PLANT CITY, FLORIDA -- I'm writing this review because I've simply had enough -- And suffered enough from this restaurant to simply let it go unknown. On December 20th, 2007 I went to an IHOP restaurant here in Plant City, Florida which had become one of me and my mom's favorite places to stop by for breakfast or to slip in for a quick dinner when we weren't feeling up to McDonald's (although I have to say eating McD's greasy food would have been 100x better than IHOP's).
But anyway. My severe illness began about 3 weeks ago when I ate breakfast at IHOP. All I ordered was the 'Big Steak Omelet', with regular white toast and ate some of it but saved the rest for later. The employees and the service was fine, we NEVER have service issues out of that IHOP but I realized that later on in the day my stomach wasn't feeling too good, in fact, I was becoming really tired and wanted to go home.
So after finishing a day of shopping with my mom we went home and that very evening I became so ill that I was unable to attend school the next day. I was sick to my stomach, but the worse part came the next night when I suddenly awoke around 2:00 A.M. and began to vomit up IHOP (I could tell it was IHOP because this food hadn't even digested) and anything else I might have consumed that day.
It's been 3 or 4 weeks now, and I've regrettably eaten at the IHOP again in hopes that it was just me that day but now I know that it's IHOP's food. It's either too greasy or there's something seriously wrong with the food because I've never, EVER had the same stomach virus for going on 4 weeks. This has caused me to not eat for a week straight at one time and I've only allowed myself to drink fluids, keeping in bed other than to go to the restroom.
My advice to anybody who might be thinking of going to IHOP: Don't do it. It's made me severely ill, and I'm still suffering from the food sickness. What's more is that my oldest brother is now sick from eating at IHOP as well, and has told us that the burger he ate there feels as if it's not even digested in his stomach yet! If you think you've got what I have then here are some symptoms: Nausea, Vomiting (frequently or every now and then), Diarrhea (you will know you're sick because your stool will be 100% liquid or will be almost 100% liquified) and Loss of sleep (due to stomach being upset.)
And, I know this will sound weird but your stomach will most likely be so upset you can hear it "growl", as if you were hungry for food but it's not. Burping/Belching is also a symptom I've come to encounter which is followed by a slight 'gaseous' feeling/taste in my mouth afterwards. I've tried Tums, Rolaids, and even Alka Seltzer but none of these products have been able to relieve my symptoms or stop my discomfort/PAIN. I'm considering going to see a doctor but due to financial issues, I may not even be able to do that.. I'm considering going to the IHOP restaurant and speaking with them about it. That's all.
WINSTON SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA -- My husband and I, along with our 18 month old daughter, went into the IHOP #3144 on University Pkwy in Winston Salem, NC on Monday Nov. 5, 2007 to eat lunch. We were seated by the host, who was about the only decent person working there. After a few minutes our waitress finally came over to take our order. I tried to ask her about what kind of veggies they had (that our daughter could eat) and she just looked at me with a confused look on her face. I had to explain my question three times before she finally got it. She took our order and went away.
A few minutes later she came back with our drinks. A few minutes after that with our appetizers that didn't have the sauces it was supposed to have. So, we asked her if we could get the sauces... she said, "Sure. I'll get them for you." Yet another few minutes ticked by and still no sauces. But the waitress made her way over to the table next to ours and took their orders. I had to go get the sauces myself from another waiter.
While we waited for our food the people who came in and ordered after us got their food and was about half way done eating when we finally got ours. The waitress brought out a couple of plates and said she'd be right back with the rest. I got my steak order before the salad (she brought that out to me about 10 minutes after my actual meal) and she didn't bring the popcorn shrimp that was supposed to be with my order. She had the nerve to sound surprised when I mentioned the shrimp to her and asked me if I still wanted it. Well, Duh. I wouldn't have ordered it if I hadn't have wanted it.
My husband asked a nearby waitress if she would send the Manager over and she wanted to know why (I didn't think it was any of her business but I didn't say so). My husband told her that we had a complaint about our waitress. A few minutes later the so called "Manager" came over to our table. We explained to him how poor our service had been (even the people next to us chimed in and told him how bad of service we had gotten) and all he did was offer to take the appetizer off of our bill. I didn't like it but didn't argue. Then he said that he would get the shrimp I had ordered.
