July 7, 2013

Careful Reading Those Labels

So after a nine hour drive through storm-induced traffic, we stopped for dinner at this Applebee's in Marietta, Georgia.

We were seated quite quickly.  We mulled over the order.  Chicken or steak?  Steak or shrimp?  Or should we get a burger.  Or a salad.  Or a burger.  Or a steak.  But eventually, we settled on a steak for me, and a turkey bacon club for my companion.  Something simple that would come out quickly.

Our server came and took our order. And then we sipped our Sweet Tea and waited for dinner to arrive.  And waited.

And waited.

 A long while later, my dinner companion asked the waitress about our order, and she promised to check it out.

About 15 minutes later, we asked again.  She apologized, and went back to the kitchen.  Five minutes went by.  Ten.

She finally came back to report that the kitchen was out of turkey, a required ingredient of the Turkey Club Sandwich that was half of our order.  "Would you like to order something else?"   My companion stared at her blankly.  It had taken 15 minutes to choose the damned sandwich.  And now she had to pick something else out of the air? 

It took our server a moment to realize that we didn't have a menu.  "Oh," she stammered, "Shall I get you a menu?"

"No," my dinner companion said, "just get me a burger.  You have burgers, right?  Do you still have hamburger back there?"  Hunger can make you cranky.  Very cranky.

Our waitress- sorry, server - ran our order back to the kitchen, and immediately returned to let us know it would be right out.  We inquired about the status of the other half of our order; would an ice-cold steak show up with a hot burger?  We were assured that both entrees would be hot.

The manager did come by to apologize, and explained that the kitchen staff really hadn't told our server that they were unable to complete the order.  It didn't sound like he went all Gordon Ramsay over anyone back there, but at least he tried to deflect blame from the server. Save that tip!

Actually, he'd have chewed US out:
"Applebees?  Are you fucking kidding me?
What did you fucking expect?"

It puts a whole new spin on the motto they proudly display out front, which we hadn't really paid attention to going in, but when I read it coming out the door, the irony was apparent:
The actual sign out front.
To be fair, that did feel about how long it took for dinner to arrive.  Order today, and you'll get it tomorrow.

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