• Report: #1117783

Complaint Review: Buffalo Wild Wings

  • Submitted: Wed, January 22, 2014
  • Updated: Wed, January 22, 2014

  • Reported By: HockeyMom — Germantown Tennessee
Buffalo Wild Wings
Huntsville, Alabama USA

Buffalo Wild Wings Buffalo Wild Wings Refused Seating and Food for Little League Team on Twice Confirmed Reservations Jan. 18, 2014 Huntsville Alabama

*Consumer Comment: HockeyMom?..Beginning to doubt it

*Author of original report: Good Business

*Consumer Comment: Still Odd

*Author of original report: Yes, they gave a reason

*General Comment: Odd

*Consumer Comment: Wow, and they gave NO reason(s) for refusing to serve them?

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On January 18, 2014 The Mississippi Jr. Riverkings little league hockey team of 14 seven year olds had twice-confirmed party reservations at Buffalo Wild Wings at the University location in Huntsville, Alabama. The first confirmation was a week prior. The second confirmation was one hour prior to arrival.


Upon arrival, the team, siblings and parents were refused seating by the management without cause. The restaurant refused to feed the fourteen children, who were celebrating their first traveling hockey tournament.  


Store manager was contacted and refused comment.

Regional manager, Carter May was contacted, and he indicated there would be no gesture made toward the team for the store failure, though he did indicate the franchise is "1000 stong and expanding outside the United States". 

Corporate has not returned two telephone calls and three email complaints. 


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/22/2014 08:29 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Buffalo-Wild-Wings/Huntsville-Alabama/Buffalo-Wild-Wings-Buffalo-Wild-Wings-Refused-Seating-and-Food-for-Little-League-Team-on-1117783. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

HockeyMom?..Beginning to doubt it

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

You know I am really...really trying to see it your way but you are not making it easy.

I don't know how to give you the fact pattern any clearer

- Well let me help you out.  When a question is asked "How many was the Reservation for".  Don't come back and give a statement like...."The customers took reasonable measures to ensure space for the arrival of the team, for the number expected.".  Instead if you really want to be clear and don't want to look like you are giving a bunch of double talk answer it in a way such as "Yes, we had reservations for (enter number here) and (enter number here) showed up".

You see with a statmeme like this it looks like you were not even personally involoved in getting the reservations, may not have even been there at all, and perhaps are getting all of your information 3rd(or by now possibly even 4th or 5th) hand.  In looking at the rest of your postings I never saw the word "I" or "me".  It was always more general statements.  Then in your latest update you went for the "the CUSTOMERS".  When people start using the 3rd person..it looks a bit odd.

We then get into another point to "make it clearer".  When asked a question such as "what gesture did you want the RM to make".  Don't go into a several paragaph rant on "brand safety".   As that makes it look like you are basically blackmailing them.  After all if they did give you something would you have posted this report...I can almost without a doubt tell you that the answer is NO you would not have.  In fact I would not be surprised that if at some point the phrase "if you don't give us something we are going to post this story all over the Internet" didn't come up in one form or another during the conversation with them.  What type of lesson are you teaching your kids(if in fact they are your kids).

If by chance you were not there but for some reason took it upon yourself to call the Reginal Mangager...that may explain even more their reaction(or lack there of).

Anyways..good luck in your endevour what ever your true motive is.

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#2 Author of original report

Good Business

AUTHOR: HockeyMom - ()

I don't know how to give you the fact pattern any clearer.  The customers took reasonable measures to ensure space for the arrival of the team, for the number expected.   There is no rocket science here. The management failed to secure the space, sent the team away, and had an opportunity to do something nice for these kids.

So let's talk about brand safety for a minute.  Any company who promotes the following: 

"We have a passion for sports and we believe there is a champion in every child. It’s the core of our vision for community giving"

would be ashamed to have failed these kids.  

And any good manager  asks the golden question - "What would you like us to do to make it right?"

It's the golden question for any brand who has failed it's customer.  

Then they are in a position to determine what the brand is worth.  Do we trade a handful of water bottles and a chicken wings to avoid a story that  starts and ends at "We refused service to a booked group of Little Leaguers"? 

Or do we refuse to stand by the "We have a passion for sports" routine and say "tough luck" and let the story fly? 

