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Anyone tried Hot Wings Grill and Rib House?

As the title says, has anyone been to the new Hot Wings Grill and Rib House" on Queen at Augusta (in the former Miami Subs location that lasted a whopping two months).

Seeing as I work just down the street i could go check it out myself, but figured i would check here first for any feedback...

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  1. This is a wicked spot. Good hang out and food never dissapoints. mmmmm....peri-peri.

    1. I just came back from there and I have somewhat mixed feelings (apologies in advance for the lengthy review).

      To start with, I should mention that I went armed with a wagjag coupon entitling me to their 1 lb wings and fries deal plus a pop and an extra dipping sauce. I forget exactly how much I paid for it, but it seemed like a good enough deal at the time. I, however, wanted a beer instead of a pop. I mentioned this to the waitress, fully expecting her to tell me that the coupon only included a pop, and I'd have to pay full price for the extra beer. The waitress, however, told me that she'd have to charge me $2 extra for the beer, to make up the difference. I was very pleasantly surprised at this offer, and thankfully accepted.

      At this point, I was feeling pretty good about this place. I hadn't even tried the food yet, and I was already predisposed to like it. While I was waiting for my food, someone that I think was the owner drove up and parked outside (in a smart car branded with the restaurant's logo) and walked inside. He spent the rest of my visit generally walking around the restaurant.

      I got my food, and overall was fairly happy. The suicide wings weren't particularly hot, but that's a city-wide problem. Other than that, they were larger than the wings you normally find, and had a generally good flavour. The fries were great. As mentioned in the post above above, the piri-piri sauce (that I got as my extra dipping sauce) was quite good (although it tasted so much like the piri-piri sauce you can get in bottles at loblaws that I think that it likely was that sauce...not a bad thing at all, though, since I quite like the loblaws sauce). All in all, a fairly good experience. Given my predisposition to like the place (with their earlier generosity on the beer price) I was feeling quite happy with my choice.

      When I was almost finished, however, the waitress came up and told me that she had got in trouble for giving me the beer for $2, and said that she'd have to instead charge me $5, being the difference between the price of the pop and price of the beer. She apologized profusely, saying that she pleaded my case (I believe her - she seemed quite nice, and was a pleasant and attentive waitress). I assume that what happened was that the owner came back, found out about the beer deal, and told her to change it.

      Now, I'm not complaining about the price of the beer. $5 for a beer instead of an included pop is more than fine, and if that had been the deal from the start, I would still have probably had good vibes about the place. Given that I'd already been offered the $2 price, though, I think that it's a sad comment on the state of customer service in this city that management felt that it was perfectly acceptable to simply change the deal after the fact. I clearly wasn't going to argue over $3, though, so I told the waitress that the new price was still fine (it wasn't her fault, after all). My earlier good feelings about the place, however, had evaporated.

      Now how do I feel about this place? Just okay. The food was slightly above average, and it's close to where I live. If Duffs was within walking distance of where I lived I'd go there over this place in a second, but given it's location I'll likely be back. If I'd left with a happier feeling, I'd probably be far more likely to be back (and MUCH more likely to leave a more positive review). Was it worth it to them to alienate a customer for the sake of $3? I guess they thought it was.

      Am I being too sensitive? I'm sure that these place have slim margins, and I realize that I was already using a coupon, so they were probably already losing money on my meal. In that vein, they may not have wanted to lose another $3. That being said, the point of the coupons is to entice new customers to a place that they normally may not have gone to. You'd think that they'd do everything they could to make what is likely a customer's first experience the best it could be. Frankly, any customer, whether they're a first-timer or a regular, should deserve the highest level of service. I don't feel that I received it at Hot Wings.

      I'd like to make it clear that I have no issues with the actual service I received from the waitress; no complaints there. My problem is with a manager seemingly indifferent to customer service.

      I may or may not be back. I would also like to hear what other people think.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Strongbad789

        I totally agree with you and would not return just based on principle. If more people raised their standards restaurants would have to smarten up. If that happened in the states...well, that wouldn't happen, and it shouldn't happen here. It was very short-sighted of the manager or owner to do this. People here are so un-used to getting any perks or extras that when we do we're elated. I say speak with your wallet and patronize places that appreciate your business.

        1. re: Strongbad789

          Folks, if you have specific experiences at Hot Wings to share, please do so here, but more speculative discussion of what you might or might not do under the circumstances really belongs over on our Not About Food board, where those kinds of service issues are discussed. We'd ask that anyone who wants to discuss the issue in general to please start a new thread over there, that you can link from here so people can find it.

            1. re: sumdumgoy

              Not breaded, no. They apparently also have grilled wings, although I didn't try those.

              The wings were also not particularly saucy, which is a downside for me, as I like my wings at least moderately saucy...if they looked like they do on their website (http://hotwingsbbq.com/) that would be about perfect.

            2. re: Strongbad789

              Resto is already losing money with you redeeming that wagjag offer. For $3, they should have sucked it up, but they didn't.

              End result - you payed the actual difference in the cost of your beer instead of getting it at a lower price. Not sure that this warrants your lengthy complaint.

              Also not sure that your $7 spent warrants amazing customer service. You payed the price of a McDonalds meal, perhaps lower expectations were in order.

              1. re: mikefly

                I think you should expect the same level of customer service as any other normal customer. Just because you have a coupon doesn't mean you should be treated as a second class citizen.
                Had 789 been treated better he may have given a better review. There's nothing in his report that makes me want to go there.
                He made a deal with the waitress. She represents the establishment and as such, the deal should've stuck. If the owner (or who ever) didn't like it, it's between him and the waitress. Not the waitress and the customer. I'm sure the bar could've sucked up the $3 just as easy.

                DT

                1. re: Davwud

                  Put more simply - in answer to 789's question:

                  Yes, I think you are being too sensitive. I think your customer service expectations (at a wing joint) are a little too high.

                  It would be wonderful if all restaurants offered spectacular service - and the end result would be more of us out dining, more often - but... that's not yet the reality.

            3. The original comment has been removed
              1. Restaurants don’t “lose” money by choosing to participate in the group buy deals. It’s an alternative to the conventional methods of marketing.
                I was going to buy the group buy with Webpiggy posted today until I read 789’s review. Great customer service especially service with NEW customers go a long way. If a person comes with a coupon it’s all the more reason to provide great service and also give them a better deal to ensure their return... you've got to spend money to make money!
                There’s much better pulled pork and rib places out there with amazing service. On the top of that list... Phil’s BBQ located at Ossington and College. Great prices, great service the complete package. And no, I do not work for them. I’m just a food lover that thinks my meal goes better with great service.

                1. I think they might be opening up in Leslieville, the old Hagar (sp?) furniture store at Queen and Bertmount across from OKOK and the Strat. I keep seeing this dude unloading stuff out of his Hot Wings-wrapped Smart Car (!!!). And there is an application for a liquor license on the door.

                  If so, maybe a tone-deaf move into the neighbourhood? Nobody wants super-branded and tacky chains in Leslieville. From what I can tell even the Starbucks isn't exactly raking it in, not with Mercury across the street and Te Aro a block away and many other spots close by.

                  But who knows, maybe I'm wrong and they're not opening in Leslieville. Or maybe they are, but then I'm going to love their food? Idle speculation going on here.