GRAPEVINE, TEXAS -- My wife and I have been customers at the Grapevine Outback location for 15 years now. We spend one evening, usually Friday evening, also Saturday and sometimes one more time each week at this establishment. Again, I mentioned that we have been doing this for 15 years. During this time we have met all the different management staff, employees and many patrons. As I am sure you are aware, there are some employees working at this location that have been at this location since our first visit, which is one of the main reasons that we enjoy and relish our attendance.
I will mention at least one outstanding employee, **, however there are many more that are tremendous and have become close friends (**, to name a few). In addition, we have met many wonderful good people during our visits, and have become very close friends with many other regulars and non regulars that dine and visit this location. I guess we just try to be friendly and help everyone enjoy their visit.
As you are aware, Outback is not the only restaurant available for us to frequent, however, because of the employees, the service, cleanliness, the standard for quality of food, pricing and variety of selection, we really only ever consider this restaurant. We even joke about it, "well, let's try a new restaurant like", and we end up at Outback. All who know us hear about how great Outback is. We solicit virtually everyone we come in contact with to frequent this establishment. We bring our family, our friends, and business associates to this location as stated prior on a regular basis.
I wish to apologize however for an incident that occurred Friday night,12/23/2011 at this location. I arrived at Outback from work at about 6:30 pm, and then my wife and oldest son arrived. We sat at the bar, as we usually do for cocktails and some dinner. Met and spoke with other couples that were sitting around us, laughed and were having a pleasant evening. Although the Restaurant was busy, service was again fantastic, ** and ** working behind the bar and were just super attentive to all both sitting and standing around the bar area.
We ordered some dinner, ate and visited with those around us. Met a very nice couple that resembles an actor and that also lives in Grapevine. Our son finished his dinner and departed at about 7:45 pm. All seemed fine until a group (two adult males, an adult female and young girl) came in and first sat across the bar from us, then moved to some seats that where vacated close to us. As I usually do, I greeted them, they sat down, and I didn't pay much other attention to them.
All of a sudden, the larger of the two men, started loudly and profanely complaining about the service and how absolutely filthy the bar area was. I looked around to see the what he might be speaking of, but could not really picture what was wrong as the area was busy. My wife responded to the man that he please not be so rude, loud, and asked as to what he was referring, to which he then basically told her to "shut the ** up," and repeated his disgust with the establishment. It was then both my wife and I responded to the man that if he was unsatisfied, then maybe he should leave.
His response became more profane, and told me to be careful for my actions because he would ** me up. I did then respond quite profane, stood up, stated again that may be he should leave if things were so horrid, and then I sat down. About this time, one of the assistant managers appeared with a couple of waiters, spoke to the man and then they escorted him back to the kitchen. By this time, the females that were with the men left, and the other man remaining, stated to me that his friend was going to ** me up, and to be very, very afraid of him.
From my sitting position, my response was also stern and profane, yet I asked him if maybe they just leave and I would pay their tab. His response was something to the effect of ** you. I stated profanely with a "whatever", and he left. However, the first man was still in the kitchen with the assistant manager. All seemed calm again. I ordered some dessert, it came, and I ate it. My wife and I were still at the bar when another manager came up to me and stated that "I" should leave.
Well, that did irritate me. My "actions" during this event were not perfect, (as my natural voice is loud anyway), however, during the entire issue I remained seated except once, and was basically attempting to defend the staff and the restaurant. I then got up, laid $100.00 on the bar for our tab, and have left. Once outside, the first man was there still conversing with the assistant manager.
LITTLETON, COLORADO -- I am a widow and single mom of two boys ages 9 and 11. October 21 we ate at the Outback in Littleton, CO. We were sat in the back next to the kitchen, where the wait staff decided to set up their social hour. We had tea and water pitchers behind us and much conversation that my children really did not need to hear. Laughing, joking, and complaining. At one point we had a chapstick propelled under our table which my 9 year old was asked to retrieve. The food came out and was cold, my steak was dry and overcooked. My 9 year old was sharing my steak and did not like it either.
