GREENFIELD, WISCONSIN -- This pertains to the Old Country Buffet restaurant at 4902 S. 74th Street in Greenfield, Wisconsin. I have eaten there frequently over the years, at least once or twice monthly. Several times I have had complaints about the food being room temp or even undercooked, and I always have to deal with at least 2 or 3 employees and managers before I finally reach someone who is professional and addresses my complaint. It is clear to me that they are trained to discourage complaints by making the complaint process as uncomfortable as possible for the customer.
This time the fried chicken was a pinkish grey throughout most of the meat, and it was rubbery. I don't eat the skin or breading, so it wasn't till I realized it was undercooked that I noticed the skin was typical of undercooked chicken and the consistency of the breading wasn't right. Most people know when they're biting into undercooked chicken. I was in foodservice myself for several years, and I know undercooked chicken.
After maneuvering through the indifferent bureaucracy again, never receiving any apology or expression of concern for my safety or well-being, this time I went to the Buffets Inc. company itself.
The first customer relations person I spoke with, Lisa, was just as non-chalant and did not apologize or ask if I suffered any illness or discomfort over the chicken. She offered me a discount certificate.
I asked to speak with a supervisor, because I did not buy my meal with a discount certificate. I paid full price, and I expected resolution at full price. The supervisor, who called himself Brent, basically called me a liar and argued with me. Brent had no first-hand information, because he did not conduct a first-hand investigation.
He simply said the store manager told him that the chicken bone wasn't broken and all the chicken temped right. Neither Brent nor his mythical store manager knew the date or time of the incident, nor whether the piece was a drum, wing, thigh or breast, nor any other detail. But Brent magically knew that the bone wasn't broken and the chicken temped right.
Brent refused to address my complaint. I have filed complaints with the appropriate health and consumer agencies. The problem is that these agencies let businesses know in advance when they will inspect the operation, so the managers have time to make sure everything looks good for the inspectors. And investigations can take weeks or even months.
Worst of all, in Wisconsin the investigation results are not released in any public warning notice as they would be in some other States. That's why we've had some of the nation's worst food poisoning cases in Wisconsin. So more people can be victimized because they don't even know of the problem.
I will never eat there again, nor at any other Old Country Buffet, Country Buffet, Hometown Buffet, or any other Buffets Inc. restaurant.