• Report: #83113

Complaint Review: Outback Steakhouse

  • Submitted: Mon, March 08, 2004
  • Updated: Sat, October 28, 2006

  • Reported By:virginia beach Virginia
Outback Steakhouse
333 Waterside Drive Downtown Norfolk, Virginia U.S.A.

Outback Steakhouse ripoff: biggest waste of money in my life Norfolk Virginia

*UPDATE Employee: Outback Steakhouse is getting a bad rep here

*UPDATE Employee: Outback Steakhouse is getting a bad rep here

*UPDATE Employee: Outback Steakhouse is getting a bad rep here

*Consumer Comment: Too Bad...

*Consumer Suggestion: Pick up tab

*Consumer Comment: T.I.P.

*Consumer Suggestion: I have been a restaurant manager, and lived in Virginia Beach, and I know what it's like there

*UPDATE Employee: Restaurant Etiquette

*Consumer Comment: never going back there again

*Consumer Comment: never going back there again

*Consumer Comment: never going back there again

*Consumer Comment: never going back there again

*Consumer Suggestion: Now you have it James, the Real way the Outbackers see you!

*Consumer Suggestion: Helpful Hints

*Consumer Comment: Who hasn't had a problem at Outback or any other place??

*Consumer Comment: There is a reason for everything !!!

*Author of original report: Interesting, ..We will not visit Outback Steakhouse again.

*UPDATE Employee: Its not really that bad!

*Author of original report: Okay, I'm Cheap

*Author of original report: Okay, I'm Cheap

*Author of original report: Okay, I'm Cheap

*Consumer Comment: Get a life!!! you were simply a rude, crass, not to mention cheap customer!

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How to explain the worst experience at a restaurant in my life.

7:35 on 3/6/04 we arrive at outback steakhouse in downtown norfolk and put our names on the list(16 people and we were told 1 hr 20 minutes to be seated this was reasonable given the size of our party)

8:30 we were told the hostess wrote down 110-120 minutes for our table(hostess quoted only 1hr 20min. BIG DIFFERENCE OF 30-40 MINUTES FROM WHAT SHE HAD TOLD US)

9:30 approx., we were finally seated. The waiters were kind but trying to rush everyone to order.

Everyone was trying to make the best of the situation especially my wife, and this was her birthday dinner. The food was not even close to being worth the money. My steak in particular was sent back only because there was blood settling on the top of the steak still. I didn't want to eat a raw cow so I asked that it be cooked a little bit longer and I didn't hassle them over it.

I did not complain about the taste of the food to the waiters but even the salad was extremely spicey as was everyone's in the party but we wanted my wife to at least partially enjoy her dinner. (all of the food was either over cooked or undercooked, my wife couldn't even cut in to her chicken which was burnt but she struggled and ate it like a champ, again she did not complain to the waiters because we were beyond hungry).

Everything had been arranged for the staff to sing my wife happy birthday but this is so bad I've got to laugh at how Outback messed this one up.

Prior to singing her happy birthday everyone had asked for their checks. Half of the party received their checks. We did not.

The other half of our party has now paid for their food.

We are still waiting for our check.

Half an hour passes, still no check.

Half the party gets tired of waiting and ends up leaving

Finally they come over to sing happy birthday after most of our party has left.

20 minutes later still no check.

Finally as we get up to leave because we have asked for our check and waited so long, we got up to leave. Our waitress comes over to asks "are you going to pay your check now". What check, we asked for one and you never brought it. Half our party already received their checks, paid and left.

What a joke, she brings the seperate checks over and everyone gives her their credit cards. Well she comes back and has charged everyone's dinner on just my credit card. Idiot.....................

The manager comes out to try and resolve the problems but at that point Outbacks service was so bad that we would never return again. He tried to defend how Outback had acted throughout the evening and it was just plain unacceptable. He never fixed the meal being charged to my credit card. He said he would rerun the charges.

Finally after spending most of our evening in a restaurant that was completely rude and untolerable at best, we were all glad to finally be our of there.

I would not recommend Outback Steakhouse to anyone. The service was terrible, the food was worst and the manager was an idiot.

NEVER EAT AT OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE.......