I complained and sent it back and they offered him something else. He asked for the ribs. They brought out a children's portion of ribs with mashed potatoes. I ate my baked potato. I was charged for my steak. Never received a replacement and they took the steak back to the kitchen, apparently the cook wanted to see it. We went back for dinner last week on Nov. 24th. My eldest brought his brother's new 200 page Green Lantern book to read and was sitting next to me in the booth. We ordered dinner, the waiter also received a table of 6 adults which seemed to be much more important to him.
He brought them bread and water. We received no bread or water. I had ordered an orange colored martini and he carried my drink in his left hand while balancing a tray of drinks for the other table. He went to set the drink down and spilled the drink across the middle of my son's "NEW" book and over the table. Laughed it off saying "I'm not that good at carrying those drinks." Walked off to deliver the other drinks, didn't apologize or offer to help dry things up. I asked my youngest to ask the girls in the front for some paper towels and cleaned up the mess, drying the book as much as possible.
The manager eventually came over and asked if I wanted another drink. She told us not to worry and to enjoy our meal that she would take care of it and if we wanted dessert to order that as well. I did order another drink as well as a glass of water. We had to wave down the waiter and ask if we may have bread with our dinner. He then said he was sorry he had spilled the first drink. Our food came. I and my eldest ordered steak medium. Mine was perfect my son's was almost rare. He ate it not wanting to wait for another to come out.
The boys ordered cheesecake for dessert. The manager came by to see how their dessert was and said she new how frustrating it was to have a spill on a book because she had just spilled something on her cookbook that same day. I asked her if she was going to be taking care of the meals as well and she said "sure if you would like." She went to catch the waiter. The bill came and the cheesecake and one kid's meal was removed from the bill. I was charged for my meal, another kid's meal and both my drinks. We paid and left.
I have enjoyed going to the Outback for many many years. Not sure why the service has gone downhill so poorly but extremely disappointed. It's the last $100 I plan on spending there. I feel we were treated as second class citizens and I assure you we are not.
AMARILLO, TEXAS -- Just got home from what I now consider to be the most poorly managed restaurant in Amarillo. I ordered the pork tenderloin and my wife ordered the chicken on the barbie. Our food came to the table and my sides had been forgotten. I pointed it out to the waiter and he replied with "Oh, we are out of green beans. sorry. Do you want anything else?" I told him what I would have and he went to get it. While he was gone I got ready to eat my pork tenderloin which is served sliced and drizzled in a sauce. As I separated the slices I saw that the pork was RAW. Not just a little undercooked, it was cold, slimy, mushy RAW!
The waiter came back with my sides and I pointed out that my pork was raw. He told me that he would get me another one and in my disgust I just told him I didn't want anything else; I would just eat my sides and some bread. As I expected, I saw the manager come out from the kitchen and head toward our table. On the way he stopped and chatted with some waitresses that were milling around in the back of the restaurant. About that time they all looked over at myself and my wife and snickered. He then continued to our table and stated: "I understand that you didn't like your pork." I told him that it wasn't that I didn't like it, but that it was RAW.
He then told me that the pork was cooked medium and that medium was a little rare for some people's tastes. -As an aside; I KNOW meat. Growing up slaughtering our own animals every year and taking some food and meat science classes in college have left me with what many would consider a near expert understanding of protein. Back to the story... The manager then proceeded to tell me that the pork was cooked fine and safe to eat. If I didn't have such an extensive knowledge of what raw pork looks and feels like I might have trusted him and ate it. Not only were his actions unethical, they are DANGEROUS!
Trichinosis is just one of the serious and potentially fatal diseases caused by eating undercooked pork and this supposed "Food Service Professional" was looking me straight in the eye and telling me that this meat was safe to eat. I am just glad that this happened to me and not someone that would have believed this idiot. What's even more, a couple of minutes later my wife asked me to look at her chicken. She had cut into the thicker side of her breast and what do you think I saw? IT WAS RAW ALSO! I flagged the waiter over and asked him to get the manager.
When he arrived I held the plate up and said "Touch this and tell me that it isn't raw." He touched it and without saying a word turned and walked back to the kitchen. For the next ten minutes we sat thirsty and hungry in our booth while every waiter in the restaurant avoided us like the plague. I don't know if he was hoping we would just walk out or what, but I wasn't leaving without him knowing that I didn't expect to pay a dime.
