to wait and get on the list. While we are waiting, I take the opportunity to call Applebee's and speak to a manager. The manager assures me that the managers were helping out and seating customers. She apologizes for our experience. she asks if can remember my waitresses name. I told her I didn't see her long enough to get it, but did tell her exactly where we were seated. She took my name and address to send me coupons for free appetizers.

At eight o'clock, we are seated at Cracker Barrel. At twelve minutes after eight, I go to the hostess and ask for the manager because no one has stopped at our table to take our drink order or anything else, even though four waitresses has buzzed around the section we were in. Within a minute, the manager and a waitress was at our table.

The waitress told us that she didn't realize this was her table, despite the fact that she waited on the last person to sit at that table. She also had no problem picking up the $5 tip that was left there. We finally were able to order. The waitress (Jade) asked us if we would like some biscuits while we waited. She brought the biscuits, butter, and jelly, and headed back to the kitchen. It was then we realized that we didn't have any silverware. SIGH. It was shaping up to be a great night.

TJ went to the restroom and mentioned to Jade that we needed silverware. When TJ came out of the restroom she was aghast. While she was in the restroom, one of the staff came in and used the facilities. When she came out of the stall, she went right out the door. Not a hint of hand washing. TJ mentioned it to the hostess, who immediately went searching.

The manager kept checking on our table and a table near us that was also receiving lousy service from their waitress.

My steak was OK. My potato was good and my salad was good. TJ's meal was fine. Before we were ready to leave, the manager came back to our table with a kind offer to take care of our check. We agreed to allow her to do so. She also comped the meals of the table beside ours.

So, our New Years Eve was filled with lousy service and kind managers. We will get free appetizers and got a free meal. I felt adequately compensated for my frustrations. TJ and I are not usually complainers. We try to give the benefit of the doubt to people and businesses. However, there are times when something needs to be said. We said it.

We headed home to spend the rest of the evening with family.

How is/was your New Years Eve celebrations?


Willow Tree said...

My goodness. I'm a firm believer in speaking up, both for good and bad service, so kudos to you for doing the same! I LOVE New Year's but I'm not a huge fan of going out because it seems the general public loses their minds, lol.

We had a nice dinner at home; I got indigestion from eating too fast because my daughter was having a fit and I was trying to eat while it was still hot. But, eh, whattaya do? For her, waking up is hard to do. And while I'm thrilled to be starting over, the kids missed the memo and are still what the hey is going on?? It's a process, lol.

Happy New Year my friends!

Blessings, Carolynn

Patrice said...

You know I never complain either, I just never go back!

Two Sundays ago, we went to Apple B's along with 2 others. I always order the same thing each time I go, along with the other lady that was with me. Both of us ordered the same thing, both were terrible.

We told the waitress which basically ignored us, then I told the manager, which told me, nothing has changed with the entree. That's it!! Nothing else! I was mad! No more Apple B's for me!

I am glad you had a better manager!

Debbie said...

I am going back to read the posts I missed while I was gone. I was anxious to find out how Tammy's surgery went but had to stop to comment on this post. Glad she felt well enough to go out but I am appalled at your story. What a lousy night. They didn't realize New Year's Eve might be busy? I just hope you guys didn't pick up anything "extra" at Cracker Barrel. Gross.