By the time he got back to the table my husband and I had both lost our appetites with more than half our food still on our plates. We waited about ten more minutes to see if someone would bring us our check. No one showed up. Our waitress wouldn't even look in our direction so we could ask her for it.
We saw the "Manager person" again and asked him for the check. When he brought it over he was trying to explain where he had taken off the appetizer when I said I didn't understand why we should have to pay for a meal that wasn't great by any means and where the customer service was horrible. He crumpled up our bill and said he would take care of it. No problem. When we were leaving he walked us to the door and told us to have a good day. I said "thanks" and was ready to go.
When we got to our car another customer came up to us and told us that as soon as the Manager walked back in the door he wrote our tag # down off of our car. My husband went back in to ask him if and why he had done that. The manager told my husband that he had written our tag # down "for the safety of our customers".
What??? My husband asked him what kind of sense does that make??? He said we were the ones who had bad food, bad service and horrible customer service and we never raised our voice even once. (Lord knows I wanted to)? But, they needed our tag # for the safety of their customers. Riiiight. When we asked for the # for the home office we were told that it was an independently owned so there was no one else we could talk to about our service. If anyone out there knows how we would go about contacted the owner of IHOP store # 3144 Inc. at 5985 University Pkwy in Winston Salem, NC 27105 PLEASE write us back. Needless to say, we will not be going back.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- Clearly, one can understand why all the IHOP parking lots and empty and why only TEN customers are in any location even at rush hours, as was the case today. IHOP, 11613 Bandera Road, San Antonio TX 78250. The last three trips here, disaster, but today was the straw that broke the camel's back. We will never return to ANY IHOP ANYWHERE.
Three trips ago, (May 2011) the beef tips were RAW, camouflaged by the sauce of course, I spit them out into my napkin in disgust. I could not eat. I complained when I left and the manager told me I could not complain "because the waitress kept checking on us and I did not order a replacement." Sorry, ma'am, I was too nauseated to order a replacement. Two trips ago (June 2011), the IHOP canned potato soup was served ice cold in the center.
TODAY, the sign said, "A good meal can make the day." All the customers were laughing and saying, "They should change it to... A Good Meal TAKES all day." We arrived at 1:20 and placed our order at 1:30. Half the restaurant was roped off and closed. The other half... a total of TEN customers ONLY.
Our meal arrived at 2:10 AFTER the waitress kept saying, "It will be five more minutes." We requested tartar sauce (none available), we requested cocktail sauce (none available). (I ordered Tilapia). My husband's bread, which we had to request 3 times, arrived as a dessert, after we had finished. So it took 35 minutes to receive our order (or I should say the initial part of our order), and the waitress said there was only one cook and they were CROWDED... ten customers. I counted them.
When we went to pay out check, the "system was down", we stood at the register for l5 minutes and I finally asked to see the manager and inquire as to how we could get out of the place... She gave us our meal, along with the other TEN customers, the entirety of their workload... I asked for the receipt so I could call the 800 number for the survey. She gave me someone else's receipt and refused to give me my receipt. This is nothing new.
At this location, they refuse customers the right to obtain their receipts to participate in the survey. Additionally, the restrooms are FILTHY... I supposed this is because the staff is overworked with their TEN customers. No paper, no toilet seat cover, the trash cans, all of them were running over with trash, and the walls contained urine. Disgusting. Never again will I ever go into another IHOP. To say the staff and management is INEPT is a compliment to the way this location is operated.
Two managers on duty, one female came out and gave away the meals complimentary due to the poor service. (ten people). The other manager (male), we watched him throughout our entire meal, he never came out from behind the counter, we could see him from the table, despite l00 percent of the customers ready to walk out, he continued to be preoccupied with entertaining the waitresses behind the counter. Phone: I-HOP-STINKS.
LAWTON, OKLAHOMA -- This IHOP is very bad for not only the customers but even worse for the staff. Night management yells at servers in between the front doors of the restaurant. Welcome to IHOP to watch our disgusting display of public humiliation before you are fully in the building. The manager is very short-tempered and downright rude to the staff. Cooks threaten and scream at waitstaff in front of management, yet no action is taken to stop the scene in front of customers. Night management doesn't even know the menu, and very loudly in front of customers has actually asked a member of waitstaff if the never-ending pancake special comes with pancakes.
