Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bad IHOP Experience




The restaurant business is tough.  Always a new competitor, constantly changing tastes, and let’s not even talk about reliable employees.  

But enough is enough.  I had to walk out of the 24-hour IHOP at 1920 Harper Road, Beckley WV.  

The reason?

Poor service.  The manager got us seated right away.  It was 4:45 am.  We got coffee and menus right away.  They had a hostess whose job was to serve coffee and water.  She was great.  She also told us our server would be right out.

But 15 minutes later still no waitress.  I had to be in a car caravan by 6:15 AM to be escorted down to the landing zone at Bridge Day.  If I’m not there when the caravan starts down I will not be allowed down.  Since I feed the landing zone people it’s important I honor my commitment.  I’m not important, but feeding the landing zone crew is.  Without those volunteers, Bridge Day, the largest single-day money-making activity in the state of West Virginia might not be.  People come to see the BASE jumpers.  And they leave their money behind.

I know a lot of the patrons in this IHOP past 3 am are drunks trying to sober up over an endless cup of coffee.  I’ve been there a number of times over the years and I’ve seen it.  Service is slow.  I understand the servers don’t need to pay them attention.  That wasn’t the case Bridge Day morning.  There were only three tables occupied and everyone sounded sober to me.  That was a rarity at that place.  I was sure my wife and I would have no trouble meeting our deadline.

After 15 minutes of being ignored, I put 2 dollars on the table for coffee and left.  On the way out we explained to the manager, heard the waitress explain that she was in the back and nobody told her she had customers.  Despite the entreaties there was no reason to stay.  I didn’t hear the one thing that would have gotten us back into those seats.

It wasn’t about free food.  I always prefer service over free.

Promise to do better next time means nothing.  Next time doesn’t feed the cat today, does it?

What I needed to hear was the staff will rush your order through and get you out of here in record time.

So there you have it.  If you want to be ignored or treated like a drunk, go to the IHOP at 1920 Harper Rd in Beckley WV.  But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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