ash (wolfbane) wrote in bad_service,

As it gets closer to Halloween, real waiters are replaced with Ghost Waiters.

Last night I went to Denny's with two friends at about 1am. It was very busy, and the service sucked.

First, the hostess tossed the menus on the table. I mean that in a literal sense - she flung them at the countertop. She then walked off without saying anything - no "your server will be right over" or anything like that. Whatever, we had higher hopes for the waiter.

The waiter came over a second later to take our drink order. We all knew what we wanted for food because we had been talking about it on the car ride over, so we asked if we could order our food as well. He said no, because he was so busy. That was fine with us, so we ordered drinks - three waters and a coffee, no cream.

He came back with the waters and a coffee that was half full. My friend had specified that he didn't want cream, so the fact that the waiter had left room for it (a whole LOT of room for it) was a little baffling. He dropped off the drinks and didn't return for ten minutes. I'm not sure if he had more tables in another part of the restaurant, but we did not see him waiting on any of the tables near us. He then returned to take our order. I ordered the allnighter sampler, my friend ordered a salad, and my other friend ordered a grand slam with wheat pancakes and wheat toast. (This was exactly how he said the order).

A little more time goes by, and at this point our waters are empty, my friend has been finished with his coffee for at least ten minutes, and we haven't seen our waiter (or any staff at all for that matter) in quite some time. Out of the blue our waiter shows up with our food and drops it off, hurrying off without saying anything about the drinks.

At this point, I realize my meal is incorrect. I ordered the allnighter sampler, which comes with quesadillas, mozzarella sticks, chips and salsa, and carrot and celery sticks. The meal in front of me is chicken strips, onion rings and mozzarella sticks - this is the regular sampler, and I know I specified "allnighter". This is normally something I don't care about, but I was really not in the mood for so much fried food and I wanted quesadillas. My friend also notices his pancakes are regular, not wheat. I get up and wander out into the main room, and have to flag down a random waiter to ask him to send our waiter to our table - because we can't find him anywhere.

Our waiter returns about ten minutes later, and I mention very politely that I received the wrong meal. My friend insisted he didn't want to make a big deal about the pancakes, and that he would eat them anyway because he didn't want them to go to waste. He did ask for more coffee, and we asked for more water.

The waiter wanders off without saying anything. No "sorry" or "I'll be right back". He just looks at us and walks away. Now, we have no idea if he is even going to get the things we asked for or if he was just being rude.

He does return with the allnighter sampler, and another half-filled cup of coffee. At this point, he leaves the check with us and asks us to fill in the tip if we're paying with a credit card. I just got my meal, and neither of my friends are done eating - this is super early to receive the check, especially without a "no rush, whenever you're ready" or something similar.

I go to bite into my quesadilla and it tastes really funky - I turn it over and realize the bottom is burnt - it's dark brown. I peel off the tops of the pieces and put them together to make a new one. My friend mentions the burnt quesadilla to the hostess, because we can't find the waiter. I tell her I don't want a new one because it's late and we're tired of waiting. We ask if the meal can be comped and she says "I don't have the authority to do that - no one here right now does." ??? Of course, our waiter is still conveniently no where to be found. He never brought us our waters, and we had to give my friend's credit card to the hostess to ring through.

We were at Denny's for a good hour and a half. We only left a 5% tip along with a detailed explanation on the back of the slip as to why we did that. I wonder if we should call the manager to let him/her know about this completely absent waiter.
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