Bad service actually starts on May 10th. I call to see if they take reservations. I get a woman who answers the phone cheerily enough. I ask, "I was just curious. Do you take reservations?"
*dead silence* Then, in a VERY rude tone of voice, "No. We. Don't. We. Have. Never. Taken. Reservations. We. Will. Never. Take. Reservations."
I kind of blinked. "I'm sorry. I didn't know that. Thank you for the help."
"Whatever. Thanks for calling Applebee's. Have a nice day." Said in the same rude tone of voice.
I figured, "Ok. Someone's PMSing really bad." (Being female, I know how cranky you can get when you're PMSing. I also figured that since it's Mother's Day weekend AND the Irrigation Festival, she's had a lot of calls about it.)
Skip ahead to Friday night. It's 6:30 PM. My husband and I and our three kids show up. The lady greets us with a smile and starts reaching for menus. "So, that's five then?" she asks.
"Actually, we have three more people coming," I say. "We were wondering how long it'll be for a table for eight."
This woman stopped smiling and stared at us like we had just uttered something so foul that it wasn't to be believed. "An hour to an hour and a half."
I nodded, thanked her for her time, asked her to put us down on the list (which she did, though you could tell she thought it was a waste of her time) and walked back outside for a minute. We moved aside so people could get by, but we were easily seen through the door. And a lot of people were coming outside to smoke, which is what my husband and our friends were doing. I slipped back inside about half an hour later to check on the progress of the table. A different woman looked at me, looked at her list, looked back at me and said, "I don't have you on the list."
"You should. Janet* put me on the list half an hour ago."
"Janet didn't say anything about it to me." She looked at the list. I saw it too, and saw that the other woman had crossed my name off the list. I asked how long it would be for a table for eight. This woman gave me the same nasty look. "Two hours."
"Screw this." I walked outside, told them how we were getting shafted, and said I wanted to go somewhere else. We ended up going to Tarcisio's, which was moderately cheaper, better quality (to me) food, and a lot more fun since it only took five minutes to get a table set up for eight people.
Seriously...I understand if you're having a bad day. I've been a hostess AND a waitress myself. But screwing over customers just because you don't want to deal with a large party is REALLY stupid.
*Name changed to protect the bitchy.