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 were 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.
WEBSTER, TEXAS -- I was hired at the Outback located at 481 W. Bay Area Blvd. Webster, TX 77598. I was told to dye my hair because my roots were showing. I said that it was not a problem and that I would have it done immediately. This was on a Monday. I was told to come back on Wednesday at 3 pm to take a test over the menu. I studied and I was prepared. My brother was in town from Indianapolis, so I sent him on a fishing trip for the day since I had this test. An hour before the test I received a text message from the Outback trainer. She was TEXTING, how unprofessional, to "remind me" that my test was Thursday at 3pm.
She sent me a text message saying that was the date all along. I called her because this was incorrect, and if she needed to change the date at least she could have called and told me what happened. She then explained that she was busy and had other plans. How was this my fault? Then, she was irritated at me. I could hear it with her attitude and the tone of her voice. She set the date. I wrote it down when she told me. When I went in the following day to take the test she escorted me to a booth where I could take the test.
Then, she told me again that ** the manager said I needed to dye my hair. I stated that I had just dyed it. I pulled my hair to show her the roots under the light. I started to take the test. I was almost done when ** the manager came out and said that I needed to dye my hair. I was confused so I asked why.
He spoke to me in a tone that I did not care for. He said that my hair was too pink and that no one has the color of red I had in my hair. It had to be natural. I then asked if he wanted it more brown. I was trying to find out if I could still have red hair. He grabbed the test out of my hands, and continued to yell at me. He taunted me saying that, "You didn't even have the job 3 days and you're fired." He was smiling about it. He enjoyed humiliating me. I could tell that everyone there was scared of him.
The bartender that was there hid behind the computer and gave me the I'm sorry look. I was only trying to understand what color was acceptable. He talked to me in a manner that was simply unacceptable. I really needed the job, but I could never work for a person like that.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- Glazed Pork loin served less than 1 inch in width. Pork loins are at least 2 to 3 inches in width. When I am not dining out, I am cooking in my kitchen. Pork loin is a favorite of mine. Even in the picture in the Outback menu the pork loin is 3 to 4 inches in width. Seriously, what I received were cubes less than the size of a quarter. How embarrassing! The server actually brought it out.
The cook should have said the store was out of Pork loin instead of creating some pork chop substitute. The server should have rejected the plate. The manager should have agreed the plate was incorrect instead of lying about the size of a pork loin cut. Our meal was $100 and consisted of the glazed pork loin plate, the filet and shrimp plate, the fettucini and shrimp, the salmon plate, plus wine and salads. The meal came out late because the cook was trying to figure out how to create the pork loin from whatever was in the kitchen. I returned the pork loin plate and the manager took it off the bill. UNBELIEVABLE! From Outback?
Never have I had a bad experience until now. The food was cold because the cook was trying to come up with something that looked like pork loins. The manager offered a bull story about the size of a pork loin, adding insult to injury. The cook and the server completely failed to control quality. The manager failed to admit the failure and provide an honest and sincere apology and acknowledge publicly the failure. Either stick with the maintain stays on the menu and stay away from fancy new menu items, or train your people to say they don't have the menu item, or do it right!
I dine out 10 to 12 times per month at $15 to $25 plate restaurants and have for over 10 years. The people I work with and socialize with dine out frequently... I'll be commenting about the poor experience and the declining quality at Outback. Outback has a serious problems! I believe McDonald's went through a decline several years ago and had to return to the basics- to fix the quality of the experience. Learn from their past.
SPRINGFIELD, VIRGINIA -- On our way home from a family vacation in Washington, DC we passed through Springfield, VA and decided to eat at Outback Steakhouse. We usually go to the one in Greenville, SC so we were happy to find one on the way home. When we went we had a rude waiter and a few other things happen that really got me angry. Not the service we are used to from Outback. Well, when I got home I decided to let the company know because I would want to know if it was my business. I didn't think anyone would care to tell you the truth. I just did it to make myself feel better. Well, was I wrong.
I immediately got a phone call from the proprietor at the Outback in VA. Her name was Donna Rambler and she was the nicest woman I have ever encountered. Wonderful manager! She seemed to really sympathize with my story and truly gave me the feeling she was sorry it happened. I was surprised she seemed so upset by the incident. She apologized for what happened and assured me she would talk to the people who were rude and I believed she would. I hung up the phone not angry anymore, thinking it was just a bad night.
