My family and I (party of 8) went there on April 20, 2014 for Easter Dinner, and I can honestly say that I have never had such a poor restaurant experience in my life.
Our wait to be seated was fairly significant (which is understandable due to the size of our party, and that we all desired to sit together), but not to worry, we had entertainment, as the hostess took this opportunity to elaborate on how sad it was that she had to work on Easter, and could not be at home with her five year-old daughter. And then went on to explain that her shift actually ended at four, but had to wait until eight for her husband, who is in back, cooking, to also get off of work. This kept us occupied while we received dirty looks from the staff, but as soon as we were seated, the troubles really began
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Our waitress was apparently new, and there was no other wait staff helping her (even though she clearly was not ready to be out on her own). She was not at all familiar with the Bob Evan's menu selection and two people from our party were told that they cannot substitute sides. My brother-in-law had ordered the turkey meal, but did not want the carrots. He had requested to substitute cranberry sauce for the carrots and was told that he cannot because the cranberry sauce is just a little condiment cup and doesn't constitute a side. He finally said just don't put the carrots on the plate (as he did not want them, or another side) - so apparently it was alright to be a short a side, but forbid he have the cranberry sauce as side (even though he was would have been perfectly content with this).
We waited a significant amount of time for our food (in spite of the restaurant having cleared out by this point, with only a few tables remaining - ours being the only “large” party), and once it did arrive, it was completely disappointing.
I had ordered the Blackened Whitefish, which was so overpowered by the saltiness of the seasoning that I was not able to actually taste the fish or finish it. The seasoning was so strong that I could literally take a chunk of my plain (no salt) baked potato and dab it against the fish, and that was still too salty.
My husband ordered the Blackened Steak and he said that the meat itself had a poor texture, that it was swollen like it had been sitting in water.
My sister-in-law had ordered a steak (I'm unsure of the exact dish), but she was unable to eat it due to the overabundance of caraway seeds on her steak (the menu never mentioned the caraway), and of course, her husband was a side-short due to the refusal to substitute sides.
Before our meals had even arrived, we had needed refills - which we had to go ask for, and rarely saw our waitress (especially not when we actually needed anything). At this point, we had been in the store for nearly two hours - needless to say, the baby was getting fussy. Several of us had ordered meals that came with dessert, but the waitress was nowhere to be found even though my son was in a full-on cry at this point (which seems like an obvious queue that the table is really for the check or at least the next course).
No one from our table had complained about the service or food, but at this point, but I was growing increasingly unhappy. I found the manager (hanging out at the drink station with our waitress and other staff) and told him, "Our table needs help, we are not happy. We are not having a good time. The baby is crying, we need our check, dessert, something", and began to walk back to our table, thinking that he would follow. Eventually. Nope.
He went over, consulted w/some other staff members, and apparently must have sent our waitress to our table to take our dessert orders, because there she was. By this time, members of our party were standing, putting on their jackets, as they had already given up on the prospect of getting their dessert.
The waitress had asked what we wanted for dessert (as several of us had ordered the 3 course
meal), but was not sure who/how many were to receive dessert. When we had asked what were the options were, she said, "I don't really know. I guess we have sundae's (which was out of the question as we had already told her that we needed it to go, due to now screaming kid) and brownies and stuff".
We finally settled for the brownies, because that was the easier option. Now, I understand being new, I've worked as a waitress before, and am familiar with not knowing the ropes, menu or much of anything for that matter. But to not know, and for that to be alright is disappointing.If you coming over to the table specifically to take a dessert order and are not familiar with the selection, take a menu – how hard is it?!
At this point, the manager still never came to our table, so my brother-in-law went to him, requesting the corporate number. He was told that he would “get it”. We had time to gather our items, receive our check, etc. before the manager returned with the paper. No apology, no questions, no discussion. Just, “Here’s
the number “. Way to care, jackass.
So at this point, we have the check, and no one has offered anything to help make us feel better about the experience. Nothing. So we pay $80 some dollars for c****y food and horrible service (without being ugly or even complaining). That is a lot of money to pay for a meal that we didn’t even enjoy.
I can honestly say that this was THE worst dining experience in my life. I have never sent anything
back to the kitchen in my life, and I am the type of person that will still tip a lousy waiter(ess) well – but this was just totally unacceptable. I almost feel sorry for our waitress, I know it’s hard being new (although, that isn’t an excuse for a poor personality), but as far as management – I cannot think of enough adjectives to begin to tell you how negatively I fell about this store’s management (or the lack thereof).
No one made you take a management position, so the way I see it, step-up and do your job. If I’m managing a store and a customer comes over and tells me they are not happy, that means they need attention. They’ve come to me, that means they expect me to do something about it. Even small gestures such as discounts,
coupons or at least some kind words can help ease the sting of a bad encounter and reassure customers that this time was the rare exception, and not the rule.
I understand that no one wants to be working on Easter Sunday, but the bottom line is that, you are here. You can either enjoy that awesome family’s patronage (and generous tip) or you can ruin the meal for them. Since the Elkview store decided to opt for the later, I am writing this letter to you. I have never submitted a complaint to a restaurant before (and we’re talking hair in food, snotty attitudes and dirty conditions), but the treatment we received Sunday was just mind-blowingly horrible.
Sadly, this is a loss for everyone, as my husband and I were actually contemplating making a weekly treat for my family to dine at your store. We now have no desire or reason to return to the Elkview Bob Evan’s and will not recommend it to anyone as a result of the poor management. It is a loss for Bob Evans as we do have quite a large family (extended, as well as nuclear), and have frequented the restaurant when they come in from other states and countries. I would not feel comfortable bringing them this Bob Evans, as who knows what treatment they will receive.
I would like a response, if for no other reason than to let me know that our (dis)satisfaction is important to someone, as it sure the hell isn’t the Elkview Management.
This is the information we were given (on a post-it note) by the manager:
Eric Briles - Manager
Waitress - Alecia