ALTAMONTE SPRINGS -- On Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 my family of 10 took me to dinner for birthday. I arrived first asking the Hostess for table for 10. Her respond was, "you will have a one hour wait." I asked why because business was slow and I seen tables everywhere. They had closed off one side of the restaurant so you waited the one hour or ate elsewhere. Are you serious?
I am in the restaurant business and a known restaurant like Red Lobster, in the holiday season and normally a packed place, you are told to wait an hour is totally unacceptable. No way of communicating with some of my party, to have them go somewhere else, we waited and actually enjoyed the meal but still couldn't forget the welcome we got.
You never tell a customer what they don't want to hear. You kill them with respect and kindness. Service was excellent and meal was outstanding, but closing down half of restaurant and telling people either wait for tables to clear or they couldn't accommodate you is very unprofessional. Never in my life have ever put a complaint to a restaurant, but my feelings are this should have never happened.
HARLEM NY, NEW YORK -- I placed an order at the new Red Lobster in Harlem. This was the worst seafood my husband and I ever had. We had the "Admiral Feast" which consisted of scallops, shrimp, fish and clams. Everything was hard and clearly you can see it was pre-packed frozen products. I will never eat there again. The food was horrible. Everything tasted the same and too much breading.
What a waste never again use fresh products I should have gone around the corner to "Joe's crab shack". Way better than that junk they call seafood at Red Lobster in Harlem. Get it together you can't fool black people too long...
GILBERT, ARIZONA -- I vow to never return to Red Lobster. First off, it took a decent amount of time to put in our drink order, and the waiter did not take our food order at that time despite us being ready. Secondly, the entire meal was over 2 hours long - which I find to be way too long. Thirdly, my meal was terrible. I order Parmesan crusted chicken Alfredo with broccoli. The broccoli was practically raw! And the Alfredo tasted more like gross Mac n' cheese than Alfredo.
Lastly, the waiter was inattentive and the music was obnoxious, for a place that is supposed to be somewhat classy I found it to be much less than that. Of course though that is simply my opinion. I will say the best thing of the night was the strawberry lemonade which was delicious, although the straw for it was too short and every time I want a sip I had to stick my hand in the glass to retrieve it. I officially hate Red Lobster.
FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE -- I have not been to Red Lobster in over 20 years due to the mismatch between the food and the price. I can get $18 dinners at J Alexander and have an upscale dinner in an upscale atmosphere. What I had at Red Lobster was coconut shrimp made with "popcorn shrimp", forget tasting any shrimp; fried shrimp cold that tasted like it was from a frozen dinner and microwaved; and shrimp scampi made with 12 shrimp I could buy in a supermarket at $3.99 per pound.
If you are going to charge upscale prices, then serve upscale food. I have had better quality seafood at a street vendor. It is insulting for a restaurant to have such low quality food and charge so much for it. Save your money and eat at White Castle.
MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA -- On Tuesday June 25th we stopped in Red Lobster for a meal. Our server was great. While we were there a group of 4 people hard of hearing or no hearing they were signing as they sat there, came into the restaurant they sat for at least 5 to 8 minutes. When I asked my server if she was their waitress and she said no. At that time a server came to them. She got their drink order and two times while we were sitting there the server gave the one woman the wrong drink. When they got their salads they finally got rolls. I thought this was disrespectful to disabled people. I hope it doesn't happen much.
SARASOTA, FLORIDA -- We have been eating at Red Lobster for a long time. About 6 months ago, we were having dinner, and they sat a large group near our table. That was fine, until the 4 children, started acting up, and started running around, crawling under our table, the parents were like, "I'm sorry", and did nothing else. Called the GM ** over to our table, she approached the table, and had an annoyed look on her face. We told her what happened and she told there was nothing that she could do, that the restaurant was busy. She wouldn't go to the table to even say something.
I must also mention, she smelled like cigarettes and looked disheveled. We have given this restaurant another chance, but this GM visited a table next to us, and she is just ineffective. From what we have witnessed, she has no customer service skills. Not eating at any Darden restaurant again.
SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE -- Well for starters I will start with the hosts, they were wonderful! I came with my Husband and two Daughters and the Hostess ** (I believe) was sweet and very helpful and loved my girls. We got sat at great table by the window and I took my two girls to the restroom. Normally I would think that the server would have already there but when we got back to our table we waited another 10-15 minutes or so no one even approaching us.