This brand had a choice. The story is what they make it.  It could have been "Buffalo Wild Wings Supports the Champion in Every Child". 

In today's land of viral media, refusing to take care of your people, especially children, is risky business. Carter May, the regional manager, was faced with a choice.  Do I execute good marketing skills and turn this into a great human interest story and do something great for these kids, or do I do nothing and hope it doesn't go viral? 

His choice defined the story. 

As a side note, another "WINGS" chain got wind of what Buffalo Wild Wings did, and is doing....guess what? Giving the team some wings, welcoming them to their tiny little chain on Thursday, January 30 in Olive Branch, Mississippi....and they are getting national press for it.  Probably cost them $200.00 bucks for press they couldn't even pay enough money for. 

And Buffalo Wild Wings leads the story with it's refusal to honor the reservation. 

CNN and FOX picked the story up. It's gone viral on Facebook.  

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#3 Consumer Comment

Still Odd

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

 Okay this is still very odd, as a business owner is just not going to turn away a group of people just for the "sport" of it.  There is some reason that is not being stated.  Unfortunatly no one here was there..only you were.  So we only have one side of the story and only have what you decide to post.  Oh and now I am sure you are going to say that you would love them to post "their side".  But here is also the thing, businesses do not get into some he said/she said thing on some public Internet site.

You said you had 14 7 Year olds, yet when you showed up you said that the team, siblings, and parents were refused seating.  Going with a low estimate that you had an average of 1 extra person per kid, you are looking at about 30 people.  When you made the reservation how many did you make it for?

You said you called an hour before you arrived.  Why?  What if they said..whoops sorry we don't have any tables.  What would you have done?  How come you only called twice.  For this big of a group and for something this important one would think you would have called at least one other time..perhaps a couple of days before you left for the tournament.  Then is it a possibility that you called them an hour before it was to say you were going to be late? 

Now, another line of thought.  If this was truly an honest mis-communication and they didn't just set up the room.  If when you showed up they were full.  As much as you think you should take priority, you can not expect any resturant to just kick out another 30+ paying customers to make room for you.  You also can't just expect them to "make room" for you immediatly.  There are specific occupancy laws and if they were full even if they wanted to..they couldn't make room without getting in trouble with the local fire marshall.  Did the Manager perhaps offer to accomodate you, but it would be some extra time?

Next, why would the Regional Manager state there would be no gesture made?  I doubt the RM just said something like "Hello..sorry we are giving you nothing for your trouble..good bye".  It must have been suggested by you first of all..so what "gesture" did you want them to make?  

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#4 Author of original report

Yes, they gave a reason

AUTHOR: HockeyMom - ()

The reason was their staff did not communicate and no one actually acquired the room and set up the tables.  The kids had no time to "be unruly". They arrived and were met in the foyer by the manager who informed the team leader that they no longer had space and would not make space.  

It's ok to feel suspicious - it is rather shocking that now corporations don't even have a reason to boot customers and refuse to care for them - now they just do it for sport. 

What else would you like to know? 

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#5 General Comment


AUTHOR: Tyg - ()

 I find it odd that ANY eatery would turn away 14+ customers WITHOUT just cause. There is more to all of this. Were you breaking policy? Were the 14 seven year olds being rowdy. Or it could have been an age limit kinda thing. I dont know, but YOU do. So why not fill us in on ALL of the issue. If you think your going to get ANY sympathy OR resolution based SOLEY on your statement, then you would be mistaken. And really, you contacted the RM over this?? There is DEFINATLY more to the story then is being told.

YOU sound like the kind of customer that THINKS that just because they go into a shop or business that EVERYONE is supposed to kiss your a$$. It doesnt work that way ANYMORE!!! The American Consumer has lied and abused the businesses out there so badly, that anymore, a complaint is just someone trying to get something FOR FREE!!!! The business WAS within their LEGAL right to refuse service TO ANYONE!! Every state has a "shopkeep" law that allows them to deny service. If YOU were denied service, what did your little group do??

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#6 Consumer Comment

Wow, and they gave NO reason(s) for refusing to serve them?

AUTHOR: Ken - ()

What are you leaving out of this Ripoff Report?

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