merky, the yellow dart (merky) wrote in bad_service,
merky, the yellow dart

Denny's (of course)

This isn't a tale of abysmally horrid service, but it is a story about the first time I have ever walked out of a restaurant after being seated. I truly didn't want to, but when the circumstances are against you...well, what can you do?

So it was tonight. My boyfriend had suggested we go to Denny's, and me, not having had icecream for the past few weeks, agreed excitedly.

After closing my restaurant (family owned, not the best but hey you actually get some service!) my boyfriend and I head over to the nearest Denny's. Now, this is not the best Denny's in Miami. My boyfriend had initially wanted to go to his Denny's, which is located in Coral Gables (a rich suburb), is generally nicer and the customers there are at least a bit more socially inclined than the ones at the Denny's we went to...but I didn't want to drive all the way over there.

So we go to my local Denny's. It's in Miracle Mile, which is sort of on the edge of Coral Gables and Central Miami. We enter, we get seated after 20 seconds or so in one of those tables which is half booth (there's a shared bench/cushion thing spanning several tables) and half chairs, everything's fine. Except my boyfriend is immediately put off by the people we're sitting next to. There is one kid next to him who is annoyingly energetic, and incredibly invasive. There was one point while we were waiting that the kid had his feet kicking my boyfriend's leg, as the kid was lying down on the bench on his stomach. It took a while for the mother to notice (I think I saw her puffing out her chest at one time - yeah, she was one of those kinds of people).

So we sat there and waited. My boyfriend wasn't getting anything, and after I had decided what I wanted (took me 2 or 3 minutes) I closed the menu. A waitress appeared and took the orders of the two tables in front of us, and even though we appeared ready to order, she left. That's OK, maybe they're working separate sections and we're not in her section.

A few minutes more and a manager type person came up to our table, said something so quiet I couldn't hear her AT ALL, and then left and came back, leaving some extra napkins on our table. By this time I was thinking about leaving, and maybe leaving a dollar? But for what? Being ignored?

As we're still waiting, another group of people (3 teenagers, one boy and 2 girls) get seated at the far end of our aisle. At this point in time, I was discussing quietly with my boyfriend about leaving. I hadn't eaten dinner, it was 11:40, and I had leftovers at home. After a minute or two, someone - a waiter, or manager or something - went up to the people that got seated after us and started taking their order. Um, what?

That's not all, another waitress had gone up to the waiter, after a minute the waiter left, and the waitress finished taking the order. In my mind I was thinking, "If this waitress doesn't come up to us, we're leaving."

She left.

Now, I don't expect awesome service from a Denny's. The hours are horrible, some customers are assholes, blah blah blah. But there was absolutely no reason why the people who got seated after us should have gotten served before us. I can handle long wait times (under normal circumstances, meaning, those who came first get served first), screwed up food, a rude waiter or waitress, but damn. Giving someone priority status even though they shouldn't get that priority status and there's still someone waiting to be served? What is that?
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