So, it was a normal Friday night. And the typical question was posed, "What would you like for dinner?" Mr. Wonderful replied with the olive branch approach - "Well, what would you like?" As usual, I start throwing out restaurant options within a 5 mile radius since it was alreay dark outside and we do have a toddler. On this night, Outback wins it! I quickly reminded the Mr. that Operation Outback will include at least an hour wait.
And, instead of listening to our grumbiling stomachs, we both telepathically approved and mind-talked the following, "Ok. Let's do this."
Soon enough, it became abundantly clear why going to Outback was a bad idea (even with the awesome mind-talk). And here I give you the five reasons why Operation Outback was a big fat fail:
1 - It all started with the hostess assigning us a rogue pager. As mentioned above, we knew there would be a long wait and we were fine with it anyway. So for the first 30 mins of our 60 min plus wait, the baby girl and I sat in the car while she watched a movie. We joined Mr. Wonderful and then after watching two different parties similar to our size get sat before us, we went up to the hostess stand to ask if we were next...Their response (never the one you want) -- "Ummmm...What number pager do you have?" Basically, they didn't have us on the list. We didn't know that since our name was given to get the pager. Oh and we were sitting right next to the stand where they could see us the entire 60 plus mins...Since they didn't record it properly, they scurried to seat us.
2 - Free soap water while you wait. To back up a bit, while we were waiting to be seated, there was a nice water cooler...I turned to Mr. Wonderful to see if he would get me a cold glass. Immediately he informed me that he had a glass before I came in and the stuff tasted like dish soap. Meanwhile, the baby girl has now heard me say that I want a glass of water and she now wants one too. Why does the free water have to taste like soap? IMHO, that should be the best darn water ever iced BUT instead, it's like licking the inside of a dish soap bottle. Oh and my toddler thinks I'm a meanie because I won't give her her own dish soap water.
3 - Seating us next to the entrance. After waiting for over an hour and now getting a table, they seat us in the first table behind the soapy water. At that point, what are we going to say? We're certainly not going to complain. We've waited a really long time and we're "lucky" to have a seat since we were not even on the list. Grrrr...
4 - So, then as if forgetting about us and dehydrating us wasn't enough, after being seated, we're now being asked where the pager is. The hostess came over to ask if we had taken the pager. Ummmm...No. We gave the pager back to you so it should be there unless like our name, you've forgotten where it is.
5 - Ordering an appetizer and it arrives after the salads. This does happen but with everything else at this point, my tolerance for non-perfect service was not okay.
NOTE: We've been to Outback a number of times and had perfect experiences but in this case, there were a lot of small yet significant moments that added up to a thumbs down experience for us.
Just in case you're wondering (I really was that night), we were not compensated for any part of our meal. I don't normally expect that, but as a former server, it's all about the offers that can go a long way for customer retention. Nope, we were just highly annoyed.
Do you have any Friday night at a restaurant where the universe seemed to be against you type of experience? Sharing might make you feel a little better.