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Jan 4, 2010 09:01 AM

Applebee's Service/Food Which was WORSE???????????>>>BOTH Stank!!

Last night at 8:20PM I wanted a beer, burger and soup. Since I'm caring for and ill, aged parent in South Florida, there isn't much to choose from in the area that is open and serving hot food after 8PM on a Sunday Night.

So, in desperation, I went to Applebee's on Boynton Beach Blvd.

I was alone, and sat at the bar, there were 4 other customers at the bar as well. I ordered a small draught ale and was given a menu. I looked through the menu and was pleased to see that burgers were available cooked to order, Pink or not Pink. At home, Applebee's will only serve well done burgers, so I never order one. I placed an order for a rare Burger and an Onion Soup at 8:35. The bartender informed me the burger would be as rare as possible.

The bartender (female) placed the check in front of me and went about her business. At 8:42 my burger was delivered. I was not surprised that it was well done, as nowhere on the computer issued check, did the word 'RARE' appear. I next saw the bartender/server at 8:50. I asked if they had to send to another restaurant for my soup. Her reply: "I must have forgotten to enter your order." I said, "No, it's on the check" she then said, "I don't get any help, and I'm stuck working open to close."

Personally, I don't give a rat's a$$ how many hours this employee works, she should complain to the manager, not the customer. She input my order, and should have made sure I got the soup, then the meal.

No manager was available, I asked.

I paid and left a meager tip for poor service. As I walked out, to add insult to injury, there was a large sign informing me that the Ale I ordered was the drink of the month, and for each ordered I should have received a free one. I was really ticked off.

When I got home, I went to Applebee's website and filled out their contact us/complaint form.
Sure enough, when you hit submit, nothing happens. Theie website is as useless as their employees.
So this morning I telephoned corporate and made my complaint. I was told that fixing the website could take time, and they would forward my complaint to the franchisee, who has 4 business days to contact me.

For now, I'll avoid any restaurant run by GATOR APPLE.

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    1. re: Fibber McGee

      never heard of or seen Carolina Ale House..........
      Where, what, etc?

      1. re: bagelman01

        Hope I'm not being presumptuos, but since you said Boytnon Beach Blvd I'm assuming you're in Boynton Beach. Carolina Ale House, a small chain, is on Congress where Hops used to be.

        Yes, it's still a chain, but much, much better than Applebee's.

        1. re: Fibber McGee

          after reading your post, I looked at their website and called them. Unfortunately, they will only serve burgers medium well or well.................

          1. re: bagelman01

            Ah. Well, at least you do have other Sunday later options when you're not in the mood for a burger where you can actually taste the burger itself.

            1. re: Fibber McGee

              Thanks, but this post was about bad food and bad service at a particular chain.
              I was looking for responses based on experiences at that chain.

              If I want recommendations for dining in Boynton, I'll post on the Florida board.

              1. re: bagelman01

                Apologies, so, in the vein of the thread you started:

                I have always found I received better service at Applebee's when I was sitting in the bar area. I've never had a horrible experience, but then again I usually don't risk much more than what's on the appetizers menu. The quesadillas aren't half bad. I have never heard a positive story, Chowhound or otherwise, about the occasional all-you-can-eat specials they have, such as their riblets.

                Yours was undoubtedly an experience to remember, and not just a low-expectations-led grouse. Some chains have them more than others. I think Applebee's might be the most hated chain on these boards.

                1. re: Fibber McGee

                  As bad as my experience at the bar was, I hate to have table experience.

                  Each Applebee's franchisee runs service at different standards. I live 2/3 week in CT and you could not pay me to eat or drink in Applebee's due to poor service.

                  I live 1/3 week in Northern Mass. I have a light supper at the bar in the Applebee's every other Thursday night in Leominster and the service is exceptional. The bartender always brings a fresh hot basket of nachos and salsa n/c with my first drink. All staff is attentive. Food comes out fast and hot. It's still Applebee's food, but served correctly.

