Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not a good night at the Outback on Merchants Dr.in Knoxville

This has to be the shortest restaurant review that I've ever written. It was not a good night at the Outback on Merchants Drive in Knoxville.

After driving 2 hours from a workshop the last thing I wanted to do was go home and cook. A quick call to Hubby confirmed that he didn't want to cook either. We hadn't eaten out in a couple of weeks. The Outback on Merchant's Drive in Knoxville was equal distance between us so we decided to meet there.

I arrived first and went in to be seated and order an iced tea. It was a little after 8:00 last Sunday night (March 20, 2011.) 

Seating was immediate. The hostess showed me to the table said that the server would by in a minute. Hubby wasn't there yet so I phoned to check his progress and to tell him where our table was in the Outback on Merchants Drive in Knoxville.

And waited for the server.... who looked at me and walked right by.
And waited for another server... who looked and walked by Again. 
And waited for the server.... who looked away when I tried flagging him down.
A total of 3 servers went past. None stopped. I'm pretty sure that at least one saw me try to catch his attention. 

Hubby arrived 8 minutes later I was very obviously using the menu as a fan and/or tapping it on the table.

At the 10 minute mark, the friendly server who seated me was at the door. She said something to me as we were exiting so I told her why we were leaving. I showed her my cell phone with the time on it that I had called Hubby and compared it to the time it showed when we were talking. 

I explained that  if we'd been acknowledged at all (nod, wave, stopping by to take a drink order) we would have waited longer. I would have also cheerfully waited if the Outback on Merchant's Drive had been busy or if the server had been on break. It wasn't. She confirmed that the server had been on the floor. 

In all fairness, she was very nice and offered several times to seat us in her section, to get a manager or take our names so a manager could call us back. That really wasn't necessary. We weren't mad per se, just frustrated and perplexed.  I asked that she relay what happened to management so they could work on training which she said she would do.

Outback Steakhouses normally have better service than what happened that Sunday night. Sometimes things just go wrong. In talking with this server, our problem seems to have been an isolated incident. I'm willing to give them another try in a few weeks. We'll see how it goes then.