Servers are punished for calling the district manager and the corporate office when their checks are: 1. Not right for their hours; 2. Not right for tips reported; 3. Not the correct amount. False write-ups are made to fire people they don't like or people managers are threatened by. Management even writes up employees for doing things management tells them to do. For example: management tells servers not to allow people over the age of 12 to order from the kids menu, then when the server doesn't let a 35 year old woman order off the kids menu the server gets wrote up.
Management also tells servers not to charge VIPs for or police officers for their drinks, then when the server doesn't charge for those drinks the server then gets wrote up yet again. Management makes up a lie that the server swore and said things that were never said yet again writes the server up and suspends the server. The server then asks to see the tape of this happening and suddenly the manager claims there is no sound on the tape which is another lie. Then the same manager that claims there's no sound on video tape claims that it was heard on video tape that the server told a customer her phone number and was discussing IHOP personal business with a customer.
In actuality the server simply said to a personal friend, "hey give me a call I want to talk to you about something later because I can't right now." All the server wanted to discuss was going to the club they work at with a mutual friend of theirs to cheer him up in hard times. In return, the general manager has fired a cook that was there for years and actually told members of waitstaff it was because that cook knew more than he did. After working in different IHOPs in the state of Oklahoma for over 5 years as not only a server, shift leader, crew chief, manager on duty, and a manager for many years my employment has come to an end due to a manager's lies.
Time and again has come up that this manager feels threatened because either I or someone else knew how to do our jobs as well as management's jobs. I am not writing this as any form of attempt to "save" myself or even my job, but rather to warn people of what is truthfully going on in this store. Maybe this might stop a few people who don't deserve this fate which I have been talking about in this complaint. I would gladly have even included my name for all those who I have either served or worked with whom know that I "do not" lie, as well as for all of those IHOP supervisors that are fully aware of my work ethics.
However, I am unable to give out this information due to fear of legal actions for "disclosing company policy." If they are suing "The International House of Prayer" which is a church, why wouldn't they sue me?
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- First of all I went to eat breakfast with my daughter one morning. She ordered the breakfast that had the Whoville pancakes that came with it and I ordered the "Cheese Blintz" breakfast. When they finally did come out her breakfast was correct but mine was the "breakfast blintz" which is nothing like what I ordered. I had them take it back and I guess they put my order at the end of the line since it took another 1/2 hour to come out!!! I wasn't hungry by then since I was so angry about the length of time it took so I said that I didn't want them. They packed a bag to go for me and brought it up to the cashier like I was going to eat them later?
I told the manager that I would not pay for the order and since it took so long they could cover my daughters meal since she didn't eat the whole meal either due to feeling bad that she was eating and I was sitting there. Even the manager was saying that I could take the meal to go though! I couldn't believe it.
Then my daughter went to the same restaurant weeks later with some of her friends and when she got up she forgot her cell phone on the seat. She went right back in the store to find the table had been cleaned and the Blackberry cell phone was gone. She asked the manager about it and of course she said, "No one had turned it in." Well my daughter tried several times to call it and it would ring a few times and then hang up.
She spent all afternoon with the same friends so I believe that she would've heard the phone ringing if "one of her friends" had grabbed the phone off of the seat. When I went to talk to the manager later she said that I was not allowed to view the video but that it looked like the kids were playing around with the phone. Then the other manager said that it looked like a female had passed the phone to one of her friends... doesn't make sense since my daughter knew that there wasn't any insurance on the phone. Why would she give the phone to a friend and then the friend not answer the phone?
Also the first manager told my daughter that the busboy had a long way to go home and that he usually takes the bus. Then she said that he rode his bike home. Seems to me like that manager needs to think before speaking. Anyway, The head of the IHOP here in San Antonio is just as rude as his staff. Needless to say that is not a place that I will be eating again. So IHOP you really need to look at the type of people you are hiring! I was also told by the head of IHOP here that I better make sure that what I am saying is the truth. Funny how I take that as a threat. I would still like to see the video. I'm sure that it has disappeared by now.
