Monday, February 26, 2007

Cheesecake Factory Flop

I got to go out to lunch yesterday with my sister and a mutual friend. We decided to go to the Cheesecake Factory. They have a ginormous menu and we were all hankering for a big slice of fat and sugar, er, cheesecake.

We sit down and are immediately given bread and butter. So far, so good. Minutes go by, then twenty minutes. We are craning our necks around, trying to catch the eye of every server we see, with not much luck. We are dying for a drink, and we finally flag down a mysteriously roving bartender to please, please get us something to drink. Finally, we get our iced teas and as we had indicated that we had gotten no service up to that point, figured he would pass it on.

Silly, silly, us.

We wait another fifteen minutes before I am elected to go find a manager. I find my way to the front, and patiently wait to even ask the hostess for the manager, as the place is hopping. He arrived and I, ever so politely and with a smile, said that we had been waiting forty minutes for someone to take our food order, and that we had to beg someone to get us our drinks after twenty minutes. Oh, well, where are you sitting, he asks, I will take care of this immediately.

I go back to the table and all of a sudden there is our waitress, who claimed that it was not her fault and that she had been on break and that she told her boss that he "owed her some food" for taking her off her break. I'm sorry, but are breaks usually forty minutes long? If so, I apparently need to join the restaurant industry. With this pitiful apology, she takes our order. The manager comes and tells us, "She'll take care of you, make sure she takes care of you."

Huh? I looked at my sister and wondered if that was some sort of secret code. Wasn't he the one who was supposed to (ultimately) make sure that we were taken care of? We assumed that meant we would get a free dessert or whatever and were ok with that.

So, an hour after we were seated, our food arrived. It was all right. Then, we ordered our cheesecake. And we didn't even order one for each of us, we only ordered two slices. When the waitress came with our bill, we all looked at each other. I picked up the folder and lo, no discount! A full charge for everything! What was wrong with these people?

Again, I made the foray over to see the manager, and politely stated that we weren't looking for a free meal, but that after waiting an hour to get our food, we felt we at least deserved a free dessert! Oh, he apologized and blamed her and then blamed himself, but really, we were just kind of done by that point. No less than three different parties had been served at the table next to us throughout this fiasco. And, still no apology from the waitress.

I didn't stiff her on the tip, although I should have. I have no idea why I was being so nice, perhaps it was just the illusory freedom for a day that made my inner bitchiness fail to fully rear its head.

Next time, they won't be so lucky.

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