While we were sitting and waiting to see how this was going to be handled I was suddenly startled by a voice behind me. The manager said "you don't owe us anything so you are free to go" and before I could even turn my head to see him he had already spun around and was scurrying off toward the kitchen.
This is not the way to treat a customer. No matter what kind of quality control is in place, sometimes there will be problems with the food; what separates good restaurants from bad restaurants is how they handle the situation and the attitude they take with their customers. If a customer tells you that their food is raw you do not in any circumstance tell them that they are wrong and that it is safe to eat. You also need to apologize to the customer and take reasonable measures to remedy the situation. This did not happen tonight and it is not acceptable.
My advise to anyone eating out: If you think there is a problem with your food, don't eat it. No matter what the waiter or manager tells you, it is not worth the risk. My experience tonight just goes to show that some establishments would rather lie to you and possibly put your life in jeopardy than to admit that they had made a mistake.
SURPRISE, ARIZONA -- On 4-23-09 at approximately 4 PM, my wife and I entered the Outback Steakhouse in Surprise, Az. The place was almost empty and we didn't have any wait for a table. The server came quickly and we put in our order of a Blooming Onion and ordered our steaks. I ordered a 20 oz Melbourne at $24.00 and my wife ordered prime rib. When the meals arrived and were placed, I told the server that she gave my steak to my wife and I didn't think that what she placed in front of me was prime rib. The server stated "No, you have the Melbourne and she has the "RIBEYE".
My wife said "I didn't order a ribeye, I ordered PRIME RIB". The server said "No, that is the ribeye that you ordered". I asked why my steak didn't look like the photo in the menu, as that is why I ordered it. The photo showed a very thick cut and what I had placed in front of me was a 1/2 inch piece of gray meat. She informed us that the cuts are not represented by any photos in the menu. She told us we got what we ordered. Both cuts were extremely poorly done, tough, and grisly and lacked taste. We were charged over $61.00 for that meal, and would have gladly paid it, if it was what we ordered. We felt that it had to be the worst meal we had ever eaten.
A few day later, I emailed the Manager of the Outback in Surprise, Az about our concerns and displeasure with our dinner. I received an email from **, Managing Partner, asking permission to speak to me direct over the phone. She called me the next evening and stated she was sorry to hear about how my experience was in her restaurant as she was on duty that evening and usually meets with all of the patrons. She asked what was wrong with the meal and I started to explain the problem and she basically informed me that I got what I ordered, that my wife and I couldn't read their menu and they didn't do anything wrong.
It was OUR fault for going into Outback. She didn't have the capacity to understand my outrage in being treated by her as some kind of fool. What did I expect, a free meal? That I was going to complain and force Outback to refund my meal? I never had any intent to demand anything from Outback, that's why we paid our bill and left. Now, however, after being dressed down by Ms **, a Managing Partner, I will go to great lengths to inform anyone who will listen about the customer service that Outback is delivering to their patrons. She offered to "send you something in the mail", as if I was a deadbeat patron who sponges off these chains for a free meal.
She should be in management, as this is probably a step up from dishwasher. Her customer service skills are inadequate at best and I hope the Corporate Office is proud of their managerial staff nationwide in general, and Ms ** in particular. After reading other blogs about Outback, I can see that they suffer nationwide with poorly trained managers and servers, and are causing patrons to never eat their again.
BEAUMONT, TEXAS -- We had my mother-in-law in Mississippi took them out to eat at a different restaurant every night last week. On Sunday her last night in town we went to Outback in Beaumont. My mother-in-law had the best time ever our server Mr.** was so nice and friendly. He made her & all of us feel so special she wanted to take him home. The Manager Mrs.** greeted us and seated us right away, we had such a great time with Mr. **.
She ordered an extra glass of wine just so we could spend a little more time there. We didn't want to leave & when he brought us a to go container for our blooming onion & food, he made my mother-in-law a special to go bag with an extra bread & butter & plastic knife just for her because she loved it so much & told her that was just for her so she could nibble on it on their trip home today.
