Bad Waiters, Good Food at Friday’s

On Thanksgiving evening, we decided to go to Friday’s for a supper. Our meal was delicious, but our service was terrible. It began with our having to wait forever to order. The people at the table next to us sat down after us and their waiter (a different one) not only took their order, but had brought them their drinks before our waiter even stopped by. Now before you say that our waiter must have been busy, I must tell you that it was early evening, and the place was only about a quarter filled.

After we ordered, we again waited forever, the table next to us received their food and were done eating not just their meal, but also had just received their desert before we got our meal. During this time, our waiter never once came around to see if we wanted a refill in our drinks.

When our food arrived, it was brought out by other staff as is often the case I suppose. The waiter stopped by after the staff that brought our plates moved away and looking at our drink glasses said, ‘I suppose you want more to drink.’

When he returned with new drinks for us, Sue informed him that her vegetables for her fajitas were not grilled as she had requested. So without saying anything, he grabs her plate and carries it off to the kitchen. A few minutes later, one of the kitchen staff comes out to tell us that they cannot grill the vegetables because they do not have a flat grill, just a grill with the bars which the vegetables would fall through, but he did microwave them a little more. Funny the waiter did not know that.

As we ate, our waiter did not stop by to see how we were doing. He did not stop by to refresh our drinks. In fact, we did not see him for a very long time. By the time he did show up, we were done eating and I had my arms propped up on the table as I was talking to Sue and my daughter. I had not seen the waiter come up to our table. He poked my arm and said, ‘Move your arm so I can take your dishes.’

We were amazed at his rudeness, He took the plates away and we expected that he would return with our bill. But he did not. We waited nearly ten minutes before he returned and asked us if we wanted desert. We really were still kind of full from Thanksgiving dinner and so we declined and just asked for the bill. He again disappeared for another ten minutes.

When the bill finally came, we gave our waiter our Friday’s Points card and two $25 gift cards we had previously bought to pay for the bill which amounted to around $46. Again it took the waiter nearly 10 minutes to process the cards and return to our table with our receipt. He gave us our Friday’s point card back along with the receipts from our bill, told us we had a balance of about $4 on the one gift card and then prompted walked off pocketing both gift cards before we could say anything. He did not return to us the gift card that still had the $4 on it.

It took another 5 minutes before he returned to our area and we were able to flag him down at which point we asked him for the card with the $4 on it. He said, ‘Oh, I must have forgot.’ and placed one of the cards which he pulled from this right apron pocket back on the table and again quickly ran off. We picked up the card and compared the number on the card to the two receipts and sure enough, the card he returned to us was the card that had been totally used.

It took another five minutes before we were able to flag him down again. When we told him that he returned the wrong card to us, he said, ‘I gave you one back.‘

We said, ‘Yes, but you gave us the one that was totally used up.‘

Then he said, ‘Oh I suppose you want this one then.’ He pulled a second card out of his left pants pocket, slammed it on the table and walked off again.

Clearly he knew which card still had money on it. When he first left our table with both cards he obviously separated them and put them in two different pockets. He put each card in different pockets so he could keep track of which one was still good.

Now had we not been ‘wise’ enough to compare the numbers on the backs of the gift cards to the numbers on the receipts, we might have left the restaurant never knowing that he had ‘stolen’ the card with the money. Perhaps he manages to ‘fool’ many of the tourists that come to Orlando in this way. But we are not tourists and we do not appreciate locals who try to rip-off tourists which Orlando depends on. So we notified the restaurant manager discreetly of what had happened. He said he would keep his eye on the waiter. Hopefully, something will be done here, but in the meantime, we probably will drive a little further to go to a different location the next time we want to go to Friday’s.