Steak 'n Shake Enterprises / everything
My boyfriend and I had family visiting from Arkansas and while they were here, one of the things they wanted to do was visit Steak N' Shake. We went to the SNS in Athens, Ga on Saturday, June 24th around 6:30pm and had the worst service we have ever had in a restaurant. I was a server for 8 years, so I feel justified in making that statement without it sounding like an exaggeration.
To start with, when we walked in (there were 5 of us) the server who sat us was not very friendly and almost seemed annoyed that she had to do her job even though the restaurant did not seem that busy and had plenty of open (albeit dirty) tables. Then another server came by to take our drink order and with my order of a water, I ordered a milkshake (which I never got even after reminding the person who came by to check on everything). He wasn't the one who brought our drinks out, nor was he the one to eventually take our food order. A different server ( a man with long red/pink dreads/braids) brought our drinks and took our order and that was the last we saw of him for the until time for the check (he wasn't even in the back in the kitchen). We honestly were not sure which of the two servers were supposed to be "ours" but neither one really seemed to care that much. The "drinks" server walked around and was talking to another server about a man who got up and walked out before his food was even delivered (and then proceed to leave the food and milkshake at an empty table the entire time we were there instead of clearing it for a future customer) while my father in law had to stop another server who hadn't been taking care of us to get a refill on his drink (the rest of us never got refills). While we were eating (under cooked burgers and cold fries), a couple more friends of ours walked in and they had to wait at least 20 minutes to be seated because the servers were too busy standing in the kitchen to clear off the tables from previous customers. Another couple actually walked out and told them "good luck getting service" as they passed. Then after being seated, they were never greeted by a server and eventually ended up leaving themselves to go to Cook-Out down the road. The rest of my family wanted to order milkshakes to go but our "food" server, never came back by the table until he was handing us our check and by that point, we figured we would never get the milkshakes anyways. However, we saw we were being charged for my milkshake although it was never brought to the table. When I went to the register to get it removed, the server who sat us was the one who was cashing us out. When I asked her to get the milkshake taken off, she had to go hunt for who I'm assuming was a manager to get a override card. While she was doing that, our "drinks" and our "food" server came to register to ask if we were ready to check out and when I told them we were getting the milkshake taken off because I never received it, neither of them offered an apology or even the slighted bit of concern that something on their end didn't get taken care of; they just went right back to talking to one another.
I debated on whether I wanted to complain because as a server I know most complaints are from petty people who just want free stuff, but since I love SNS and unfortunately this is the only one in Athens, I would like to see the customer service improve so the store can stay open instead of closing due to lack of business from customers going elsewhere. Just during this one visit, I never saw a manager ( it was as if there wasn't even a manager on duty), but I did see at least 5 servers standing around in the kitchen not busing tables, not taking care of the tables they have, not doing sidework or anything that looked like they were helping the kitchen staff, 4 different groups of people walk out 20-30 minutes after arriving due to no service, and experienced such terrible service I was embarrassed we took our out of town family there to eat to experience it as well.
I know very well that every restaurant has their off nights, but this seemed to be a bit too off. I feel as if the restaurant definitely needs to spend some time focusing on their serving staff and either correct the bad habits or get rid of the bad apples. Otherwise, the whole business is going to go under and staying afloat in Athens is no easy task as it is. After experiencing this kind of service, it does not surprise me the website shows this restaurant as only having a 3.1 star rating followed by other multiple bad reviews.
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