Thanks a Lot, Breakfast Bastards
Yesterday, I recieved in the mail a letter which surprised me. It was from a local breakfast restaurant, one at which my family used to enjoy dining at on a fairly regular basis for the past six or so years. The food was great, service impeccable, cost reasonable. It reminded me a lot of my favorite restaurant outside of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, that I used to go to as a child.
Note that in the above paragraph, I say that we USED to enjoy eating there. That all ended back in November.
We arrived at the restaurant, which was practically empty. One of the first things we noticed was that none of the regular wait staff was on the premises...we're talking about ladies who have worked there for ten years or more. It seemed odd, but we thought little of it at the time.
After being seated, we were ignored for nearly 15 minutes. No water, no menus. The baby's getting cranky and we're wondering where the hell our waitress is and what she can possibly be doing, as there are two other waitresses there and only three tables total of people in the joint.
Finally the waitress arrives, without a word of apology or explanation. Whatever, we're hungry, we know what we want, let's order.
Another 10 or 15 minutes go by, and no drinks, no appetizers. No waitress in sight.
The drinks arrive, and the appetizers. Moments later, our food is also served. We're pretty hungry at this point, and dive in.
My son's hamburger is raw in the middle, my hash browns are missing and the eggs that both I and my girls ordered taste strongly of soap. Very, very strongly of soap. It was like french-kissing Mr. Clean. It's been months, and I still can't eat scrambled eggs.
We try to flag down our waitress, but once again, she's disappeared. We'd have more luck tracking down Jimmy Hoffa at this point. We decide to eat what is edible until we can find the moron.
At last, the prodigal server returns. She makes a snide, rude comment about the "mess" the baby has made (which consists of a pack of crackers opened and upended on the floor), and proceeds to ask us if everything's "ok." She begins to speed off again before we can answer. My husband says, in a very loud voice, hoping to gain a slight bit of her attention: "NO, everything is NOT ok." We point out the raw burger, the missing hash browns and the Lemon Joy-flavored nasty-ass eggs. She asks us if we want them re-cooked. Gee, genius, you think so? The idiot apologizes, and tells us that our drinks will be "on the house." She then takes the offending food and zips away. Go, speed server, go.
Another 15 minutes go by, and my son's burger returns. It is cooked...and he can finally eat. The rest of us are done, and the poor kid has been sitting there, starving, watching us eat. There are no eggs and no hash browns. We're also now running late for the movie we'd planned to see. Jonathan is now visibly irritated. And guess what? Our waitress is gone AGAIN. Kreskin couldn't predict this woman's movements.
Our son finishes his burger, and we're ready to go. Now all we need is a check...which, of course, requires the Amazing Disappearing Waitress. We wait, and wait...and wait. Finally, my husband gets up and actually hunts the woman down. We have now missed the movie and will have to see the next showing...if we can get out of the diner of the damned. This throws off our plans for the rest of the day...but who could predict that it would take nearly two hours to get some pancakes and burgers?
My husband comes back to the table, check in hand. As we're heading to the cash register, he notices that despite the waitress' assurances, we have indeed been charged for our drinks. We consider talking to the manager, but we can just make the movie if we hall ass NOW. So we leave. I spend the rest of the evening sick to my stomach from the soapy eggs.
The next day, I attempt to get ahold of management by phone, to no avail. All I get is a machine telling me where the restaurant is located...which would come in handy, if I ever wanted to eat there again. Fortunately, I don't hate my digestive system that much. Unable to reach a real live human being, I write them a letter and mail it out.
That was in November. I recieved their reply...yesterday.
Here is their answer to my two-page letter detailing our meal from hell:
Thank you for providing us with feedback on your dining experience. We take our customers concerns very seriously and will do our best to ensure that your next meal with us is enjoyable. Please accept this gift certificate as a small token of our appreciation.
"Feedback"? It wasn't feedback, you mental midget. It was a COMPLAINT. And there will not be a "next meal." If I want to endure inedible food served by a rude woman who comments on my kids' behavior, I'll eat at my mother-in-law's house, thank you very much.
And the gift certificate? $10. It didn't even cover the drinks that were supposed to be covered in the first place.
Restaurant managers, take note, this is how to lose a customer: treat them like shit, feed them slops, then ignore their complaints for nearly five months before sending them what amounts to a coupon and a form letter.
I can see now why all the old staff is gone. I know we won't be back.