“BJ’s can truly blow me after this restaurant experience.” – BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery, Laguna Hills
And finally it is here, my first rant. See now, my friends know that I like to complain about things. A lot of things. Most things, honestly. But in my defense, I complain because sometimes I believe that things can be better. That things can work more efficiently and be more effective. Well, this is a perfect example of what occurred this past Saturday night:
So all that week, I had been jonesin for some pizza. And where else would I go, besides BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery in Laguna Hills. I hadn’t had BJ’s Pizza for quite awhile and was really excited to taste the deliciousness once more. I pulled up, parked my car, and walked into the restaurant. There was no wait, and my party got seated immediately. This instantly struck me as strange, being that it was 8:00p.m. on a Saturday night; Yet, my mind moved on. I would find out later, why this was the case.
After ordering the “Chicken Bacon Ranch” pizza with added “Buffalo Sauce” and a side of fries, the “Jeremiah Red Ale” came and the night had begun (But damn, I didn’t know it was to be the worst restaurant experience of my adult life).
Let’s get something straight real quick. I’ve worked at a restaurant at the Irvine Spectrum. I understand busy nights and 1-hour long waits. I understand who cooks the meals: the chefs, who takes my orders: the waiter/waitress, and who fixes issues: the manager.
So for the entire meal, our server (Sadly, forgot her name), was good. She wasn’t amazing, and she definitely wasn’t bad. She was almost exactly what I want in a server.
Now, she brought us the pizza, cut it for us, and I bit in. ‘Damn I had made a good choice putting the buffalo sauce on the pizza’, was the first thought in my head after I dove in. Twisting and smashing in my mouth, the bacon, ranch, chicken, sweetened crust, and buffalo sauce made me satisfied and left me without any buyers remorse.
I take my third bite. Well, to put it plainly… I bit straight into a piece of metal. Initially, I had thought it was just a really crispy piece of crust. That was until I bit into it once more and it didn’t budge, only hurt my tooth. Sadly, I spit out what was my beautifully tasting pizza, and found a piece of metal, no smaller than a BB-pellet. Clearly, and for reasons not needing explanation, that alone was bad. But the night had just begun.
In the restaurant business, that’s a huge deal, obviously. Nonetheless, I assume, and know, that these things happen. Thus, I wasn’t angry at that point to be honest. As I’ve said before, I worked at a restaurant with non-stop traffic; So I understand that shit happens. But here’s where things started to tail off…
I told the waitress what had happened, and she immediately apologized and told me that she would bring the manager right over.
10 minutes later.
No really, ten minutes is what I waited for the manager to come over. That, in and of itself, is ridiculous. To think that it took a manager of a restaurant, 10 minutes to approach a customer who had just bitten into a piece of metal in a pizza made by one of his restaurants chef’s, is baffling. That would have never happened at the restaurant I had worked at, let alone ANY respectable establishment.
“Oh, wow, yeah that’s bad. I’ll bring you gentlemen another pizza.”
What you just read above, is all KEVIN (the worst manager I have ever met) said to me when he came over to see what had happened. He walked away promptly after he said the word, “pizza”. (I didn’t hear from KEVIN for the remainder of the meal, until… Well, you’ll read)…
But really? No, honestly. Really? I don’t even have your respect to receive an apology. No sign of remorse that a customer had just bitten into a pizza that had a piece of metal in it. A piece of metal, that luckily didn’t shatter my tooth. Jesus… How did you get your job, Kevin? Especially at this time, we have loads of unemployed members of society looking for work, who would be clamoring for your position, and this is how you act?
Anyway, at this point, we’re about 20 minutes into waiting for the second pizza. We had been at the restaurant for approximately 50 minutes at this point. I had been ordering sides of fries while waiting for a mistake the restaurant made. I was obviously hungry, as I was seated at a restaurant.
Finally, the second pizza comes out. Now, who would you assume to bring the pizza out if the previous pizza had a piece of metal in it? Oh yeah, that’s right, the manager a.k.a. KEVIN. But did he? No. No he did not.
Another slap in the face and blatant age-discrimination.
So after we finished eating, we got the bill. The pizza had been taken off and what was left was everything else we had ordered, including 6 orders of fries. Well when I saw this, I was honestly a little shocked that all of the sides of fries were on the bill. I expected to pay for the beer, and a side of fries. What I had ordered before this fiasco took place; However, clearly, KEVIN thought differently. The only reason I had ordered the extra sides, was because I had to wait an extra 45 minutes for a problem that wasn’t mine.
Thus, I asked to see the manager, KEVIN. She kindly told me that he would be right over. Another 7 minutes later (timed this time), he pops his head around the corner. So I proceed to tell him what I expected and he said that he’d oblige. I got the bill, again from the server and not KEVIN and read through it once more. He had taken only 2 fries off and let the others remain.
I have never done this, nor had I ever expected to do so, but I stood up, dropped a $5 in the bill booklet, and walked out. Before leaving, I made sure to grab KEVIN’s name.
Just as I had gotten to my car, I hear someone yelling, “Sir, Sir!”, from behind me. I turned around and the other manager, Mike, whom I had received KEVIN’s name from, was standing there.
He showed me my bill, asked if it was mine, and asked why there was only a tip. I told him, “Do you know what happened?” He responded, “No idea” And I told him the story.
He agreed with the situation, and ended the conversation saying, “Wow, I totally understand. you guys have a good rest of the night. Again, I’m sorry about that.” That’s how I had expected to be treated from the get-go. This manager, Mike, was awesome and suitably handled the situation.
Honestly, as said before, it was the most disrespected I had ever been in a restaurant in my adult life. Thankfully, Mike was there to save the experience with great customer service.
KEVIN, check yo’self.