Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chili's Fail

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We are a Chili's family.  We love their casual atmosphere and their good food, but their service at our local Chili's has been 50/50 lately.  Some visits the service is great, the food comes out on time and is tasty, and we enjoy ourselves.  Other times we get inattentive servers, slow kitchen and cold food.  Yet, we keep going because we do like their restaurant.

After not having gone in a couple of months, we headed to our local Chili's (Saxon Blvd. in Orange City) last night for dinner.  We were seated in what I like to call "the problem area;" left side of restaurant as you're walking in.  No matter what, we always have problems when we are seated on that side.  It's weird but true.  As the hostess (who looked a lot like Rosario Dawson) sat us, I muttered "Nooooooo, not this side!"

The server was very nice and attentive.  "We're in luck," I thought. "Maybe tonight would be the exception to the  "left side stinks" rule."


Although the server was great, our food (simple items: two orders of big mouth bites and one order of quesadillas) took a very long time to arrive.  Other tables seated after us were eating their main meals before we got ours.  Par for the course, but it got worse.

We were at a table, not a booth.  Behind out table, close to the front door, were 3 other tables the same size; seat 6 people each.  A second hostess, not Rosario, started turning them side by side, for a large party.  LARGE.  The hostess tells the group that they will be sitting at those tables, but they would have to wait until "that table over there leaves" (pointing to us.)  I have bat ears and I could read her lips.  Large group looks over at us. We had *just* gotten our late meal.

Super-large group decides to sit down anyway.  There are about 5 or 6 people left without seats.  They are scrunching at the end of their long table, squishing into David as we eat.

Our waitress is trying to take their order.  We're talking over 25 people.  As "Rosario" hostess walks by, one of the members from the other party gets up, walks over to us and asks us if we could move to the table on the other side of us.  If we could move.  You know, 4 plates, 4 cups, forks, napkins, cell phones, purse, kid lying down on my lap because she's tired because the meals were late.  Move.  We just got our meals after having waited 40 minutes for it.  I just stared.  David and the hostess at the same time said "No, they/we are not moving."

The Rosario-Dawson  hostess looks at us with incredulity in her eyes and says "You sit right there. You enjoy your family meal and have a good time. You are paying customers and you have a nice meal."

I could not believe it.  Why would Chili's SEAT that party if they were not ready with the tables.  What makes these people think that because they decided to sit when the tables were not ready, they can ask us to move for their sakes?

What a weird, awkward experience.  I tried to complain online at the survey they gave us, but there's limited space to put comments, so I could not fully explain to them what problems we had.



Hendel D'bu said...

We've had mixed experience at Chili's as well, and a lot of them out here in the PNW have closed. We really do enjoy them, when it's good, that is.

Sorry about the rude people...mean, selfish people suck.


Debbie St.Amand said...

Talk to the manager, face to face. That's just not right!


Ari C'rona said...

I'm sorry you had such an experience - there is never an excuse for bad behavior. :o/

Sha said...

We had a horrible experience at our local Chili's -- waited for a table for a long time after others who came after us were seated (and it was just my husband and I), ended up being seated at a dirty table, poor service, etc. The only good part was our food and the server from the kitchen who brought it to us (as our waiter was too busy gabbing with another table to bring it himself?), and even that wasn't fantastic. We also filled out a survey online afterwards, and didn't even receive an acknowledgement or apology. Unfortunately, that was our first experience at Chili's, and will be our last, unless we get another gift card to go there.