BRANSON, MISSOURI -- I recently vacationed in Branson Mo. with my daughter and four grandchildren ranging in age from 11 to 21. After enjoying the day at Silver Dollar City and then a show at one of the theaters we decided to have a late meal at one of our favorite restaurants, IHOP. What followed has to take the record for the worst service and plain didn't give a damn attitude from a restaurant manager and staff that I have ever experienced.
The restaurant was busy but not crowded. There were six of us so naturally it took a few minutes to be seated but once seated our problems began. Our waiter was obviously very inexperienced and nervous. We were patient with him as it took him several minutes and several corrections to take our drink order. While we waited for our drinks to arrive I mentioned to my daughter that perhaps we should go somewhere else because this waiter didn't appear to know what he was doing but the grandkids wanted IHOP so we stayed.
Finally our drinks arrived and the waiter took our order but it was quite an ordeal. He erased, scribbled out and re-wrote each order several times and repeated what we'd ordered several times before he got it right and left to enter our order. About fifteen minutes later our waiter returned and said he needed to check our order with us again which he did. This time when he left my daughter and I watched him as he went to the computer order entry unit.
After watching our waiter attempt and fail to enter our order for another fifteen minutes and watching people who had come in after us receive their meals, eat and leave, my daughter got up and asked another waitress if there wasn't anyone who could help our waiter get our order placed. She was told abruptly she'd have to talk to the manager, which she did.
The manager who hummed and said he would help get our order placed. Once our order was placed, guess what… half of the orders were wrong. My daughter complained again to the manager who did absolutely nothing. Finally the waiter said he would correct our bill for the items we ordered but did not receive. Nice of him since apparently until then he expected us to pay for items we did not get. However when I reviewed the "corrected" bill it was still wrong and was charging us for three items we did not get and for one we never even ordered but our waiter insisted he had corrected the bill.
I took the bill to the cash register and told the girl there the bill was wrong. She looked at it and said I'd have to talk to the manager. Been there did that twice already. I gave up and paid the bill including the $7 and charge for items we did not order or get and we left. It simply wasn't worth arguing with a manager who obviously had no idea what he was doing and who couldn't care less about his customers. It's a shame one IHOP is allowed to be as bad as this one was. It ruined our evening and our opinion of IHOP which until then was very high. It will be a very long time before I take my family to an IHOP again.
VININGS, GEORGIA -- I have worked for IHOP for nine years. Today I was fired. I was set up from day one. My life has never been perfect. It's far from that. However, I have always been a faithful employee. I loved my job and still do. All I wanted was to succeed. But others made sure that it did not happen.
I was rehired because of the promise I showed for the company. I took a two year break before that so I could look at other aspects of the Hospitality Industry. I came back to IHOP because of my love and experience for the company.
I was sent to a store that needed to be helped because of all the problems they had with staffing or at least that was my impression. I went in there with high hopes that I would be finally trained for a management position. Hopefully a GM slot would open when I finished.
However when I arrived I was put into a server's position. Which was fine, I knew I had to prove myself. I gave every inch that I could spare to them. They did not care for my input or opinions and I was put on the back burner.
My past was still an issue with the current General Manager. He classified me as a drama queen with too many issues. The past is the past and I was just trying to move on with my life and finally have something I could be proud of.
The servers at that location ran the store and all the manager did was look back at them and watch. He cursed at us. He belittled us every chance he got. When I asked he for help with my recertification he refused and brushed me aside. The servers cursed back at him and he still to this moment in time won't do anything about it. This angered me and I said something about it. He said to wait after the new year and he would take action then.
The new year and he still has done nothing. An unfortunate thing happened with me and a customer right at the beginning of the year. A lady came in and tried to sit in a closed station. I went up to her and asked if she would like to sit in another station because there was no server and she said she wanted to stay there. I said okay and turned and saw another server bringing her menus. I figured she was going to wait on them.
This server and I did not get along because this person had a very negative attitude. Did not care about her job and talked to everyone with disrespect. She got talking to the lady and the next thing I knew that lady was calling me a Racist. She called over the MOD and then started calling her a dirty, greasy white lady. To make this long story short I was considered by my manager and this lady to be a racist. Never in my life or career have I been called that. I got along with everyone at some degree.
