Last night was like the last straw, though.
My family (me, my mom, and two younger brothers) are pretty tight with my grandparents, so we normally have dinner out once a week, maybe even twice depending on my mom's work schedule. Last night, they called and asked if we would join them at a local restaurant, Perkins. They called around 5:25 to let us know they were at the restaurant, and we got there around 5:30 or so (it's really close to our house and we were ready when they called).
Everything seemed fine at first - we ordered our drinks, the waitress brought them out quickly, and we made our meal orders. The restaurant was very empty, even for a Tuesday night - normally, the place is packed, since it's very popular with my town's senior citizens (because of the senior discounts, I assume). So, we sit there and talk a while, waiting for our food. Except, twenty minutes goes by, and it's not there.
My brothers are eight and eleven, and neither have very much patience. We tried to keep the smaller one occupied, but by 6:15, everyone was getting a little peeved that we hadn't gotten our food. I'm estimating that we ordered our food around 5:40-5:45, which means we had been waiting for almost thirty minutes. On a busy day, maybe this would have been okay, but the place was empty - maybe five other tables occupied besides ours. During this time, our waitress did not come back to check on us or refill our drinks once. The only people who still had anything to drink by this time were my grandparents, but only because she had left a coffee pitcher there for them to refill themselves.
It wasn't even like we ordered anything difficult - I ordered french toast, my grandfather ordered an omelette, my mom ordered a kid's breakfast (she had a gastric bypass sugery, so she orders from the kid's menu since it's less food) with just an egg and two pancakes, my brothers ordered a chicken sandwich and chicken fingers, and my grandma ordered.. something breakfasty.
Finally, after trying to catch our waitress's attention for a few minutes and being ignored everytime (as in, she sees us and turns around), my grandfather flagged down a hostess and asked what the heck was going on. Just as he did this, our waitress finally brought the food out. Another thing that peeved me was that she was the only one carrying food - most restaurants use a team approach and have other staff members help carry large orders out (and remember, this place is practically dead). She only brought out half of our order, and went back to get the rest (my mom's pancakes, my grandfather's pancakes, and my sausage).
Ten minutes later, she brought that out. By this time, we were all so fed up. We asked what was going on, and she told us the kitchen was crazy. My mom laughed and asked, "Oh, did one of your cooks call in sick?" She gave this kind of dead look and said, "No. They're all here."
Why on earth would the kitchen be "crazy" on a very slow night when nobody had called off? It didn't make any sense. The hostess mentioned that the manager was in the back cooking as well, which would mean they had more people than usual cooking ... so I really don't understand.
I'm not sure what kind of tip was left, but knowing my grandparents, it was more than it should've been. I just don't get why it took so long, with hardly any explination. I mean, it would have been a lot different if maybe our waitress had been refilling drinks, or bothered to come and explain to us why our food was taking so long.
And sadly, this isn't the first time it's happened to us at this place. One time, the waitress completely forgot to put our order in, so everyone who came in after us got served long before we did. Bah.
I suppose we'll just have to start going to Bob Evans for breakfast instead of this place. It's too bad, because I really like a couple of Perkins' sandwiches - if only the service weren't so lousy.