Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The one where they forgot to order

I can honestly say I never thought I'd write a review about TGI Friday (Newport Road), but I couldn't let the opportunity to write about what happened to Matt and I there last week go by.

After an insanely busy day in work last Wednesday where my 20 minute lunch break consisted of half a mug of absolutely vile soup Matt and I decided to go out for dinner and as I was so hungry when I left work we opted to visit the Newport Road branch of TGI Friday so I could make the most of their two courses for £9.99/£14.99 midweek deal.

I'll admit that Matt and I are fairly regular visitors to TGI Friday, with us going there for dinner maybe once a month (but does that make us fairly regular visitors?) We both know what we like, Matt likes the refillable drinks and the American theme and I like that Matt likes it. A while back we even had a favourite waiter, but it looks like he has left. I can hand on heart say that I've never had a bad experience there, OK so I'm not a fan of the birthdays on a seemingly constant roll and the prices are over inflated for what you're getting, oh and their chicken quesadillas are the worst I've ever eaten (enough onions already), but apart from those niggles it's an ok place generally.

Matt and I arrived at the restaurant at 5.45 pm, it wasn't busy and we were seated right away. We both ordered a coke which came promptly. Matt then ordered from the two courses for £9.99 menu, he ordered the mozzarella sticks to start followed by the classic American burger. I ordered from the two courses for £14.99 menu, opting for my favourite thing on the menu - the wonderous Jack Daniel's sesame chicken strips. Heaven in a bowl, seriously. As I was clearly in an unladylike mood and went for the Jack Daniel's full wrack of ribs, notice a theme?

Fifteen minutes after we ordered our starters hadn't arrived and I was ready to start gnawing on the table but Matt and I were deep in discussions regarding US politics (such is dinner table conversation when one of you is liberal and the other very much a conservative). After another fifteen minutes I realised that we had been waiting for our starters for 30 minutes, something was clearly wrong so I asked the nearest waitress how long she thought I food would be as we had been waiting for 30 minutes already. Five minutes later our original waitress came over to us and explained that she had forgotten to order our food.

You saw that coming, didn't you?

She apologised and told us that the kitchen was cooking our food as she spoke, she also informed us that the manager would be over to see us soon. I'll admit that I wanted to tell her to forget it and leave but Matt insisted on staying as we weren't really in a rush despite my being ready to eat anything that moved. The manager came over to us, he apologised saying that the waitress had a lot on her mind and that it didn't normally happen. He thanked us for being understanding and said that he'd do something for us with regards to our bill. As he was talking our food came.

My starter was good as usual although at least two pieces of my chicken were lukewarm at most. To be honest by the time our food arrived my appetite was starting to vanish, I was tired, hungry and annoyed that we had waited around 40 minutes just for our starters. After our plates were taken away it took another 15 minutes for our mains to arrive. The ribs were only ok, they weren't bad but nothing special. The onion rings were great though, crispy, slightly spicy and decently sized.

We were offered dessert but by that stage I was just ready to leave. Our bill arrived and I was shocked to see that it came to £4.18. The manager had written off our meals and had only charged us for the two cokes, seeing as over the course of our time there we got through five cokes between us I'd say that was pretty good going.

All in all while our experience was poor the way the manager handled it means that we would go back. It just goes to show that the way in which poor service is handled by staff can really make or break the whole experience.

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