Monday, January 16, 2012

Our experience at Red Lobster

I am short on time today as the girl's are off from school for Martin Luther King day, so I thought I would do a quick post about our visit to Red Lobster on the way home from Disney World.

When traveling we all seek comfort and good meals and hopefully good experiences as well. To rest for the night while on our way home we stopped in Lynchburg, Va. at Red Lobster to have dinner. Now in the past I will say I have always had good service and good experiences at Red Lobster restaurants in other locations. The one near my home is particularly great and as a treat once in awhile we go there and even take our parents when they come to visit.

In Lynchburg, Va. the whole experience was different. There was not a lot of friendliness and when Hayley ordered a salad with just tomatoes and cucumbers and french dressing....she literally got a plate with cucumbers, tomatoes, and french dressing. No lettuce!? Odd, yeah we thought so but we didn't say anything as our waitress Rose already looked like she'd rather be anywhere else but there that night.

But the main reason for writing this post is what I saw in the restrooms that I am absolutely appalled by! I took the girl's in after our meal and before getting back on the road and when we walked in we stepped in puddles of water..... Kathleen ran to a stall before me but I stopped her on the way....the door to the stall was open and a toilet had overflowed and toilet paper was pulled out of and on the toilet, across the floor.....I then noticed that a pair of serving tongs wrapped in toilet paper was sitting on the sink!! I literally started to gag and told the girls we were leaving now! We would use the restroom somewhere else. Someone had taken the tongs to unclog the toilet and left them lay on the sink and left the floor full of water! You could tell they had not attempted to mop it at all. There was a yellow wet floor sign pushed up against the back wall that I noticed going out. I can't even begin to list the major health violations here....and unfortunately for them I am a blogger and felt I needed to share with my readers.

When we came out of the restroom I made mention to one of the girls how disgusting and appalling that bathroom was and out the door we all went. I felt I couldn't get out of there quick enough. My biggest regret is I didn't take pictures on my phone, I was more concerned with getting the kids out of there and trying to sanitize our shoes before getting in the van!

I did send an email to Red Lobster telling them about my experience. Even though this is an isolated incident, it has changed how I view their restaurant as I can't get that image out of my mind! I received an email and I also received a phone call from Bob Blue, the General Manager of the Lynchburg restaurant. He apologized and said he could not believe such a thing had happened and agreed to me it was appalling, there were no other words. When he questioned the manager on duty that night he found out it was the manager that had done this! So Bob assured me the tongs were tossed and the bathroom was sanitized, and he apologized again several times. He told me he was sending a gift card to me and I stated I didn't do it for that reason, but he insisted. So this weekend I received it in the mail.

To me this was not a mistake, it was complete negligence on that manager's part that evening. Why wouldn't a major restaurant have a plunger? If the bathroom was that bad they should have immediately closed it in order to get it cleaned up properly. This person was fully aware of what he was doing and we saw him hanging out around the restaurant when he could have been tending this issue. I know when I worked in the food industry as a teen someone would have lost their job over this. It just surprises me how lax people can be in their jobs today. I just couldn't let this one go. I can assure you I won't be eating at the Red Lobster in Lynchburg Va. ever again. :-(

Hopefully tonight or tomorrow I will be posting more GOOD things about our trip! I also have a little weekend recap to add in....something special the girls did for us last night. :-) But for now I'm enjoying the time with them today and soon we're headed out to the YMCA for swimming and then I have Zumba!! I should sleep good tonight! LOL

Have a great afternoon!!



Cherie said...

UGH!! I work in food service and I can say that if a health inspector would have seen this the place would have been shut down - at least for the night and some major trouble for that restaurant!

I would have been completely grossed out too - Just sick!!!!

I am glad they compensated you with a gift card but I am sure you are not anxious to use it.

It was a good thing you said something.

Chelle said...

Oh how gross. I have a hard time eating out. I used to work at a buffet style resterant when I was younger and I saw how some of the people that worked there weren't like me or did things like I did. I even got a raise once because the manager couln't believe how good I mop the floor. We do eat out sometimes were very picky what town we go too. Some around us our cleaner than others. Hope you get to enjoy it when you use your gift card. I think some of the reason is they aren't trained well at home or in public to know how to do things proper.

Kris said...

Oh mercy!! What a horrible thing to see!!! The manager did right by sending you that gift card. And you did right by reporting it. I would never eat there again, but since you don't live there, you don't need to. It truly is all about the management! Hopefully that manager has been given a "good what for" and will never allow that to happen again! Whenever I use a public restroom that is untidy, I go to the manager and tell them that their restrooms need attention. I do it nicely, and usually they are very nice and respond right away.
Anxious to hear more about the trip!

Mark said...

You handled that situation like a real pro. I'm glad that you mentioned that it was an isolated situation. Then they know that you are not just a "complainer" but someone who actually cares and want them to improve.
I spent years in food service too and I hate bad service and filthy restaurants.
I love this post.

Sweet Tea said...

Blech! That IS disgusting and hooray to you for following up and letting them know about the situation. And, thank to you for sharing the info with us.

Kerri said...

Yuk! I'm glad you didn't go in there BEFORE you ordered your dinner! I have always liked Red Lobster...but haven't been there in years. The last 4 times I've gone, I've gotten really sick. Something they cook with must not agree with me! I'm glad they sent you a gift card.

McVal said...

Wow!!! I've definitely had my share of bad experiences in restaurants, but this one... yuck!!!

Nicolle said...

Oh goodness, I don't even eat seafood, so I've never been a fan of this restaurant, but now I'm really grossed out. wow. What an awful experience for you!

SonyaAnn said...

It isn't often that a company goes out of its way to fix a problem. I'm so glad that they made it right.
I had a problem with JcPenneys and corporate said that the store would contact me and never did.
I'm so glad that they fixed it.