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Nov 17, 2008 11:08 AM


Is it just me or does the service at this chain stink? I don't care for this chain at all when it comes to the food, I think it's just okay so I don't seek it out for myself. But when I am with a group of co-workers, it seems to always be right near the hotel we're staying in or near a meeting we're at and so we end up there.

I have been to the Tyson's location twice, Bethesda/Chevy Chase location twice and two different locations in North Carolina and I just hate the service there.

Every time I go, there is an issue with getting seated, getting served, getting your food hot or even room temperature instead of ice cold or some other nonsense with service.

I'm not impressed with the food at all, but my gripe is really with the service.

I went to the Tyson's location two weeks ago. We had a reservation for a party of 17. They told us we had to do the Family Style menu because we were a large group (which I disagree with, but that's another story). 12 of us arrived at 11:20 (our reservation was for 11:30). They would not seat us until "most of our party" had arrived. Obviously 12 is not "most" of 17. Now, 12 people standing in the lobby/bar area and pretty much crowding the hostess desk doesn't sound like good business to me, but that's what they wanted.

Numbers 13, 14, 15 and 16 arrived at 11:29, so they finally let us go to our table.

We made our menu choices, we specified no bacon or ham on anything because one of our group cannot eat ham. All the salads came with bacon crumbles on them, so 2 had to go back.

We had 2 servers and lots of trouble with getting the right number of iced teas and diet cokes. At dessert, the coffee drink machine was acting up so all the cappuccinos were delayed and some were cold when we got them.

This meal cost roughly $500 ($32 each x 17 pp) and you would think we could get a hot cup of cappuccino.

Does anyone experience consistent good service at this chain?

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  1. Didn't you post this in Chains?

    Sorry, looking at the wrong board.

    1. I've been to the location in Scottsdale, AZ, many times including with large groups and small groups, on busy nights and on empty nights, lunch and dinner and quite honestly I've never had one single service issue. And I'm a tough critic when it comes to service.

      I think that, like many chains, it depends on the location, staff and management and you're mileage may vary....

      1. This has been an old mall standby for many years for us (Skokie, Illinois). Never really had any complaints.

        And if a good number of the 17 persons ordered cappuccinos and expected them served at close to the same time, then good luck getting them all hot.

        1 Reply
        1. I've only been to one of the Denver locations, but I didn't have any problems. It was only once, so that's a small sample size, but my friends who live there seem to go quite a bit so I'm assuming they have had decent service.

          While on the subject of family-style Italian chain restaurants, I have had atrocious service at Buca di Beppos at multiple locations on multiple times. The last time I went, our server forgot about us and didn't take our order until nearly 30 minutes after we arrived. We received the wrong salad (it was suppose to have olives, salami, etc) but we got a basic salad with only dressing. When we told our server when she finally returned, she simply brought us a side plate of the toppings that should ahve been tossed in our salad. Even with that delay, there was over 20 minutes between the time we finished our salads and time we got our entree. Presumably, they forgot about it somewhere, as when it finally arrived it was cold in the middle. It was over 2 and half hours between the time we were seated and time we left. It was terrible.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pollymerase

            Hi--I'm using you to vent. We went to Buca di Beppo in Austin last night (they sent me a $10 coupon and I'd never heard of it). Absolutely awful! We get this ersatz Disneyland-type tour of the kitchen on our way to a table. The whole place was empty, but they sat us in a room with a sqwalling baby. The Caesar salad dressing was very vinegary and the croutons were plywood. The beers were $7.75 a pint and my forgettable Pinot Noir $8 a glass, and then they forgot to give us our leftovers box. I'll never set foot in there again.

            Thank you. If this is posting wrongly somehow, I apologize.

          2. I had one of the worst service experiences, ever, at my local Maggiano's here in Orlando. We went for my son's birthday, and while the food was good, the server had the gall to argue with my wife and tell her the dish presented to her was the dish she ordered. Even if it was, which it wasn't, a server should never argue with a guest.

            What made matters worse, was that the tables next to us had a different server, who was obviously on top of his game and ended up having to help our server out with our table, just to control the damage.

            I never got a management visit, and I did complain to the chef and the other servers. I emailed the GM and never got a response, either. Service does not seem to be their first priority...

            1 Reply
            1. re: orlwine

              Was it the Pointe Orlando location? I was just there recently and was appalled at how poor the service was. Our group was also lucky enough to get a table near a server's station, so a large group of servers were constantly hanging out discussing personal issues right behind us during the meal. One of them even started a wonderful discussion of what he'd like to do to one of the female managers if he weren't married.