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East Side Mario's / bad service and food

Off of King Street N, Waterloo, ON, Canada

I'm not the type of person who usually writes into restaurants and complains, but I just had the worst restaurant experience ever.

Today, my family decided to go to East Side Mario's located in Waterloo, off of Weber Street. We arrived at 5:50 p.m. and were seated immediately. Once seated, we ordered our meals and entrees, and waited. Soon after, we received our salad's, soups, and complimentary bread around 6:10 (which I considered a reasonable wait), we were told that our meals were on the way.

We spent the next hour seeing tables around us fill with other customers while the restaurant started getting busy. Several customers around us arrived, were seated, and received their appetizers, entrees, then paid their bills and left, yet still we didn't receive anything, not even a bread refill.

I complained to a number of servers, and eventually the manager came up and apologized, mentioning that they had two large parties seated before we ordered; she then noted that our meals would be out in five minutes and she would give us a 25 per cent discount for the inconvenience.

Twenty minutes later, we still hadn't received our meals, it was 7:25, my child hadn't eaten yet and was crabby as it was past her bedtime. I asked the manager to make our meal to go because my child needed to get to bed ... it didn't arrive for another ten minutes!

To make us feel somewhat better, our server, Jackie, apologized profusely, mentioning that she was very sorry. As a former server, I was calm and understood that she was unlikely the reason for our very-much delayed meal, but she didn't do anything to ensure that our meal arrived either.

The manager then noted the lack of service, which was obviously only focused on our table (as I mentioned, we witnessed several other tables---with more people seated at them---arrive after us, then be served, and pay their bill), the manager said she would give me 50 per cent off.

Our three entrees, and two children's meals came to a total of $40.25, which I feel was way too much to pay for the worst meal of my life. I've worked in hospitality, and I understand that there are problems, but over 90 minutes for a simple meal is ridiculous.

I'm very upset by my East Side Mario's experience, and hope that no one else has had this happen to them, although due to the nonchalant behaviour I'm assuming it has happened before.

***To make it worse, when I got home with the food I ordered (that I had to wait over 90minutes for), was not even worth the discounted price I paid for it, let alone the wait. I opened the bag to see the takeout container with the butternut squash pasta I ordered (please see attached photo). As you can see, it looked disgusting ... the squash was even hard and uncooked.

Luckily, after that evening's fiasco at your restaurant, I had lost my appetite.

If this is the standard for East Side Mario meals, service, and general attitude, I don't understand how you can build a loyal customer base.

Please take this email as constructive, because I don't believe any restaurant can have this level of service and remain successful.

East Side Mario's

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