What is it with this place? I've never seen a chain vary so much from one location to the other. We used to go when I worked in Glendale, and the service was usually quick, the fries were well-done as ordered, the food was always hot, and drink refills just appeared.
Now I work in Burbank, and we went a few times to the Burbank Islands. Each time the service has been spotty at best (to non-existent at worst, the time our waitress quit mid-shift). The last two times we ordered fries well-done, they came out gooshy and they were obviously the scrapings from the bottom of the bag -- all tiny. The first time, we just dealt. The second time, we sent them back and the manager was actually arguing with us. By the time we got our food, it was cold, of course.
We've gone to the West LA Islands, which is closer in rating to the Glendale one, and then the Woodland Hills branch (right off the 101 at Valley Circle) was even worse than the Burbank branch.
When we've complained (with the exception of the fry-misery day at Burbank) we've always gotten an apologetic manager who throws things at us -- coupons for free fries, gift cards, whatever -- and when we've used these items (which are marked as "make up for bad service"), we get the manager over asking how things were, but no change from the waitstaff.
I thought the point of a chain was to have consistency... I don't want to have to keep a list of "this little Islands had service, this little Islands had none..." My assumption, then, is that an Islands I don't know has bad service. Right or wrong, I'd rather not chance it.
I know what you mean. The same condition exists here in Phoenix metro. The Paradise Valley location is quite good which the MetroCenter location just pales in comparison. The Mesa location is decent, but I simply cannot count on consistency when I go into an Islands, so I just return to the one at Paradise Valley when I am in the neighborhood.
I haven't eaten at Islands too often, but the West L.A. branch on Pico/Veteran has been much better than the Encino branch, which sucks. I think I ate at Glendale once and it was about the same as West L.A. I've eaten the most at West L.A. as I used to work up the street. It's been ok enough for me not to object if anyone suggests it. So I guess you're right, Islands does vary from store to store.