Applebees Complaint - Poor Managerial Judgement
REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA -- My friend and I went to Applebees in Redlands, ca. and sat at the bar to watch a game. After about an hour and a half and while I was at the restroom, the manager approached my friend and asked how many drinks he'd had so far to which he responded that he had 3. The mgr then proceeded to tell him that he could only have one more and that he not be served after that. When I returned from the restroom, he informed me of what happened and I approached the mgr and asked why he had approached my friend.
He responded that Applebees policy is to make sure that nobody gets behind the wheel too drunk and hurt sombody cause then they would be liable. I asked the mgr how he could possibly know whether my friend was driving or not. He responded that he didn't know but that he was just making sure everybody was ok and that he was doing his jod in consistency with Applebees policy regarding alcohol. When I asked if he saw anything in my friend's behavior to make him think he was intoxicated, he said "no" and repeated that he was only doing his job and making sure that my friend would be ok.
To every question I asked he kept repeating the same thing over and over again ("I'm just doing my jod in consistency with Applebees policy"). He also repeated several times that he had not acted unprofessionally and rudely since he had not cursed at him or raised his voice. Needless to say we left and will not return. The mgr was so inept that he could not look me in the eye while we spoke and he kept shifting his weight an his hands shook as he tried to make gestures while he spoke. He also tried to talk over me several times saying that I could not possibly know what happened cause I was in the restroom when he approached my friend. I asked him for his side of the story and he just confirmed that what my friend had said was accurate to which I pointed out how ridiculous it was that he would say that I didn't know what happened only to later confirm that I the version my friend relayed to me was factually accurate.
The mgr only added that he disagreed with my friend's assertion that he was rude and unprofessional because he had not cursed or yelled. I told him that he had a pretty low standard of professionalism if not cursing or yelling automatically means he was professional. I had to tell him to calm down and multiple times cause he became so defensive and his demeanor was so combative. I assured him thtat I was just trying to converse with him so that I could understand his actions. I advised him that listening more and speaking less was a far more effective customer service technique than talking over the customer to which he kept saying "Im calm, Im calm", and repeated several times that he felt as though he was being accused of being rude when he just doing his job. Clearly he was in over his head in trying to resolve the issue and displayed no listening skills or any other useful customer service skills to defuse the tension. At some point I felt as though I was the manager and he was the angry customer because I had to remind him to remain calm so many times and not get so upset and defensive because it was not helping. In the end I felt sorry for him and for the record, he did apologize a bunch of times but still maintained that he had acted in accordance with Applebees policy and that he was only sorry that we misunderstood his actions and took offense. I simply won't return to any restaurant with such flawed and intrusive policies that overreach in trying to promote responsible drinking and are designed to suppress comsumer consumption. It also does not help when the mgrs are so poorly trained but that is their problem so I will leave it at that.