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Jul 7, 2008 07:02 AM

TNFNS recipe upsell at Red Lobster

I recently took a relative to Red Lobster as their choice for a birthday treat. Upon seating and being given menus we were immediately hit with a scripted spiel asking us if we watch FN and were aware of the TNFNS program. They were featuring a winning recipe and were then told how the dish was made, how it was the server's personal favorite and that they wished it would stay oin their menu forever. When the spiel began, I tuned out. We all had something else. Hard sells turn me off.

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  1. I'm not anti-chain at all....but RL is the one chain I refuse to go to.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Janet from Richmond

      When a relative requests RL, what do you do? That's not the point. I didn't appreciate being given a lecture and a hard sell on some expensive entree when I'm prefectly happy with their seafood salad.

      1. re: LikestoEatout

        I hate hard sells! As soon as she asked, "Do you watch The Food Network" I would have said, "No I don't own a T.V".

        1. re: LikestoEatout

          Upselling is part of the schtick at many chains (and some non-chain restaurants)....I expect it when we go out and don't see it as a lecture or hold it against the employee who is simply doing their job.

          1. re: Janet from Richmond

            Oh I would never hold it against the server, they are just doing as they have been instructed, (even when we went to El Torito last weekend for the first time in 10 years and we ordered the chicken wings to start and our server said, "Did you want the chicken wings or would you like the table side Guacamole...huh?! upselling) that is why I would have said, "No I don't own a T.V." instead of cutting her off.....

          2. re: LikestoEatout

            I don't like upselling, either, and I am well familiar with having to patronize a restaurant to accommodate a family member. I miss my mom since she passed away, but I sure don't miss having to take her there to eat!
            Since you were there at your relatives request, I'd say there wasn't much you could do except put up with it. Remember, it's not really the service or food you were there for, it was to spend time and share a meal with the family member.

            Without that inhibition, though, I'd simply have interrupted the spiel after the first few words and said "I'm not interested, I'll be ordering from the menu."

            Red Lobster simply doesn't offer enough quality/value for the money for me to even think about eating there. Give me Captain D's anytime!

            1. re: Emm

              Wow, Captain D's!! there's a throwback from my days in the South. Much better than Red Lobster.

              1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                captain d's and long john silver's. that amazing batter.

                i've held for years that long john's should change its motto to "the batter's all that matters." it doesn't matter what you dip in that stuff, it comes out delicious.

        2. As someone who worked at a chain restaurant for years I have to say that the server probably hates doing that as much as you hate hearing it. They're not only instructed to do it, but there are secret shops where that scores big points. The server can get in a lot of trouble if they're caught by corporate head quarters for not reciting the spiel.

          That being said, love the biscuits....

          2 Replies
          1. re: jessicheese

            Yeah, they hate it. I've had to do the same sort of thing in the past in retail jobs (e.g. "Would you like to sign up for our mailing list?" at checkout) and trust me, I only did it because it was very strictly enforced. Smug customers cutting me off with some smarmy remark was never appreciated.

            Even though it's been years since I've had a job where I've had to upsell like that I'm still sympathetic to people who have to do it - I let them complete the spiel then politely say "no thank you."

            1. re: Bad Sneakers

              ITA. It sucks to be them, having been them in the long ago past. Would you like to apply for a Sears credit card today? Would you be interested in our lifetime alignment? Would you like fries with that? How about one of our signature drinks?

              Has no business school figured out that this stuff probably worked at the first one or two stores that tried it, but when everyone started doing it consumers learned to tune it out, or worse, just got annoyed by it? Yet you get the pitch at virtually every department store or chain restaurant. It's just so much grating noise at this point.

          2. It doesn't bother me at all. I have a really neat trick - I say "No thanks" and go on.