Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Restaurant Review of the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington, DC

In November 2009 a group of friends and I went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington, DC. My husband and I had eaten there before. The service then was terrific! Not so this time.

You don't go to a place like the Hard Rock Cafe to enjoy quiet conversation but to enjoy the decor and loud upbeat rock music and you expect quality service that reflects the reputation of the restaurant. It surprised and saddened me to have such a poor experience at such a well known place.

You can find the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington, DC at
999 E Street. NW, Washington, DC 2002. The phone number is 202-737-ROCK. Here is how dinner shaped up.

We got to the restaurant just a few minutes after 8PM on a Saturday night. It was just after the height of dinner rush which made it easier to be seated. Even though we were a party of 6 there was no wait. It turns out that even though 6 isn't a large party it is large enough to incur a mandatory gratuity of 18%. This is apparently a legal requirement in Washington, DC and I believe it is the reason for our poor service.

There was one steak in the bunch but everyone else ordered uncomplicated burgers and fries. Even with that it took nearly an hour for our food to arrive at the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington, DC. By the time it finally showed up most of us had empty glasses instead of coke or tea. We asked for refills but they never came. It wasn't until the server brought our checks out that we found out about the gratuity.

I flagged the next server we could find and asked for the manager. He came over promptly and politely inquired. We received an apology and a promise that he would talk with our server but no reduction in the tip nor did he adjust the price of the meals to compensate - and our glasses were still empty.

We were told by the manager that even though the tip was required to be put on the ticket, we could not be forced to pay it. That's a nice theory. In reality it was left to the server to collect the payment for the tickets. Without making a scene there was no way to get out of paying the gratuity. We did find a way to solve the problem for next time though. The ESPN Zone is nearby. With luck, we won't have to dine at the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington, DC again.

Read more about our experience here.

Check out other reviews of the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington, DC below:

City Paper Washington
Yahoo Local

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