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Nov 6, 2008 05:17 PM

Ruths Chris Tampa - Disappointed

I haven't been able to shake feeling like I got a bad rap at Ruths Chris, and I'm leaving it up to the Chowhounders to tell me if I'm off base or not.

Last weekend, my wife surprised me with dinner reservations at Tampa's Ruth's Chris for my 40th birthday. Tampa has all the chain steakhouses, as well as a few excellent privately-owned places (Berns), but we've always enjoyed RC. Soon after ordering the $90 porthouse, wine, sides and two bowls of lobster bisque, the waiter spilled the bisque on my wife's dress. She spent 20 minutes in the restroom cleaning up and the rest of the evening apologising to me for "ruining the night". The manager did come out when she returned to offer his apologies and a comp for her drycleaning bill.

We didn't make a huge scene in the dining room, and understand accidents happen, but were shocked when we received the bill and saw that the entire $180 bill was due. I appreciate the $4.00 comp to dry clean the dress, but my wife ate dinner in a wet dress that smelled like fish that night, had to return home and scrap after dinner plans and they even charged us for the soup!

I spoke to the manager a few days later and explained I felt "unappreciated" by their response to a ruined evening. He said come back in and they would make sure our next visit was up to our expectaions. What does that mean?

Am I being to hard on RC? Its been two weeks and still feel like they valued the bill over the customer.

Your thoughts?

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  1. FWIW, I think they should have comped more of your bill--half, at least? Because it's clear your dinner was spoiled. But I have never been in that situation. I'd be curious to hear what those who have had this happen to them received in recompense.

    1. Poor response on their end. I've never been impressed enough with RC anyway but they dropped the ball on this one for sure. The manager if he was gong to comp your next visit would have said so. Sounds like they were just saying hey sh*t happens and we will make sure it doesn't happen again to you. Like they have any control.

      1. We had a really bad experience a couple of years ago, and it was my birthday too.

        The next day when I got to work, I composed a very detailed, both praising past experiences and explaining our dissatisfaction with the night before's experience, email to their corporate office.

        I got a phone call a couple of hours later from the manager of that particular restaurant, as well as someone from the corporate office, very apologetic, very eager to not lose our business... our bill the night before was around $300 for the 2 of us. They told me they would like very much if we'd come back and have a a great dinner on them, like the ones we were used to getting from them, and said to watch the mail for a gift card.

        A couple of days later, indeed a gift card arrived (with no monetary figure), when we went back, a couple of weeks later, we were told to order what we wanted, just like the "ruined" meal, and we couldn't have been treated better, although that's the kind of experience everyone should have when eating out at a nice restaurant, it was nice to see the little extra attention. I felt a little hesitant to order the bottle of wine again, but was really encouraged by our waitress to enjoy.

        So if I were you, I would take them up on their offer to make things right,

        1. I had a bad experience there as well but they comped what I had consumed so far. I still won't go back though because even though it was comped they made me feel like what happened was my fault and it wasn't. I am not a plumber....

          1. Not being a fan of RC to begin with, your experience just cements our decision not to give them our business.