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Oct 4, 2012 05:49 PM

Houlihans Rt 35 Eatontown

I'm posting this here and not chains because my comments are location specific. For any of you who pay attention to my posts should know I'm not a big fan of these type places but my sons football team won so this was his choice.

I'm not going into great detail about the food but I ordered the prime rib (never knew they offered it prior to today). When the runner came to the table with our food she placed a strip/sirloin down in front of me, I explained I ordered the prime rib she took it away and said she would look into the mistake. A few minutes later the manager approached and notified me the server obviously punched in the wrong order and my prime rib would be out shortly, and it was complimentary. I've been in and around this business a long time and know mistakes happen, I assure you all I didn't raise a fuss with the manager at all.

A few minutes later the manager delivered my prime rib along with a complimentary meal coupon for use on a future visit! I did tell him comping this meal was more than enough but he insisted on the additional meal coupon as well.

I honestly think this was excessive but also extremely commendable from a chain such this and feel it is only appropriate to share this with you. FYI the prime rib was off the bone (even though I specifically asked the server in advance and she said it was on the bone) but regardless it wasn't a bad piece of meat and will certainly remain on my radar for any future visits.

Kudos to the management of Houlihans in Eatontown.
(note to moderators please do not consider this a "shill" I'm posting about my experience and what I think was an exceptional case of customer service)

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  1. I once left my cell phone at the Houlihan's in Middletown.. this was about a year ago. I called, one of the servers had turned it in, and they had it in the manager's office. I was very thankful for their honesty.

    We got our fingerprints done in Ocean Township today.. I really wanted to eat at Houlihan's, but we ended up at Joe's Crab Shack. Could've been worse. Could've been Olive Garden. :)

    3 Replies
    1. re: MarlboroMan

      Ive always been impressed by Houlihans.. its one chain I enjoy going to.

      From spending 1000's of dollars in their bar when I was younger to just going for a late dinner now... Great food for being a chain.

      Supposedly, they make pretty much everything from scratch, sauces, burgers, cut the chicken, etc, etc.. must have some great management to be able to keep everything consistent

      1. re: coldsolderjoint

        I agree. Of the chains Houlihans is the best.

        1. re: Mr. Bingley

          My daughter indicates that the Prime Top Sirloin is the best steak she has eaten. The menu indicates that it is USDA Prime, I have wondered if that is really the case.

          Houlihan's is always worth a visit. I like their fish taco's, not quite as good as Baja Fresh's were, but very good in their own right.

    2. In college in the late 80's, early 90's, I had a part time job in the regional offices of a restaurant chain that no longer has locations in NJ. The regional VP was a big fan of Houlihans, and he's now one of the partners in the company that owns all the Houlihans franchises in NJ.

      I remember that he personally addressed any restaurant complaint that came through to the office. If he wasn't available to take a call, he'd be sure to call the customer back and he had no problem taking sides with a customer and getting angry with the managers. Believe me, the managers in his restaurants don't want things getting escalated and that's why you were treated as such.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ebchower

        That is the exact reason for my post. While I realize it's not the typical post people come to the NJ board for.....I was very impressed by the way this situation was handled especially by a chain which in my past experiences tend to have LESS of a customer service approach than your mom and pop locations.

        I spend enough time on here pointing out when I think places are wrong or missing a beat I am glad to share an experience where a place went above and beyond which in my opinion Houlihans did in this example.

        Also I will note if/when I do go to Houlihans it is traditionally for their wings which I like AND they have a Ahi Tuna Salad served with banana chips and peanuts in a ginger dressing which is fantastic. Just FYI. (I did post about this salad on the Chains board some time back).

        1. re: jrvedivici

          What sometimes gets lost in the chains vs. mom & pop dichotomy is the franchisee. I recognized the M.O. here.