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Sunday, November 12, 2006

One place I won't be eating again

So we went for lunch at the new Red Robin over in Greenfield. We'd never eaten there before, and were delivering stuff to Half Price Books, and thought we'd try it. While the food, eventually, was very good, we had an experience that should land the place on Casper's list.

Even though we arrived at almost noon, we were able to get right in. Our server was a little slow coming back with our drink order--that should have been a sign--but we ordered and started looking forward to trying the food and the bottomless fries.

And then we waited. Made pleasant conversation. Got a refill. And waited. And waited. And waited. Well, we thought, they just opened, it's a Sunday lunch crowd, we'll give them some slack.

And we waited. No sign of the server or the food, and it was, by then, going on 12:40. How long does it take to make a chicken sandwich and some fajitas?

Finally, we noticed that several tables that were seated after we ordered got their food, though we still hadn't been able to catch the attention of our server. So I desperately tried to flag down the manager I'd seen walking around. When I finally got his attention, and explained the problem, he, without apologizing yet, went right back to the kitchen to "find out what happened." A couple of minutes later, he was out with our food--and apologies--and we dug in. But no offer to comp a meal, or anything beyond a vague "I'll check back with you later."

By the time we were halfway through our food, finally our server made it back to our table. At this point, we hadn't seen or talked to her in more than half an hour. No apology, no attempt at an explanation, nothing. Just an offer of more refills.

When the check came, itwas full price. And our server had the gall to point out the customer service survey she put in the folio with the bill!

We wave the manager down again, explain to him that his server's obliviousness further complicated the situation, and asked if he'd ever found out where the problem had been. He said that the error had been in the kitchen, and that he'd be sure to talk to the server at the end of the shift. He told us to wait there, and disappeared long enough to grab ten "Bird Bucks" as if that made up for it--we'd now been at the restaurant almost 80 minutes, double the time we noticed other tables taking--and told us that the next time (ha!) if we noticed that the service was taking more than ten or fifteen minutes, to notify a manager.

In other words, it was our fault we waited so long.

The "Bird Bucks" have already been recycled.

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