The Ripe Tomato Complaint - Treatment by owner of Establishment to Customer

Review by gianna on 2006-06-25
MALTA, NEW YORK -- My family and I went to The Ripe Tomato today for their buffet. The waitress staff was understaffed and we had poor table service. We were charged $44.90 including tax for a buffet for two adults and one junior buffet. My four year old child did not finish her Turkey and Rice and two chocolate chip cookies. I asked for a little box to take the rest of the food home. The waitress said they don't do that for a buffet. Then the owner/manager came over and reiterated what she had said to me. I stated that my daughter did not finish her meal and it would be nice to be able to take it home. He then started to accuse me of taking food home in my purse in front of other customers. I became angry and raised my voice and asked him to look in my purse, that there was nothing there. My husband had taken my daughter to the car, as she was tired. The owner then accused my husband of taking food. I stated that I would never return to this restaurant and the owner rudely stated that he wouldn't expect anything less. I have patroned this restaurant before and told him he lost a regular customer. I would advise anyone to not go to this restaurant. The owner is very rude and disrespectful.
Comments:11 Replies - Latest reply on 2006-06-26
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-25:
There was a recent news story about a similar situation in the midwest. I admire your desire to take your child's portion home to be finished, rather than wasting it. However, at buffet-style eateries, it's better to dish out very small portions than to take an enormous one that will not be eaten. I understand the owner's position too. Buffet-dining is often all you can eat..."there". It's not all you can take home. From their standpoint, wasted food not eaten and tossed is preferable to allowing guests to take huge portions as a manipulation to stock the fridge at home. Ask ahead what the policy is..."Can I take uneaten food home?" and "Is one pass through all I get?" are good starters.
Posted by glc on 2006-06-25:
Gianna: Doggie bags are usually not SOP for any type of buffet eatery. This is not an excuse for the management to either accuse or berate you. Just don't go back there.
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-25:
Actually, glc, Methinks there's more to this story. It would be completely out of character for an owner of such an establishment to berate or humilate a "regular" the first time there's a dispute with that regular over food being carried out. I have a strong suspicion there were some pretty harsh words exchanged by both parties.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-25:
How was the food?
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-25:
So how much were you able to smuggle out?
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-25:
Were there any tomatoes included, at all?
Posted by glc on 2006-06-25:
LOL, Pirate. Doc, you are probably right...and we are only hearing one side of the story.
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-25:
I just re-read the first line of the post and broke into gales of laughter. It's a bloody buffet and the poster's complaining about "service" and the "waitress staff". Must have been a big night out before the tractor pull. Perhaps those pillow cases stuffed with bread sticks roused the ire of the management?
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-25:
Hmmmm, if they didn't let you take home a doggie bag then one could surmise they probably emptied the plates back into the buffet. Golly gee. Seriously since you were treated with a foul attitude, open a BBB complaint. http://www.upstateny.bbb.org
Good luck
Posted by yoke on 2006-06-26:
There is more to this story than we have gotten. I wonder how many times the 4 year old was at the buffet getting food only to throw away and get a new plate full of food.
Posted by miketech on 2006-06-26:
There is a Chinese buffett here in Oak Ridge where the penalty for asking for a doggie bag is death. Of course with the quality of their food the penalty should be you get the doggie bag.
It amazes me what people will eat.

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