Denny’s has opened a new restaurant, on route 47 in Huntley Illinois, located at Drendel’s Corner next to the gas station, across from Del Webb’s Sun City. Which is just down the road* from the Huntley outlet mall. Having an hour before prescriptions are ready at the Jewel-Osco. Before rushing off to work, then home, stopping in for lunch at the new Denny’s to judge the consistency of the franchise and the etiquette of the wait staff and its management’s customer service, seemed like a good idea. That snap decision was the regret of the day.
Denny’s main door is around front, just as are the gas pumps, facing route 47, with plenty of parking. Walking in the door you are met with a smile by a woman taking names. She will ask if you want a table or booth, very polite and professional. From there you have a short wait for your table. Again, smiles, apologies for your short wait. The aisles are wide enough the place is clean, new, having just opened days before.
Then you are shown to your table. The waitress is all smiles, cleaning off your table, she tells you she will be right back to take your drink order. She sets your menus on the table, giving you a few minutes to look over the laminated menu with its tantalizing photos and mouth-watering descriptions. She returns promptly.
Your order is taken, “Diced bacon and tender prime rib with seasoned red-skinned potatoes and broccoli served on a sizzlin’ hot skillet. Topped with shredded Cheddar cheese and Pepper Jack queso.” You are told that it comes with eggs. Didn’t realize it had, so you order scrambled eggs. * Later you realize it doesn’t come with eggs.
Drinks are brought, a coke, and a lemonade-tea. Then you wait. The waitress stops by and tells you your order will soon be up… Thirty minutes later your order is brought to the table.
“Two grilled seasoned chicken breasts covered with a delicious sweet bourbon glaze topped with mushrooms and fire-roasted bell peppers and onions. Served with broccoli and seasoned red-skinned potatoes.” At least that is what the menu shows. This order was minus the fire-roasted peppers and onions. It was looking a lot like someone else’s specialty order.
“Didn’t you order scrambled eggs with this?” The waitress asks as she set it on the table.
Okay, so it’s not just you noticing the order is wrong. Even the waitress noticed the eggs, she thought came with this, weren’t on the plates. You are confused. So you ask to see the menu, just to confirm what you actually ordered. It has been a whole half-hour and your brain is screaming for food. Trying to trick a man into eating chicken when he ordered beef and bacon, that ain’t gonna happen.
The waitress was told the order was wrong. The manager came over and said, “So, you aren’t gonna eat that?” When reminded it’s not what was ordered. The menu appeared and you had to point out what was ordered. He said, “What do you want me to do about it?”
Here is where the passive-aggressive school of business management reared it’s moronic head as if the paying customer is somehow to blame.
“All I want is the check for the drinks. I need to leave.”
He said, “You don’t want to wait for us to remake this?”
“No! I waited long enough for this. I am on a schedule. Just the check, please.”
You know that guilty feeling you get when you don’t eat what’s set in front of you. That feeling was rumbling around in my gut. Maybe it was because I was hungry. Or, my way of keeping cool, who am I to tell this Denny’s manager how to provide customer service? Instead, I asked for the business hours.
“Denny’s is twenty-four hours.”
You say, “maybe I will try again when you aren’t so busy, like at three in the morning.”
“That’s good, I won’t be here.” was his sharp reply. Then he laughed, “Sorry I didn’t mean that, I meant, that…it’s not my shift.”
He turned and walked away. I give this Denny’s one star for all the smiles and two thumbs down on management’s ability, at customer service.
If I were Denny’s owner I would worry about Taco Bell they are always positively consistent and have a great people-friendly manager. Plus they are right next-door.
Have you eaten at Denny’s?
Have you been disappointed at any restaurant?
Have you or would you go back to a restaurant after a bad experience?
(*) Using space, time and distance in terms relevant to living in the county, hence-down the road.