Anyway I was fired on the next complaint that this manager received over eggs. I went to the back because one of my coworkers was wanting to quit. The General Manager told me to get the hell out of his kitchen and I gave him a look and started to walk out. He then followed me and told me to run my checkout papers. He had no right to talk to me or anyone that way. But that was the deck I was dealt.
My main reason of this complaint is simply because I was set up for failure. I was yelled at and cursed at since the first time my first day. They be held responsible for his actions. But he won't because he never is. I was told to call and talk to whoever I wanted because it would do no good. Just because you're a manager that does not give you the right to be unprofessional and unethical. Something should be done about this recurring problem.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- My girlfriend and I went to the IHOP listed above less than an hour ago and the entire "experience" was less than stellar! It all began when we walked through the door. We were first greeted promptly and courteously. We were immediately taken to a table. The table we were taken to was dirty and had to be wiped down in front of us while we waited. This happened despite the fact that the restaurant was around half occupancy. We sat down in the booth and my seat was so beat up that all the springs were blown out and there was only one spot on the bench where it was tolerable at best. I could only imagine how it would be if someone had to sit beside me.
We were greeted by our server, Yolanda, who could barely formulate a complete sentence and of course didn't make much sense. It broke down to, "Did anyone get your drink order?” We told her no and we proceeded to order two cups of coffee and a large orange juice. Since we were also ready to order we went ahead and my girlfriend asked for "The Big Breakfast" - eggs over-easy, sausage, hash browns, and of course pancakes.
I ordered the "Quick Egg Breakfast" eggs scrambled, bacon, hash browns with American cheese, and wheat toast. After 10 minutes of watching her walk around aimlessly, we finally got our drinks. As we were preparing our coffees we had to ask for something to stir it with since we did not have any silverware on our table. Once she got us the silverware and stirred the coffee, it tasted as if it was sitting for several hours. - Nothing finer than old coffee.
After another 10-15 minutes we finally received our meals. She placed the wrong meals in front of us (don't get me wrong I know it happens and is normally dismissible but considering everything else...not today jr.) and I had a plate of pancakes in front of me with no wheat toast. I informed her of her error and she took the pancakes and 10 minutes later returned with my toast.
The meal - My eggs were runny... I have been making scrambled eggs since I was 8 years old... very difficult to screw up, but they succeeded where I apparently failed - both types of eggs were also room temp. My bacon and her sausage... room temp. Our hash browns were cooked long enough to be cook. They were not browned and they were room temp. Her pancakes were room temp as well. My toast was well... the first two halves were fine and the next two halves weren't toasted at all. I must say that the orange juice (advertised as being Tropicana) was the only satisfying part of an otherwise dismal meal.
IHOP needs to consider doing two things. First, change the slogan or get rid of it all together. Second, invest in ESP (espsystems.net). This system will greatly reduce the amount of dissatisfaction in service by keeping employees better informed about what's going on with their guests as well as the status of the establishment. This also includes notifying servers that food is in the window to keep it from getting cold before getting to their tables. Maybe their new owners will make some much needed changes.
I also want you guys to know that we are not some snobby, expect everything to be perfect, and don't know how restaurants work couple. I was in the restaurant industry for six years and my girlfriend is still in the industry and has been for more than twelve years. I know I will never be back, which is sad considering IHOP used to be a family tradition.
NEW BERN, NORTH CAROLINA -- I went to IHOP in New Bern, NC at 4pm on Monday. Food was not delivered until after 5pm. Complained to employee only to hear that some people did not show up for work (no surprise there, after being there I would not work there either). No apology. I complained to IHOP website only to get a canned response from whomever in email stated was a regional supervisor. Guess that IHOP does not run on return customers as they sure don't seem to want them.
LEESBURG, GEORGIA -- A party of eight to eat breakfast. The server took their time. The food was cold when served. Not many customers in the place. The manager did not check on us. They were quick in getting our bill to us. I won't go back for a while. Time it took to get served: 45 minutes. Food to be delivered: 40 minutes. Someone needs to retrain those people.