Then my Husband got upset because the girls were very hungry so he ended up going up front to ask who our server was. One of the hosts told us it was **, and said they would get here over there right away and apologized. We went back looking for ** and finally got her attention. And it seem that her mind was in a different place and we had to repeat ourselves a lot. We had to ask for refills she never offered and a few times a different server had to do it for her. Regardless of any of that we still had a good time and enjoyed our food but I feel it could have been better.
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK -- My husband and myself went to Red Lobster for supper and we got watered down soda. The server got us new soda and it was better. The clam chowder was cold and the salads tasted awful. We went there because I have always loved Red Lobster.We ordered the pot pies with shrimp on the side.
I didn't like the pot pie but my husband loved it. I didn't eat it and I didn't complain. Because I had complained so much already. The shrimp was wonderful. My husband was sick all night. I always go to Red Lobster and am so disappointed. We went at 9 pm on June 1st on Erie Blvd Syr NY.
There is a reason when people talk about Red Lobster they say "I had a craving for cheddar biscuits" or "Endless Shrimp is going on" and that is because nothing else is particularly remarkable. I've visited many of the Red Lobster locations in northern Georgia and Alabama and none really stick out from the others for good or bad reasons.
The staff is quite normal for a chain with about equal chances of getting a good waitress or one that hates her job/pay. This does mean though your food is just as likely to be prepared by a high school student as it is by someone that knows how to cook. The only thing notable is during their Endless Shrimp promotion it is even printed on the menu that you cannot pre-order more than one shrimp "refill" and you have to allow normal meal prep time to be served. Unless your waitress is great, in which case she deserves a nice tip, you are likely going to go through about an hour of eating 5 pieces of shrimp and waiting 10 minutes for 5 more pieces of shrimp.
The problem is their quality. Obviously being a chain most of their food comes in prepared and frozen. This wouldn't be too much of a problem except the quality of this frozen seafood is around the same as you can pick up from a bag in a Wal-mart freezer section. This old seafood coupled with the general lack of actual cooking means that sensitive lobster usually turn out rubbery, and anything fried is devoid of any moisture or texture. This is often overlooked by visitors because the seafood experience in this region is generally limited to Captain D's.
The pricing and portion sizes reflect this almost arrogance at being the defacto "fancy" seafood in the area. Meals range from between 13.50 and 28.50 at dinner. The only chains in this region that price higher are some steakhouses. Taste does not justify the charge as I discussed and neither does portion size. One example is the Admiral's Feast. This is typically priced at ~19 and comes with breaded shrimp, scallops, clam strips, and 2 fillet of haddock all fried. The fillets are the size typical of fast-food fish. The scallops are the size of popcorn chicken bites which pale in comparison in size and taste to the scallops served at most Chinese buffets.
The clam strips barely fill the palm of my hand and usually suffer the most from overcooking. You typically get between 4-5 pieces of shrimp which would be adequate if the other portions were better. The main issue when ordering that meal is it is still served on a feast-sized platter which at one time would have been full of seafood now just serves to show you half an empty plate and leaves you wondering where the other half of your almost 20 dollar dinner went.
I've tried all the "feasts" and all suffer from this downsizing. I was specifically irritated when an Ultimate Feast (at a 29 price tag) left me hungry because of the kid-size lobster tail and crab leg portions, and all of this after I was charged $3 for a substitution in what shrimp came with it even though I was substituting in a cheaper side of shrimp.
I cannot leave in a full complaint though. The locations have all been very clean and tables were spaced out nicely and gave good seating room. The non-seafood plates are actually of great quality. My wife specifically loves the Cajun Chicken Alfredo which in stark contrast to the seafood on the menu is not only one of their cheapest dinners but is served in very generous portions she can never finish. If their entire menu reflected this dish I probably wouldn't be writing this complaint.
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA -- So, we went to Red Lobster tonight, at 15311 W. McDowell Road, in Goodyear, Arizona. We have gone to this place since they opened, and really have always had a great time, until this year. We usually go about every two months, and have been there twice before this with crappy service. Now, we had a terrible time. We will never return to that restaurant. This was the final time we get poor service in a Red Lobster. Well, where to begin.
