Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A sternly worded letter...

Update 08/05/08:
The exceptionally nice general manager of the Cheesecake Factory called me last night to discuss my letter. Not only do I appreciate him taking the time out to address what I wrote, I also appreciate his sincerity. While this experience wasn't the greatest, I do like how he took the letter seriously and has committed to working with his staff of these issues. Who says the pen isn't mightier than the sword?

I seem to be writing a lot of these lately. Last one was earlier this month to Einstein Bagels who all but wiped their butt with my turkey sandwich that took 30 minutes to make. Needless to say, if anyone ever needs a sternly worded letter written, please submit your request for my writing in writing.

Dear Cheesecake Factory,
We were extremely excited to try this location, as everyone in our work department had only been to the Las Vegas Cheesecake Factory location. We left work with the anticipation of a great dining experience for a working lunch meeting, yet all five of us were horrified at what ensued. Upon arrival, we had no problem accepting the 35 minute wait for a table, however after being seated and promptly ordering (we had plenty of wait time to decide on what we wanted to eat), we were surprisingly forced to endure another 40 minute wait for our appetizer. It was only when we reminded our server that we had ordered edamame (not a tough dish to prepare and/or serve) as an appetizer she finally brought that out. We never received our salads we ordered with our lunch entrees, though we did get the side servings of dressing that sat out on the table for nearly an hour, and instead got our lunches (term used loosely because of the shoddy quality of the food and cold temperatures). Finally, we were served the salads as dessert, though couldn’t eat the dressings because of the congealed skin that had formed in nearly two hours since we first got it. Then, imagine our disappointment when we noticed that parties much larger than ours were finished with their lunches and vacating their tables as the bussers were hurredly resetting those places for new, unwitting diners. Because we were already three hours into this lunch, we didn't feel we had two more hours to spend on bringing up our dissatisfaction with our server and therefore went to the manager to help us out. We were told, "You should have said something sooner" and were promptly dismissed, again punished for simply trying to enjoy a nice lunch. For a place with a monumental reputation such as Cheesecake Factory, I should think I wouldn't have to even let you know we had these issues. I understand the position the recipient of this complaint letter is in, as I am the person at my company who answers customer complaints, but I could not sit idly by and allow this experience, kind of service and product slide past you. I speak for our entire group when I say we will never spend money at the Cheesecake Factory again in this lifetime and I will be sure to let anyone else know this opinion if they are considering patronizing your establishment. It is shameful to experience this kind of lunch with a restaurant with name recognition like the Cheesecake Factory, and quite honestly the hours spent at this Utah location should have been spent driving the 400 miles south to your restaurant in Las Vegas.

Thank you for your time,


Mind Over Fatter said...

DAMN! Quite the throwdown. I hope Cheesecake Factory corporate management moves upon your letter quickly. Service and food is ALL a restaurant has to offer. Failure to provide both to the complete satisfaction of the guests is unacceptable. The manager failed his/her opportunity to correct the matter. Both the server and manager should be removed.

Thanks for the heads-up. I've eaten at the Chicago location several times and have been intending to eat at the Salt Lake location. Perhaps I'll avoid it for awhile.


1979 semi-finalist said...

Good for you. I have had pretty decent experiences at the Cheesecake Factories I went to in LA (I think I've been to four different locations there - but over a five year period - five years people!) but it was never what I would call an exceptional experience.

On a related note Adam and I both wrote letters to a local (and previously great) theater in New York called Film Forum because they removed their old seats and put in these super tiny super uncomfortable "new" seats to upgrade the space (read: to jam more seats in the theater) and we could both barely get our fat independent film watching asses in the seats. She wrote back to us both (separately) but I understand there is "nothing they can do". Bah.