Sunday, August 6, 2023

I Need To Vent About Restaurant Service and Attitude

clear drinking glass on table

I need to VENT about a restaurant experience, attitude, customer service and quality. 

Last night my husband and I were driving home from North Jersey (1 and 1/2 hour ride to Pennsylvania) and decided to stop in a restaurant for dinner on our way home.  We stopped in a familiar restaurant chain that carries gluten-free pasta and endless salads! Perfect for me. BUT what is wrong with today's workers???

person with white watch driving car

Confident about our choice, we parked the car and walked to the entrance of a well-known chain restaurant. I was surprised that it looked a little dirty in the outside entrance way with trash on the floor and finger smudges on all the doors. 

I said to my husband this is not a good sign-I think we should drive an additional 20 minutes and go to the same chain restaurant in our own neighborhood that is always clean, inviting, and has delicious food. 

He gave me an unhappy look like, "really??" You want to leave?

brown and white cat sitting beside of glass window during daytime 

So I sucked it up and hoped for the best. Well, I should have trusted my intuition when I saw the red flags: fingerprinted windows, paper and cigarette butts all over the entrance and NO LINE to get in at dinner time. But we proceeded to be shown to a table.

The waitress (about age 17 or 18) very pleasantly took our order, and I even complimented her on all the  sequin glitter that was painted all around her eyes. I ordered a salad with dressing on the side (this is important) and GF pasta with marinara sauce and broccoli- my favorite.

Five minutes later the waitress came out with our salads! 
As I started to toss mine, I notice that there was quite a bit of old brown lettuce leaves and brown hard core of the Romaine lettuce that was not edible.

spoiled romain lettuce on a plate

As soon as the waitress returned, I pointed it out to her.  She responded that all of their lettuce in their restaurant was brown and there was nothing she could do about it. ( HUH??)

I was surprised/shocked, but let it go for the moment, but not before I looked up the rating of this restaurant on Yelp- 2.5 stars!!

Brown Romaine lettuce spoiled

A few minutes later the manager (around age 27) was walking around asking patrons if they were enjoying their meals. When he came to me, I couldn't help but show him my plate of brown lettuce. 
He just said he was very sorry and walked away without further conversation or assistance.

I was furious and my salad was ready for the garbage. 

Remember the dressing on the side?- this is the gross-est part. 

bowl of salad dressing

 I noticed the dish with the dressing looked like it had a design on it ( It was dark in there).  At a closer look, I realized that it was baked on food and stains. YUK!!! 

I immediately called over my waitress to show the dirty dish to her. 

Italian salad dressing in a bowl

Her response floored me. She said, "What do you want me to do? Why are you badgering me? It's not my restaurant. I don't own it.

dirty bowl with salad dressing

Her attitude was unacceptable. She took no responsibility, acted as if this was "normal" to serve spoiled food and dirty dishes and was actually defensive that I was informing it to her. 

GF pasta rotini with marinara sauce and broccoli

Stupidly, because we were hungry, I ate my gluten-free pasta and it was actually good but I was not happy with this experience. In fact, one of my friends the next day said I should send the photos to the board of health because it could have had bacteria that could have made me sick. 

When I finished my pasta, I found the manager again, and again,  he said that he was really sorry about the salad and the bowl and said he would he would talk to the waitress.  

He ended up taking the less expensive meal off the bill (that was my husband's meal) but never mentioned to me that he was going to do so.

Question: Is this the attitude and customer service of the new generation? What gives? 

I left angry with my pics and my story never to return again.  I needed to vent - thanks for listening!

Do you have any comments or had similar experiences ? 

BTW: I did not get physically sick. 


  1. We don't eat out since much better to enjoy homemade meals. If we are on the road, I usually pack food for my husband and I fast. That's why I cook and bake so often :-), not really much....just a small portion and of course my refrigerators are packed with my baked goods. If I bake a lot, esp. during the holiday season, I usually give away to my neighbours and my extended family. In our house, we hardly eat pasta...I actually just throw away a bag of pasta that I bought 2 years husband do eat them, but he prefers sourdough bread (with a big portion of salad and fruit, again something I don't care much) over pasta or rice. I grew up eating rice 3 meals a day...and it must have been more than a decade or two since I last had some rice.

  2. So sorry to hear you had that experience but I'm glad you didn't get sick. I do believe it is this generation (not all, but a LOT) that have no sense of responsibility, accountability or common sense. I too have noticed they are argumentative and wonder why you are complaining or being mean to them. We have had to become extremely picky on where we eat and even where we shop. Customer service that we knew, is rare now sadly..

  3. Since this is a chain, it appears that the Corporate office or Regional Manager is NOT doing their job any better than the staff where you stopped. Unfortunately this seems to happen more and more often. Sorry you had that experience, but I am glad you wrote about it, we should take a look at what is placed in front of us, before digging in...

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about this -- what a miserable experience! Except for one occasion at a drive-through -- where the cashier did not acknowledge the fact that we had given her exact change or motion us through to the next station, but after putting our cash in her register, simply returned to her window, looked ahead at the next station and looked at us, like "are you idiots? move!" -- we haven't had any experiences quite like that. Mostly I run across people who can't count change, people who say they are "afraid" of handling money, etc. Makes me sad. (And grateful for a father who drilled us on math facts... even during the dinner hour.)

  5. Disgusting! We have a local restaurant we will never visit again. Similar experience and similar result.

  6. I think much of the problem is that retail stores and restaurants can't find enough workers, and are forced to hire people who aren't able to deal with the public. And then management is running so ragged they don't have time to train their staff properly. With that being said, there is no reason you should have to accept service and food like you got at this restaurant. If it was me I would call them out by name on social media (and maybe even include my photos).

  7. Wow. Yes, I'd definitely send those pix to the board of health or whomever regulates restaurants -- and post on Yelp and Trip Advisor and social media -- by name of the restaurant. With photos. . You mentioned it is a chain so I would also write to the headquarters and share your photos. (I suspect the waitress expected a tip, too! Don't start me on tipping and baked in service fees.) By and large the worst service issue I've seen is just being slow and ignoring the guest. When it's busy, I am more willing to cut some slack but when it's not, its especially annoying. That and counting back change, which no one seems to do anymore. They're helpless if you don't use a credit card. It distresses me when managers don't adequately train (or at least advise) their staff on basic courtesies.

  8. So sorry to hear about this experience and agreed this seems to be happening more since Covid. We've had little issues here and there, nothing that bad yet.

  9. OMG! I nearly lost my lunch when you mentioned the baked on food on your dressing dish. It has gotten to the point where I rarely dine at restaurants any more. My food is better, my place certainly cleaner, and I can eat in my underwear. :-)

  10. Oh Judee, how absolutely awful! I'm so happy you didn't get sick -- that was actually the first thing I thought of before you even mentioned it. It's amazing that this place hasn't been shut down!

  11. Yikes, that is awful! I rarely eat out, and when I do it is always at one of a handful of restaurants that are top notch. The attitudes you encountered are shocking!

  12. Spidey sense had you right. I agree, leaving would have been best, that said, I wouldn't have paid anything for that food. We would have left if it was served that way.

  13. Testing. Having issues with my comments on many blogs today. All going to spam. Wondering if it's my new tablet causing problems with Blogger. LOVE that you took the middles out of these. Brilliant idea. Thanks.


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