Let's see. I guess the first hint of how our dining experience was to go would have been the Hostess. My wife, 8 year old son, and I walked in, with no one in the waiting area, and straight in to the Hostess stand. She says to us "Oh, 2 of you?" Really? The Hostess either can't count or chose to ignore our son.
So, on to the table. The person seating us was very pleasant. I am sorry I did not get his name. He was very cordial, and made us feel at ease immediately. He sat us, and said that our waitress will be with us shortly. Well, shortly turned into about 8 minutes just for our waitress to come and take our drink order. Then, a slight wait for the drinks, followed by the biscuits. OK, so maybe this will not turn out so bad.. oops, spoke too soon.
After taking our appetizer order, the waitress came back to take our entree order. We told her we prefer to wait until getting our appetizer, and she seemed puzzled. OK. So, we sit, and wait and wait and wait. I see 2 other tables around us get seated, get drinks, get appetizers, and still we wait. Oh, here comes the assistant manager, to re-fill our drinks. Great. Now, we wait. And wait. So, here comes our seafood nachos. Hooray! Except..... they were kind of sparse. The shrimp and cheese sauce was sparingly applied, to say the least. Oh, well, it is a busy Saturday night, so we can make some allowances. So, let's dig in. Um, what is this?
Some of the nachos are kind of soggy. Like the chips sat at the bottom soaking up grease. Definitely not a good thing. OK, let that sit, and we can eat the other chips. OK, not bad, considering. Well, let's see how the entrees are. Once we order. Hmmm, where is the waitress? No, not over there. Well, let's wait. For 10 more minutes. Really? Now she takes our order? Must be really busy tonight but I keep seeing people seated around us and getting faster service. Starting to get a little upset now.
OK, we order our food. And wait for over 20 minutes now. So, where are our salads? Hmmm.. no, that's not them. After 10 more minutes here they are. Now, one of the things that used to bother me at Red Lobster was that the Caesar salad was served so cold I had to warm my hands after eating it. Not this one! Oh, no, this salad was at room temperature, for sure. So how long does it take for a salad to get that warm? So, now we are 48 minutes into dinner, and we have been served some crunchy biscuits, and some crappy nachos, and warm salads.
OK, so where are the entrees? Well, about 10 minutes more, and here comes the entrees. Being brought by a different waitress. What? OK, so she starts by handing out my son's plate, and remarking how she wondered about his because she didn't see him behind my wife. Not exactly a good comment, but whatever. I do notice as his plate is handed over that the fries seem a little off. Kind of like they had sat for a while. So, she starts handing me my plate, which should have been a combo of steak, shrimp, and salmon. But, there are crab legs on the plate. I tell the waitress this is not my order, and she asks if I am sure. What the **. Yes, I am sure I didn't order crab.
So, she looks at my wife's plate, which also has crab on it, which she didn't order. So, the waitress takes the plates away, and to the next table to ask them if it is theirs. And back to the kitchen. And we wait. Now we have had enough. We waited for about 5 more minutes, and finally flagged down the assistant manager. We tell her that we need to have the entree orders canceled, and the check for the app, drinks, and my son's meal. She said she will take care of it. And starts to leave. But now, here comes a surprise!
Our waitress, along with the other waitress, with the same meals. They explain that the crab was added by the kitchen, and that we can keep it and not be charged for it. Why, we don't know. But we told all three of them that we didn't want it, and they asked several times if we wanted them. Finally, we said yes, but when they put the plates in front of us, I noticed that the butter was already congealing in the bowl. So I touched all the food, and it was all room temperature. My wife did the same for her food, with the same results. Actually, her crab was stone cold in the center. Like just nuked for too little time cold.
So, we sat again, until the manager, **, came over. He seemed to be wanting to help, but would not listen to anything we said. He kept interrupting us with his version of what we were trying to say. Not acceptable. But, he tried. Told us he would comp our meal. OK. Not what we wanted. We asked several times for the check, but they would not listen. OK, fine. Then, here comes **, with an envelope with what he said were gift cards, to see if he could get our business back. Well, thanks, we will consider it. But, seeing as this is the third time in a row we have had crappy service here, I don't think we will be back. Ever.
And, as further insult, when we get into the car, my wife opens up the envelope and finds a $25 gift card. Great. So someone can get, what, a smaller entree and a drink? Please. This place has gone downhill the entire year, and we are tired of giving them chances. Never again.