                  Now I now that the franchisee, GATOR APPLE, who owns the Boynton location does a horrific job and I'll avoid any restaurant they own when in South Florida.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    The bartender said it would be as rare as possible. Plus, I enjoyed how the original poster timed his meal, as in 8:42. I'm surprised it wasn't 8:42 and 35 seconds. He admitted the town rolled up the sidewalks at 8 pm. I wouldn't expect perfect food and service at that hour, I know we have some local coastal Texas towns that are the same, lucky if anything at all is open. With the soup, mistakes happen, smart a$$ comments aren't needed.

                    1. re: James Cristinian

                      Sometimes, well done is as close to rare as least at Applebee's

                      1. re: James Cristinian

                        Yes mistakes happen, and good servers (and managers fix them). Living in the digital age it is not unusual to look at one's watch or cel phone and see time displayed to the minute.

                        Forgetting about my soup, and then lying about it and saying it was never entered when it was on the check is unexcusable, saying I'm sorry, I forgot is acceptable and maybe excusable. Not entering the burger as rare is unacceptable. The kitchen did it's job correctly, the bartender/server was the lazy and useless one.

                        If a restaurant is open and serving its full menu until 10PM, then ordering at about 8:30 should be problematic. I could understand lesser performance at 9:30.

      2. Sounds like a typical Applebees to me. Two trips about a month apart did it for me and that was 10 years ago. I'll never forget the ramekin of dried out sour cream with cracks in it and the horseradish sauce that the airbrained server brought for tarter sauce for the fried hard as a rock seafood platter. That was the first visit, I'll spare you the second.

        1. bagelman, what about Brewzzi in Boca? Go there and you'll get enough food for a week.

          Surely they are open past 8 on Sundays and can fix you a decent burger. They have good beer too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bob W

            I wasn't looking for recommendations, and certainly wouldn't travel to Boca for a burger. I'm here for a short stay caring for a ill parent and wouldn't leave for more than 45 minutes.
            But thanks anyway.

            This had to do with bad food and bad service at a particular chain.

          2. To be fair, I think it's pretty normal to expect others familiar with the area to respond to your post and say gee, you didn't have to eat at Applebee's, you could have gone to X or Y instead, thus hoping to prevent you from having another bad meal. If you only wanted responses that are people commisserating about how bad Applebee's is (which you could find plenty of on CH, I'm sure), you should have titled your post "Bad meal at Applebee's - you too?" or something.

            I mean, sure, maybe the other place won't cook your burger rare, but you're bound to have better food and service, right? I just didn't think the snark was justified to either of the people who responded to you with other suggestions.

            That being said, I quit going to applebee's long ago. The last couple of times I went, it was so bad I kept vowing never to go back, ever. But other people really seem to like it so I kept getting dragged back. Now I beg to go some place else if people suggest Applebee's. If a group is meeting there, I just beg off and don't go rather than face their awful food.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rockandroller1

              bagelman might be (1) under a lot of stress with the parent thing or (2) new to ch, so I'll cut him some slack. Had I known he just wanted to vent, I wouldn't have offered any assistance.

              Back to Applebee's. Even my five-year-old twins have already figured out how rotten their food is, so we never get the "We want to go to Applebee's!" chant. Fortunately. In the past week we've taken them for dim sum and Ethiopian food. Things could be a lot worse, no?

              1. re: Bob W

                #1 yes
                #2 NO

                I deliberately posted this under chains, not Florida as I wanted to vent/discuss bad frood and bad service at Applebees.

                Too many Chowhounders go off in many directions, meaning well, but not responding to the OP.

                I have owned a vacation home in the area for 25 years, and if it wasn't Sunday night after 8Pm (when they roll up the sidewalks, I would have had many, many better choices.

            2. I don't know the Boynton Applebees, if I have to go at all then it's the Delray location on Jog. Service there is only any good if we get one of three waitresses, the rest suck. I remember still eating my soup and my main arrived 2 minutes later. Server didn't know where to put anything so we asked him to take the entrees away and refire the whole dish (not reheat) for 10 minutes later.
              If the waitresses I like have full stations we now wait till a table empties in their section.