This past Monday, Star, the girls and I had dinner with a great old friend who was in town from Michigan. We met at an Olive Garden in Queen Creek.
Star and I got to the restaurant first, and we got a table.
Our friend (and her daughter) arrived, it was so great to see them and to reconnect after many years of not seeing each other.
We sat at our table for literally 25 minutes, while multiple servers took care of tables all around us … yet, not one of them greeted us, or took our drink order. At the 25 minute mark, I finally flagged down one of the servers and asked to speak with a manager…
The manager did not make it to our table for 15 minutes. And yes, I timed it.
By the time the manager did make it to our table, (thankfully) we had placed our drink orders, and even our food order.
I mentioned to the manager about how long we waited, even to the point of flagging down a server to ask to speak with a manager (and the fact that it took him 15 minutes to make it to our table).
The manager did what managers do, he apologized for the delay, asked if we had ordered any appetizers (which we had not), and he offered to get us a free appetizer.
I thanked him for the offer, and let him know that I was not looking for a “freebie” and declined the free appetizer. I told him I just wanted him to know what had happened.
The manager let me now that he’d expedite our salad & bread sticks, and again apologized.
Fifteen minutes later (and yes, I was still timing – this was turning into fun for me), we still did not have our salad or bread sticks. At this point, the manager walked out of the kitchen and just happen to look over at our table to realize we still had no salad, he stopped in his tracks, turned around and a few short moments later came to our table himself with salad & bread sticks in hand.
Later, when our entrées were ready, the manager himself brought them to our table.
Our food was absolutely amazing!
I had the Eggplant Parmesan, and it was delightful!
And to be fair, once we started getting our food, we had great food and great service!
When our meal was finally finished (we even ordered dessert for the girls), the manager stopped back by our table and asked how the meal and our service ended after such a rough start. I let him know that given the rough start, we actually had great service and great food!
He once again apologized for how things got started, he then informed us that he was taking care of our entire bill.
I thanked him, and once again let him know that we, in no way, were looking for anything free and that I just wanted him to know what had happened. He insisted that we allow him to comp our meal and give them a second chance (at some other time) to prove they are a great place to have a meal.
So, I’m writing this post to say thanks to one of our favorite places to eat, Olive Garden, for doing us so right, for going above and beyond what needed to be done. We’ll be back…that is for sure!