Is it just me or is the food service industry going to Hades in a breadbasket of stale bread faster than the food actually arrives?
Twice this week I have had less than pleasant experiences. Granted, most trips to a restaurant these days are not very pleasant, but for the most part they are tolerable.
I won’t mention any names with the first establishment, only to say that the experience was utterly riDQulous.
We arrived for lunch about 12:15 and ordered right away. I’m due back at the office at 1 PM. The food arrived at 12:55. So much for fast service. But it gets better than that.
I wanted to order a Diet Pepsi. Indeed, that is what I ordered. The girl took my order and handed me a cup. They have a soft drink machine in the –well, what would you call it?–lobby area. I kind of like that. I don’t mind self-serve if there are free refills involved. I wish gas stations would try that.
Alas, I could not get a diet Pepsi. I couldn’t get anything diet. If I were diabetic, I would be stuck drinking water or driving my blood sugar level higher than it needed to be. My wife ordered a water bottle. She was told they were out of those, so she reluctantly ordered a diet Pepsi as well. (She’s a coke person. I know! She looks so normal.) But she couldn’t get a diet Pepsi either. But she could have gotten water! (Technically, she did ask for a water bottle. The girl told her all they had was tap water, which grosses her out.) I guess that’s what comes out of the machine. Since she already paid for a soft drink I think she chose root beer from the extensive list of options below:
When the meal finally came, my wife had fries with her order. She had specifically ordered a side salad instead of fries. The girl who brought the food out–not the same one that took the order–told her that they were out of lettuce. Apparently the girl at the register hadn’t gotten that memo yet. I felt bad for my wife, but it was kind of funny in that way that things that happen to other people are kind of funny.
Then I unwrapped my burger to discover that it was rather flat and very much unlike the photograph above the counter. It had no lettuce on it. Where’s the green? It’s not in my wallet as it now costs over thirty dollars for my family to eat fast food. It wasn’t fast. It isn’t cheap. I just hope it is food. Since I didn’t have time to eat the lettuce anyway, and I didn’t really want the Sierra Mist I was kind of forced to pour for myself, I wasn’t so late getting back to work.
My daughter tried to order a chocolate truffle blizzard. Guess what? They were out of the truffles!
No truffles. No lettuce. No water bottles. No diet soft drink. How long will it be until there’s no business?
Then tonight, we went to one of those establishments named after a weekday that is not Ruby Tuesdays. I ordered one of their pre-planned meal deals–you know how it works. You pick an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert for supposedly a good price. My family ordered their own fare. When the bill came for sixty-one dollars, I tried to use a Discount Card that we had purchased from a high school athlete–proceeds to benefit the local team. With the card, I should get $5.00 off the purchase of $25.00 or more (EXCLUDING ALCOHOL)–that’s how they wrote it, in all caps. Since we didn’t buy any alcohol and my bill was over $25, I figured that would help defray the original cost of the card.
Au contraire. And this wasn’t even a French restaurant. I was told I couldn’t use my card.
You may be wondering why. So was I.
Apparently, since I ordered the meal deal special, I couldn’t use the card. The computer would only accept one discount.
Damned computers. They are taking over the world!
She wouldn’t let me talk to the computer. When I complained, she “apologized” that it was a “corporate thing,” and not the local establishment. And this corporation thinks that the customer is always wrong.
She went on to say that I should have presented the card to her BEFORE ordering so that this could have been avoided. I disagree. She wouldn’t have given me the discount whether I had produced the card earlier or magically made it appear from behind her ear. I could have pulled it out my ____ as I entered the door and they wouldn’t honor it.
But now she was blaming me. It’s my fault I can’t use the discount card. Silly, freaking me.
She further added that it is written in the menu that the meal deal is not valid with any other offer. I had not seen that, and while I desperately wanted her to bring me a menu and point it out, I could tell from the stern look on my wife’s face, and the horrified way that my children were all slumping under the table in embarrassment, that I had better let it go.
But I did try to explain that even without my $12.99 meal special, I had spent more than $25 on the other meals. Say what you want about me, but I fight the good fight to the bitter end!
But she didn’t want to hear me anymore than the computer did. She didn’t want to hear me anymore–period. I guess the manager didn’t want to hear me either because she wouldn’t go get him/her. She reiterated that it was a corporate issue and there was nothing her manager could do about it.
Could they not ring it up separately? Could they have given me a $5.00 coupon or gift card for my next visit?
Perhaps the manager can’t do anything about it. But I can.
I don’t think I will eat there anymore.