So, I had never heard of Bob Evans restaurants until my experience at the restaurant during my birthday weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. I had heard of the products that they carry because I do work in the grocery business and have seen them sold on shelves.
After our weekend in Louisville we decided to get up and get ready so we could get home at a decent hour to handle some household chores. We decided we would go to breakfast on the way out and hit the road right after. My mom was following us in her car. We had no idea where we would eat that morning. Usually we end up at Cracker Barrel because it is delicious and rarely disappoints. My mom called Natalie and suggested we go to Bob Evans, she had seen a billboard and told us it was a great restaurant and was delicious. We are always up for adventure so we agreed and headed there. When we arrived it was as expected on a Sunday morning. It was somewhat busy, but not too busy. I walked up to the hostess and told her I had a party of 6. She took my name and told me it would be 15-20 minutes. So the wait began. When I first walked in there were probably 4 groups waiting in front of us. As time passed I realized we had been waiting for 25-30 minutes. I told Natalie and my mom that we had been there for a while, Everyone in front of us was gone and seated and new customers filled the lobby. Now that it was clear we had been there so long I noticed people coming in and being seated within minutes of seeing hostess, but still we sat. . .
I said I was going to give it a few more minutes before I said anything. I hate to complain because I personally don’t like disgruntled employees doing nasty things to my food. My mom got up and impatiently walked to hostess and explained that we had been there for a long time and had not been seated while others had in front of us. She explained that they did not have room for our big party and they were able to seat couples and smaller parties. This reasoning irritated me. My kids were getting grumpy because they were hungry and I was growing impatient because I wanted to get on the road. Why not move a couple of small tables together and seat us in the time frame requested? Or, how about this, approach me and apologize for my wait and explain what is going on and why I am waiting so long while others are walking right in and being seated?
When we finally sat down we were graced the presence of one of the worst waitresses ever. She had red hair and negativity seeped from her pores. She offered us drinks and brought them to us. We had ordered coffee and she brings us a carafe that has no lid. She says sorry but that’s all she has is this one missing a lid. She decides to set it, steaming up, right next to my youngest daughter. I moved it immediately so she didn’t accidentally bump it and spill on herself. She asked if we were ready to order but we weren’t and asked her for another minute. She walked past up five or six times in the next ten minutes but never bothered to ask us if we were ready to order, which we were. Finally we had to stop her to take our order. She sighed and reluctantly took our order. We also stated we needed more coffee. She returned and rudely reached across my daughter’s face with the open carafe and set it directly in front of my mom. It doesn’t sound like much but it was so rude. We all looked up in disbelief as she did this and then walked off like nothing happened.
Our order came. Thankfully nothing was wrong with our food. in fact I would say it was actually pretty good. But we had no more sugar at our table for the coffee. I asked her for more sugar and she walked off looking irritated and returns with a wadded up handful of sugar packets. Instead of filling the sugar containers, she throws them across the table. It was right in front of where I was sitting and to me it was a direct challenge. Instead of getting mad and having a fit, I ignored it and put the sugar into the container and quietly bitched to my wife about what an asshole she was.
Our visit had gone terribly. My mom got up and approached the manager on duty (her name tag said general manager) and told her that we were not happy with this visit. She was upset that she raved about this place based on her previous visit to the Nashville location and she was embarrassed that she had recommended them to us. She said she refused to tip the waitress and she needed to be retrained.
I wrote the Bob Evans corporate office actually while I was on my extended wait that morning. My complaint really only covered the crappy customer service and our long wait time. I had no knowledge that my visit would get a lot worse once I actually got a seat. Sadly they never called or emailed me back. Finally today, one week later, I got a letter from them. It was a superficial letter that was clearly pre-written and a few key words were plugged in to fit our visit. The bottom even had a printed signature, he couldn’t even take the time to sign the damn letter. Enclosed was two $5.00 certificates to eat there. $5.00????????? What a joke! My wife told me to return the gift certificates and tell them to train their people better but I am not going to waste my stamp.
Instead, I am urging all my readers to avoid Bob Evans restaurants. I understand having a bad day in the restaurants but the way they handle complaints is truly disheartening. I believe that someone should have contacted me for more information and heard me out. Give me and explanation or an apology. I have a lot of dining options and it cost a lot of money to eat out. Don’t just send me a damage control $10.00 and a fake letter. I will not be going back. . .
Here is a picture of the letter I received from guest relations. Nice!
Also, right after she threw the sugar packets down I took a photo. LOL
UPDATE: So today I received a letter from customer relations at Bob Evans. The woman who wrote me this time was LeAnn Barga. She apologized for our bad experience and wrote of a solution by doing the proper training in the area and consulting the area supervisor. She even apologized for the “form letter” I received before with the $10.00 gift card. This letter also had $40.00 worth of gift cards to visit again. I can truly say that this letter felt way more sincere and apologetic, it isn’t about the money but with the gift cards I received I will try and make it a point to visit a Bob Evans next time I am in the Nashville area for breakfast. I am by no means a complainer, usually I just expect to have some bad things happen at restaurants. People are human and make mistakes or have bad days, or may be just mentally thinking about other things. I get it. I work with the public too and often I have to reel myself in and try and treat them how I would want to be treated. Tomorrow I plan on calling the office and talking to LeAnn so I can thank her for taking the time to write me a sincere response. If the call warrants I will update this post. I will also update after I visit Bob Evans again, though it may be a while before I run across one.