A few weeks ago, we got the chance to go out to eat at Red Lobster.
We go in the door, and the hostess sends us to someone else to put in our name. I think she said Peter, but there was no one named Peter at the table she sent us to, so that might not be right. We comply, and head to the second person to put in our names. He tells us he's not sure of how long it's going to take to get to sit down, and he'll let us know in about 5 minutes. We were still missing members of our party, so that was fine by us. We didn't mind waiting. Now, our total party was going to be four adults and a child. Keep that in mind, it comes into play later.
Five minutes comes and goes. Ten minutes comes and goes. Our party is all together now, and no guesses for when we're getting seated.
I go ask, again, when we're going to get seated, and I'm not sure, but he was kind of giving off an air like he'd forgotten we were there - he starts stammering "Oh, um...oh", and has to get out the sheet of paper with our names on it, that was IN THE TRASH.
Ten minutes. Twenty minutes. Twenty five. Thirty. THIRTY FIVE minutes. Not only had he never told us when he was going to seat us like he'd promised, but he appears to have very little interest in doing so.
So I go back in, again, to ask for an explanation. He tells me that because we're a large party, it's taking more work to find us a table, and he has to wait for a big enough table to open up for us.
I stop now to point out three things, which I also pointed out to him:
1 - since when is four adults a large party?
2 - it's real hard to keep a three year old calm and entertained for thirty five minutes, and he's running out of time before my son is going to start tearing stuff up. If you've ever tried to keep a three year old quiet, calm and entertained in an adult environment for thirty five minutes, you know - I wasn't making a threat. That was a promise.
3 - the entire front section of the restaurant was empty. And we'd been left waiting for thirty five minutes. For a table. In a restaurant that was half empty. Can you say "We straight up forgot to seat you?"
I jab a finger at that table, and go "Um, what about that empty table right there?", he claimed that that was in the smoking section (didn't see a single person smoking), and since we'd asked for non-smoking, he was waiting for a table for us.
I responded "I'll take it. Seat me.", and he did.
Our waiter, thankfully, was much better then our host, and we had a great time. He was quick with the suggestions for good eats (in fact, that's pretty much how I ordered. "Which of these do you recommend?", and he'd tell me one, and I'd order it. Dessert, same thing - "What do you recommend?", and he'd bring it.), he kept the drinks flowing, and he was always easy to find if we had a problem or question. I'd like to mention him by name, but I honestly don't remember it. It was an unusual name. Bennett? Benton? It started with a B, and it was an unusual name. I know that much.
The food was alright. I ordered the Fresh Lobster, and truthfully, lobster just isn't a food that's all that impressive to me. I'm a big seafood eater, and I know that Lobster is supposed to be seafood at it's finest but...it's just OK to me. So that's pretty much all my entree was. OK. I did hear raves from the people around me for theirs though.
The desserts were good, although a bit perplexing. I ordered Key Lime Pie (which you know was a prepared dessert they cut a slice off. Red Lobster doesn't have a pastry chef!), and it came with a raspberry sauce, which seemed a strange match to me. But it was delicious, none the less.
At the end of the meal, the manager got a lobster out of the tank so that my three year old could touch it, which was really fun in its own right. My son loves to stop at the lobster tank at the groucery store, so it was fun for him to get to try to touch one. If your interested, he (the three year old), reported that it "felt like ice".
All in all, the waiter saved the day. Because we had a host that forgot we were there, I had an entree that was only OK, and a flat pop, but thanks to the work of the waiter, I left the restaurant with a positive impression. That was no small feet.