Saturday night after working all day at the fiber festival, Meghan and I decided we wanted to go out to eat and be served our food. We were both tired and dehydrated.
We decided to go to Applebees. Applebees is such a large chain that I figured it would be good service and good meals. But not so much of either.
When we got to Applebees,it was busy but they seated us immediately. It took a few minutes before the waitress took our drink order. Megs ordered a pop and water and requested a pitcher of water. I ordered some mixed drink and water with lemon. Nothing was said that we couldn't have a water pitcher on the table.
Well my mixed drink came in just a couple of minutes, but we had to wait for the water and pitcher for about 8-10 minutes. I understand they were busy, but you would think they could bring us water.
They did deliver the water, pitcher and pop finally. About that time I went to use the restroom.
When I got back I could tell Meghan wasn't happy about something....they took the water pitcher away. Meghan told me a different waitress came, lectured her about the fact that we can't have a pitcher of water on the table and took it away...... she lectured a customer! What kind of customer service is that?
Our waitress stopped by again and apologized, she said she didn't know pitchers couldn't be left on the tables.
Well finally our food arrived. Megs had ordered some hamburger with no pink in the middle. I ordered a rare steak. Meghans hamburger was pink. Meghan said she would still eat it. But then I cut into my steak and it was hardly pink, so we sent both back.
Not long after the shift manager stopped by as we had had so many problems with things. He applogized for the meals and the water problem. I explained to him that I wasn't really that concerned about the meals, those things happen, and that if they had allowed us to have the water pitcher, I probably wouldn't have complained about the meals. He told us that the Applebees policy is to not leave pitchers of water on the tables, they want to promote a more 'fine dining' atmosphere than a 'diner' atmosphere. I again stated that the customers had requested it and it was pretty poor customer service to ignore our request.
We received our recooked meals. My steak was still more medium rare than rare. I think Meghans meal was fine.
Meghan timed how long it took us to get water and pop refills and it took about 5 minutes....and that was 5 minutes when Meghans glass was empty except for a little ice.
After we finished our meal, we recieved our bill. I was quite amazed that they still charged us full price for everything. We weren't looking for a discount or a free meal, but to see everything that they screwed up in our meal experience, you would think they would do a little more than, 'We're sorry.' I also never asked for a discount or free meal from them, but I would expect a little more from a 'fine dining restraunt.'
After we left we were talking and we wondered what they would have done if we had ordered a pitcher of beer? I really doubt they would have refused to serve us a pitcher of beer. But then again they are fine dining.
I have dined at many places that I would consider fine dining and I don't recall having ever asked, but I bet if asked they would have provide some type of pitcher of water. I doubt it would be in a plastic pitcher, more likely a carafe or some stately pitcher of water.
Fine dining my a**!
So the next time you want a 'fine dining' experience, just go down to your local applebees, but make sure you don't ask for a pitcher of water!