I just wanted to thank Mr. ** & Mrs. ** for such a great time. It was so special that she was still talking about it this morning. & can't wait until she comes back down again just so she can go back to Outback to see Mr. ** & Mrs. **. Out of all 7 restaurants we went to last week Outback in Beaumont beat them all hands down. Not a one came close to the service or experience we received from you two. Thank you so much for for such a great time.
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA -- On Sept 7th around 1 pm. First I noticed the Blooming Onion was smaller, about half the size. I didn't say anything. But it appears to be a trend now also seized on by Outback to make food portions smaller and charge the same price.
I ordered an 8 oz Flo Filet, the large one. When it was brought to the table again it was smaller and looked like a top sirloin or something, thin and small. This time it was incensed and said something. I expect a Filet Mignon to be thick and pink in the middle. The manager tried to tell me it was a small thin filet. I know what a filet is supposed to look like and I guess they think everyone is an idiot and will fall for their lousy cuts of steak. When I cut into it, it was also obvious they had overcooked it because it was a thin steak so it was not pink in the middle.
I will never eat at Outback Steakhouse again. They have lost me as a customer forever. I would suggest to not eat at Outback as they have obviously made a lot of changes to go smaller and cheaper. It's not like it used to be.
KEY WEST, FLORIDA -- First of all the wait staff was great, my wife and I ordered steaks which we both like well done (on the menu well done is described as no pink showing). Our meal came out in no time. Well seasoned but when we check to see if it was cooked all the way through we both had a medium well cooked steak. No problem we call our wait staff over and explained. She agreed and remember how we ordered our steaks.
About 15 minutes later the manager brings our steaks to our table. Both steaks are cooked about the same almost looking like car tires and wanted used to check it to see if that was cooked enough, with just short of a smirk on his face. It's sad because, we eat at Outback everywhere and this is the only Outback that we have had problems with. We live here in Key West, this manager just think steaks should be cooked to his liking not the customer. We'll still keep going to Outback but not in Key West.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE -- I went to Outback Steakhouse on Union Ave. on August 24, 2013 around 3:00 pm my mom is a pastor so as I our church members told us about the Restaurant so we gave it a try. My mom called a day ahead to make sure they could accommodate a large party. They said "yes" but that was totally not true. We had to move several times in the Restaurant.
The first waitress took so long with our drinks and when she finally got them they were watered down not good at all then we had to move to another table and this young lady was OK but the same issue came up. Took 45 minutes to bring our bread and took an hour to bring the food. Some had meat on the plates with no veggies like I had wings and ribs. The wings were hard but the ribs were OK. After they finally got our veggies on the plates our meat was cold or eaten up I will never send anyone to Outback. The worst time ever. Don't come especially if you have a large party they will not enjoy themselves.
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- Tampa (Henderson Street). Dec. 27 found hair in salad, and Manager saw it and comped $9.99 of $78 total bill. When my family was not with me I called and told him I was surprised he did not comp entire bill. I could have loudly complained as the restaurant was at full capacity, but opted to keep it low-key. He credited another $21 to my Visa but I feel the entire $78 should have been comped.
Also, my guests were hesitant eating their own salads, and the one that ordered a Cobb Salad didn't even finish half of it as she lost her appetite! While Manager said this compensation was standard in the industry, I immediately found examples online where other Outback Managers comped the entire meals for hair in a sandwich and also a salad -- and their total bills exceeded $100. Comments or Feedback -- is this acceptable?
SUWANEE, GEORGIA -- Went to Outback for a steak dinner. When we were seated we were looking for a nice meal. The service was slow. It appeared that our table was not on anyone's list so we had to wait. My wife ordered the prime rib and I ordered the rib eye. Both were to be done 'medium'.
After a long wait for our salad our meat arrived. Her rib was 'rare'. The waiter said they would put it back on the grill to cook it some more. The best way to ruin a prime rib is to grill it. The meat was black and tasted burnt. My rib eye was tough and tasteless. They replaced it but the replacement was just as bad. All in all the service was slow and the food was not to our liking. We would not be going back for a long time. They must have reduced the quality of the meat they are serving.