I have encountered situations in certain restaurants where I felt entitled to walk out the door without paying but I have always resisted the temptation because I do have a few moral principles ….. darned few to be sure ….. but a few!
A few months ago, I went with a friend to this really well-known and long-established country-style family restaurant that I had gone to for years.
This restaurant is part of a chain of restaurants and have a high profile among American consumers. But recently they were sold out to some corporate conglomerate and almost immediately you could sense the changes in their food and their service.
In better days, I always got fluffy, hot, fresh biscuits and gravy at this place ….. food to die for ….. food that I was glad to pay for and to brag to my friends about.
But on this go-round, the biscuits tasted like they had come from a can and the gravy tasted like it had come from a jar. The taste was totally foreign to what I had been experiencing there for years.
Besides all that, the stuff was lukewarm and took what seemed like a long time to get after I placed my order. The waitress never did come back around to ask me if I wanted more coffee or anything.
I e-mailed the corporate headquarters with my complaints and what I got back from them was something like, “Please take your problems up with our local team-leader at the restaurant where you had your bad experience … and please accept our apologies.”
This corporate headquarters obviously does not understand that it is often the “Local Team Leaders” that are the problem. Some of them get low pay and they do not especially like their jobs and they feel like serving a customer is an inconvenience they would rather live without.
I won’t go back there.
In another case, my friend and I went to a local nationally-known taco fast food restaurant and got the same tired, half-warm food (some of it was actually cool as if it had just come out of a refrigerator) and when I complained to the person in charge, they took the food back to their kitchen and brought it back out to me a few minutes later just as cold as it was when I sent it back.
I worry about cool or luke-warm restaurant food because you never know if they undercooked it or not and there is always the possibility of getting a case of e-coli or worse! I never return to restaurants where the food is not served hot and fresh! And it seems there are getting to be more and more restaurants these days when it is nearly impossible to get food that is hot and fresh. I think the temptation for employees to cook stuff in advance and keep it for a few hours under warming lights is much too tempting in these days of low wages and no benefits.
We had a small family-owned Mexican restaurant open up here where I live a few months ago and they have the same problems —- slow service —- cold food.
They went out of business suddenly with the not-too-surprising reason being given by them that “There isn’t enough business to justify continuing our operations, so, regrettably we are closing.”
I was not surprised!
I definitely refuse to give total strangers the privilege of making me sick with their irresponsible attitudes about the food they serve to me in these places. I also loathe to complain too much when I am in these places because you never know whether or not somebody will become angry at your complaints and spit in your food before bringing it back out to you.