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Dec 21, 2007 03:16 PM

Chevy's -- bad day or going downhill?

Okay, I'm not a huge fan of Chevy's, but we occasionally have office luncheons there, and until today I've always thought the food was servicable and that the place is competently run. But our office lunch today was awful on all counts! They preordered the fiesta platters and most of the food bordered on inedible. The pork tamales were decent, and I've always been a sucker for their chips and salsa, but the rest was a nasty combination of too cold (everything), too soggy (the taquitos), too leaden (the quesadillas), too sweet (the wings -- I swear they've changed them since last year, and not for the better -- and who thought sweet and sour sauce was a good idea for taquitos?) and just plain unappetizing (beans).

On top of that, the service was dreadful. None of the drinks (including water) came until at least halfway through the meal, and some people at my table never had their drink orders taken at all. We had to ask for everything, down to the chips and salsa. Sure, it was a large group and it's the holiday season. But this location in the San Francisco Financial District gets large office lunches all year round, and they've probably done several office lunches a day for the last three weeks, so they should have it down by now. Besides, isn't handling large groups one of the things they're designed to do?

If they can't serve large groups, and they can't put minimally edible food on the table, then just what can they do? Isn't consistency and professional (or at least, competently trained) service supposed to be the main justification for chain restaurants?

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  1. Definitely sounds like bad day. One thing happens, and then everything just cascades down until you get what happened to you. That said, for a place to go downhill it would have had to go UP said hill in the first place. Around here there are many, many options for Mexican, and Chevys is WAY down near the bottom of the list.

    1. Chevy's had restaurants here in Michigan (I think they were called Rio Bravo) which started out decent, but went downhill. They closed them here a few years ago--how's the financial health of the company? You could be looking at the beginning of the end.

      2 Replies
      1. re: coney with everything

        I fondly rememeber the Rio Bravos we had around ATL; first few times we went was fantastic; then the next time or two, not so good. Then we went a final time several months later and it was awful. Maybe they were losing money by offering decent food and service?

        1. re: wabbitslayer

          are they still around? Here the decline preceded the closings.

          Somebody with a business background could probably plot an arc of restaurant chain history--small and good, medium size and good, discovered and popular regionally, greed--expansion beyond the ability to support the original food style/products, cost cutting to maintain the economic health, annoy the customers to the point where they go elsewhere, then--either shape up or fold the tent. Plenty of examples of both.

      2. Not only a large group, but you went out on ostensibly the busiest lunch hour of the year; everyone is going away for Christmas, taking Monday off, maybe Friday also to go shopping and all the news stories said was the day when the travel out of town begins. They most likely were overwhelmed with walk ins as well as reservations.

        That said; I never though the food at Chevy's was good. Went 3 times, all with gift certificates and was happy I did not have to pay, except to tip.