First let me say I was going to wait and see if I could get the shop bonused towards the end of the month since they seemed to have relaxed the rotation.
However, I had a guest from out of town that wanted to go. The bill for three of us was $66.26 before tip. Even for the two lowest priced entrees and soda, it would have already exceeded the reimbursement by $2 before tax and tip.
So here goes. I place the call ahead seating call and am told forty to fifty minutes. We arrive early and wait. I go in and inquire and am told it's only been fifty-one minutes since I had called in and people were lingering at the tables.
We're finally seated sixty-one minutes after I got the call ahead confirmation text. We go inside and the restaurant is half empty. I don't mean like tables that haven't been bussed yet, but tables that haven't been used. A whole aisle behind the bar is empty.
I wonder if they are only doing half capacity due to the new Covid strain. I haven't seen any announcement that requires less than full capacity in Upstate NY.
Perhaps they can't get staff. Our waitress said this was only her third day out of training. She was unaware of offering a first time visitor a sampler plate of their sides. She said she would have to ask, but never mentioned it again. There is even a question on the report about the treatment of first time visitors.
It took us sixteen minutes to get our sodas and thirty three minutes to get our food from the time the waitress left with our order.
A manager never stopped by. You can tell because the hostess that seats you tapes a paper to the table that the manager takes when they visit.
I had thought about looking for a manager to complain to, but I have read the thread on the reimbursement only meal that was comped. Texas Roadhouse is an expenses only $35. There is no shop fee.
It's the first time I said I would not recommend or come back to this location.
I hope this isn't the start of a trend.
I had the filet salad as mentioned in another thread, and I would highly recommend it. It's $4 less than the 6 oz. filet. The meat is very tender and the salad is a well balanced mixture of ingredients.
This is one of the easiest shops I've ever done. I look at it as a $35 coupon towards the cost of my meal. This report is straightforward and simple and I figure it's a fair amount of work in exchange for a comped meal or almost comped meal. For three people at $65, minus the $35 reimbursement, that's still steak dinners for about $10 per person. Not bad at all, IMO.
The long wait times are standard where I live, as most restaurants are short staffed. The occupancy being half full is also pretty typical as we are adjusting to new distancing requirements thanks to COVID. Same with a manager not stopping by - never know what crisis they were dealing with in the kitchen, etc.
I judge differently these days - if the food was good, the server / staff smiled and made an effort, and the prices were fair, then I am thrilled. I'm even more thrilled when I can snag one of these shops and get $35 back into my pocket for a relatively simple report.
With but rare exception, I an a bar shopper at the Roadhouse. Currently, most of the six, soon to be seven, I complete are open Fridays at 11:00 AM, with the remainder from 03:00 to 04:00. I am almost always the first through the door and all aspects of the work flow like water. I do understand all are not able or desirous of such an early hour.
Just playing devil's advocate, they may have been so short-staffed that they had to keep some sections closed, or their waitstaff would have been run off their legs even more and it could have negatively impacted the service and times to an even worse degree.
But yes, those are long times on the food and drinks.
I have not completed one of these shops. Why are servers still expected to offer samples of sides, which for me-- and probably only for me-- raises a red flag. Does this extra service increase food costs or use up leftovers, neither of which is appealing or appetizing? This is time consuming. Do servers have time for this now? If experienced servers are staying away, newbies should wonder why...
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~ Unknown
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
I don’t think I’ve had one table service dining shop for any restaurant manage to meet every standard since dining rooms reopened. I answer the questions honestly but for subjective opinion questions or 1 to 10 ratings I go easy unless the problems were especially excessive or visibly the manager’s fault. For instance, earlier this week a manager sat us and neglected to explain the mobile ordering system which he told every other party about, and a “call a server” card we displayed went unanswered for the entire meal. Even if the root of the issues was the staffing shortage, the experience was still poorer than similar restaurants which are also short staffed.