Well, 4 days later I received a box in the mail and it was filled with cookies and brownies, beautifully packaged! I was SHOCKED to see it was from Outback! In it was a letter apologizing again for the service. I also received a comp ticket to go back to Outback on them. Unbelievable! I have never had a company make me feel truly appreciated. We went tonight to dinner and sure enough, everything was perfect. It really made up for the last time.
I thank Outback for having such wonderful customer service and am truly surprised. You don't think companies out there care anymore but this one does. My hats off to Outback for realizing that I will be a customer for life and will tell everyone I know what a great company they are. I wish more companies had customer service like this!
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- Ate at Outback Mission Valley, San Diego, California today (April 1, 2009), and the joke was on me. Ordered the basic pasta off the value meal $9.99. There was a chicken add on option of 2.99 more. Asked, how much more for Salmon, was told just $1.00! I said, "that seems too cheap, even if it is $3.00 (the price of the chicken) I am OK with this, however, if it is any more, I do not want the salmon. Instead, just bring me the basic pasta." When the bill arrived, I was charged for the basic pasta plus $14.99 for the Salmon!!! What happened to just a buck. I brought it to my server's attention, and was told that he rang it in this way to save me money.
What???? This did not save me, he apologized and I was told he would correct it. He came back, and took $2.00 off the bill. I told him this does not make it right... he said any more and his manager needs to make the correction. His manager came by, only to tell me that it was my fault for ordering salmon, and that the correct price is an additional $14.99. Then he went on to say he would correct it just this once. He came back with a new bill, that took $7.49 off the bill, but it was still not correct. I paid the overpriced bill, and decided to cross outback off the list of fair good value restaurants.
I do not need to get upset, nor do I need an idiot manager to tell me what the price is, when his servers are ignorant and give out the wrong price. I told the manager to educate the server, but he felt the need to tell me his pricing. In any event, Outback Mission Valley San Diego is over billing - a form of stealing. I overpaid and am totally not happy, that is why I wrote this blog. I know that Outback lovers will continue to go there, so remember to check your bill, and when you are over billed, that is the price you pay for enjoying Outback. There is no value there, they will cheat you if they can - with a smile.
TURNERSVILLE, NEW JERSEY -- On 3/6/09 I went to the Turnersvill, NJ Outback Steakhouse with my wife, daughter & her husband to celebrate my daughter's birthday. I'm a 54 year old, semi-retired male. We first went to the Road House Restaurant but the wait was too long. We decided to go to Outback instead. We had to wait almost 30 minutes to get inside. Right away the problems started. They seated us at a table that was too small for 4 large adults. Also it was unstable and it rocked. I asked to be moved but they said "no other tables were available, take it or leave it."
The start of things to come on very poor customer service. We finally got our food after 20 minutes and my mashed potatoes were ice cold. I waited for a waiter for a few minutes, nobody came, so I took my dish back to the kitchen. After 5 more minutes of watching my family eat without me, they finally brought back the mashed potatoes and they were only semi-warm. The lady told me they have given me the old batch of potatoes first, like I wanted to really hear that comment.
As we ate the table rocked back and forth every time someone cut their steak or chicken. I was so upset, I hardly ate anything including the semi-nuked mashed potatoes. No one came buy to offer any apologies or attempted to remedy the situation.
My daughter was so upset, she walked out of the restaurant crying. I then asked to see the manager and his name was **. Where did you get this guy at? He was and is the worst customer service person you could have hired. I told him of all my troubles and he only offered me 2 free appetizers on my next visit. I said "next visit, I'll never step foot in another Outback restaurant again in my lifetime." I said "the least you should do is comp the dinner free of charge and give my family another free dinner on the house. Then maybe I could re-evaluate this chain."
He then told me I have a rotten attitude and to stop talking and listen to him. He didn't want to hear my side of the story. He said we are done talking and to leave his restaurant. I was so upset when I got home I called the restaurant and asked to speak to ** again and I told him I was contacting my Chase Credit Card company and reversing the charges of $95.00. He started hollering at me again and said never to come back to his restaurant again. You seriously have to investigate this manager and provide counseling and therapy. How can you ever hire a cruel and demeaning person like this in the public eye?
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.