Friday, December 24, 2010

T-Bones (surprising) fail.. and then success.

I love hamburgers. A lot. They are always my favorite thing to order when I order or eat out. They are just so delish. I don't know what it is about them that I love so much, but man do I love them. One of my favorite places to order burgers from out here is a place called T-Bones. They have a few locations around New Hampshire, but they are still family owned and only a NH chain. I've never had a problem with them before and totally understood why they had been rated #1 burger in NH for the last 100 years, or something like that. 

The other night though, I ordered a hamburger for take out as we had absolutely nothing in the house to eat. When I was ordering it, the woman on the other end said it would be about 15-20 minutes, so I went with 20 just to be safe. Once I got there I had to wait an extra 10 minutes, which is fine, except I had to listen to one of the employees complain the entire 10 minutes extra. I don't mind waiting extra, I know things get backed up sometimes, it happens, so I really didn't mind, but the waitress complaining the entire time about someone she works with was just over the top. 

Then when I got home, this was my lettuce (courtesy of my camera phone)..

I know, right?

That led me to sending the following email to let them know about my experience. 


I wanted to just you know about an experience I had in your restaurant tonight. I'm not upset or angry, just a little disappointed in the level of service and quality. First, let me say that you really do have the best burger's and everyone I know knows I love them and good they are. Tonight I ordered a B.L.T. burger for pick up. I was told that it would be ready in 20 minutes, but I ended up having to wait an additional 10 minutes. Which really doesn't bother me at all, I know the kitchen gets backed up and what not. However, my problem was that the entire time I was waiting I had to listen to one of the waitresses complain and complain about her job and the other girls that she worked with to the hostess- and it wasn't just an "Oh my gosh, I'm so frustrated!" moment- it lasted at least 10 minutes and was still going on when I left. I know we all get frustrated with our jobs, but that's what break-rooms or out best friends are for, not the greeting area of a restaurant. The other issue I had was in my burger. While the quality is usually exceptional, tonight this is what I found: [picture above]. Brown squishy wilted lettuce. Unfortunately all my lettuce was like this. Which in and of itself isn't a big deal- lettuce wilts, but to have it brown and squishy and just gross and then to put it on someone's burger? Ick! I have a really hard believing that this was just an oversight as how can you miss it? I really believe it was just laziness and not caring. After having to listen to the disgruntled employee for 10 minutes and then to come home to this when I went to eat it was just really disappointing. Thanks for taking the time to read about my recent experience. 

But then they turned that fail into a success by replying with the following

       Thank you for writing. I am so sorry to hear of your experience! As you can
imagine, the type of bantering you overheard while waiting in the lobby is
completely unacceptable; we are truly disappointed that this was your
experience and I assure you it will be addressed. As for your burger, it
looks as if your e-mail was supposed to include further details regarding
your meal, if that too was less than satisfactory please do not hesitate to
share the details, we certainly appreciate your feedback.

If you would be so kind as to forward me your full name and address I would
love to mail you a gift certificate with hopes of making this up to you as
well as to thank you for your feedback, allowing us to learn from your

Regards, Lisa 

And I can't tell you how unexpected that was. I didn't really expect anything in return other than a "thanks for bringing it to our attention," but they went one step further. I just wanted to them to know what had happened and instead they turned my bad visit into something really positive, which only makes me want to brag about them more. I wish more companies worked like this too. I know things happen, which is why I wasn't terribly upset with my experience, it was after all, only the first time, and I still would have eaten there again in the future, but instead of taking that chance that I might go somewhere else, T-Bones automatically fixed their mistake and insured that I would continue being a customer. Kudos to them! It's nice knowing that where I choose to spend my money is appreciated, because that's really what it comes down to. 

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