too stressed to think (gimmealyfe) wrote in bad_service,
too stressed to think

A Gripe on BJ's

I'm not sure how national the BJ's Restaurant and Brewery is, but in Southern California, there are quite a few locations. I'm a fan of their food (sometimes) and the Pizookie is always oh-so yummy. :9 I've never gotten bad service before at this chain.

Recently (and I mean within the past year or so), a new BJ's opened right near where I work so my friends and I tend to frequent the place for lunch/dinner. We've been there maybe half a dozen times or so and have only gotten "good" (read: tolerable) service twice. I know... it's stupid of me to keep coming back, but for some reason I always believe it'll be better next time around. The last time I was there was the worst.

It took them about 10-20 minutes to get seated in the nearly empty restaurant. Now, I understand that sometimes they are understaffed and that not all sections are open, but when there are only 2 other tables seated in the ENTIRE restaurant, I don't understand how you can be understaffed enough. And this entire time, the hostess is standing there, chatting it up with her friend/co-worker who's off the clock.

When we finally get seated, it took about another 10 minutes for the waitress to greet us. We just chalked this up to her being busy with the other two *cough* tables so we usually don't make a fuss about it- besides, it gives us time to choose our food. She then takes our drink order and leaves for about 10 more minutes before returning with drinks... then leaves without taking our order for another 10 minutes because the restaurant is soooooo busy. When our order's finally taken down and placed to be made, the waitress disappears AGAIN for another 20 minutes before bringing our food. OK, maybe the food's made fresh when there's not such a rush so it takes a while? Who knows... I've never worked in a kitchen before and hell, at least I got my food!

The entire time that we're eating, it's like the waitress just vanished into thin air. There are people walking about and delivering food, but our waitress is nowhere to be found. We weren't the only ones searching frantically for her- the other tables were as well. When we finally flagged down the runner to ask for some refills (I believe that's what the term is for those who just deliver food from the kitchen and isn't an actual waiter/waitress? Please correct me if I'm wrong), he glares at us and told us to, "Hold your horses, *name* will be out to help you shortly," before we were even able to ask him for refills.


OK, so you don't wait tables and it's not your "job," per se, to get us refills, but if you could pass it along to our effervescent waitress, we'd appreciate it. But no... you made it known to us that you didn't do that stuff. Needless to say, my friend and I were taken aback by this comment. Near the end of our meal, we were parched and ready to leave when our waitress finally comes by to hand us the check. "So are you guys done?" was what she asked us- no, "Would you like the dessert menu?" or "How was your meal?" We told her that the food was good but that we would like more refills before we left since we couldn't get any during the course of the meal.

"Oh, well you should've told me if you wanted refills."
"We tried to find you, but we couldn't. :/"

With that she stalks off to get our drinks and then hovers over our table to wait for us to pay the bill. WTF! My friend then proceeds to shove her credit card into the little black thingy (I don't know what it's called :x) just to make the waitress stop glaring at us. We paid, finished our drinks, and before we left, we spoke to the manager about the experience and she didn't seem too concern that the waitress was rude to us because it's completely our fault that we decided to eat at BJ's that day.

I don't know... am I just overreacting? Or am I under-reacting? :/ I've just never gotten service that was bad enough to write about.
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