We try to do a night out a few times a month and last night headed out to a chain restaurant (I will hold off mentioning where as I have emailed a complaint to them) for dinner. It is a restaurant we go to often, but not usually this location. It is not all that unusual for a restaurant to have long wait times but our experience last night was ridiculous.
We got there with just one family ahead of us and at least five open tables visible just from the entrance so you would think you would not wait long? You would be wrong. There was no sign of the host staff when we arrived, about five minutes later a busser passed by and said he would go find the hostess, who came out and took details for only the family in front of us – telling them children can’t eat at a booth – and said she would be back in a minute leaving us and the couple who arrived shortly after standing there with no greeting, no apology.
Almost ten minutes later she comes back to a crowd out the door, two tables had left while we stood there and she goes to one of the groups who arrived later and starts to take their details, they say themselves that others were there first and she finally takes just our details, the couple behind us left so she took details for the family behind them and announced “maybe you all want to wait in the bar area because it will be a while”. We asked how long as she replies with “as long as it takes, I don’t know how long people will take to eat”. What about the tables who left? Oh those tables are not available.
We copied the couple behind us in choosing to eat elsewhere and were seated right away at the nearby Swiss Chalet, obviously many of the people behind us did too as I recognized a few of them in Swiss Chalet. We will not be eating at that location again, but it is the worst host experience I have ever had, I am fine with being told it will be a while for a table but when I can see non-reserved tables and you don’t even bother to greet me – you have lost my business.