James
virginia beach, Virginia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/08/2004 07:06 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Outback-Steakhouse/Norfolk-Virginia-23510/Outback-Steakhouse-ripoff-biggest-waste-of-money-in-my-life-Norfolk-Virginia-83113. 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 UPDATE Employee

Outback Steakhouse is getting a bad rep here

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

1. A quote for your wait time is just that - a quote. It is very difficult to sit a 16 peron party. They have no control over when the other guests in the restaurant decide to leave.

2. Anytime someone complains that their food was inedible, we offer to cook something else or recook their order. If you don't say anything, how are we supposed to make this situation right?

3. Their food is spicy. It says so on the menu. You probably ordered the spicy ranch dressing. That should have been a clue.

4. It is difficult to get a group of servers together on a busy night to sing Happy Birthday. I can almost guarantee that your server was trying her hardest to get a group of people together. Everyone their is working hard and cannot just drop everything to sing. They also do not sing until the table is done eating. If your party requested their checks at this point, I am sure she made this the priority over singing.

5. Requesting 16 seperate checks at the end of the meal was a faux pas. You should always request seperate checks in the beginning. Of course your server should have asked but maybe she was new or just not a good server. Can't blame every outback steakhouse for one slow server. The system that Outback used in 2004 to ring up checks made it very difficult to seperate the check in the end. The server had to identify each item that the person ordered as well as who those people were. Then she had to go through and create the differnet checks and print them individually. This takes time. A lot of time. Had you asked at the begining of meal, it would have been much simpler to start off seperating them. She was probably having to do this while you were impatiently waiting for singing servers to make your wife's birthday dreams come true.

6. Sounds like you waitress made an honest mistake in not dropping the checks. I know from experience that working at Outback is hard work but fulfilling. You were probably not her only table. It also sounds like she made a mistake with the credit card. This is an honest mistake made by the server, not the Outback Steakhouse.

7. Once the meal is over and food has been consumed, you cannot expect food to be taken off the bill. If you didn't like it, you should say something so they can take care of the situation. For all they know, you could have enjoyed your food and then tried to scam them.

8. You said the manager never fixed the meals charged to your credit card. I am assuming this means the seperate checks that were put on your card. But then you say they went and reran all of the cards. You just contradicted yourself, unless you meant they never fixed your bill by taking off the charges. Refer to #7 for that one.

9. Outback food is of the highest quality. Their parmesian cheese is even imported from parma, Italy. If you didn't like what you ordered, that isn't necessarily their fault.

10. And finally, to the person who responded that they didnt find anything Australian about the restaurant. The Outback Steakhouse was opened around the time that the Crocodile Dundee movies were a big hit. They opened the restaurant as an Australian themed restaurant - hence the decorations and names of items on the food i.e., walkabout soup, Melbourne New York Strip, etc. They are not an Australian restaurant serving Australian food.

People like you guys come into restaurants all the time. I am not saying this was either of your intents, but they always cause a big fuss after finishing their meal and expecting things to be given to them for free. They complain that the cost of their food was too high even though they saw the price on the menu. They say their steak wasnt cooked right but refuse to send it back. You are paying for a product. One cannot expect to receive a refund for a product that was never returned or has been consumed. Use common sense.

Outback is a great family style restaurant that treats their employees and customers with the utmost respect. However, they are not a 5 star top notch restaurant and cannot be expected to provide that kind of service or food. If you can read the menu, you know what you are in for. Yes, not every server is going to be fantastic. You had a bad experience. I am sure if you wrote into to Outback corporate (and not in such a condescending way) and stated the simple facts of your meal they would have sent you some Tuckaways in denominations of $20 - $45 to be spent at your next visit, or at least a card for a free appetizer. You can't blame every restaurant for your evening. Mainly you can blame yourself.

Also - Joe - the Bloomin Onion is the first appetizer listed on the menu. It usually has a picture of it. They are not in the regular business of just going around and giving them to people. I am sure that if you wanted one, you could have asked your server and she would have pointed it out to you on the menu.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Outback Steakhouse is getting a bad rep here

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

1. A quote for your wait time is just that - a quote. It is very difficult to sit a 16 peron party. They have no control over when the other guests in the restaurant decide to leave.

2. Anytime someone complains that their food was inedible, we offer to cook something else or recook their order. If you don't say anything, how are we supposed to make this situation right?

3. Their food is spicy. It says so on the menu. You probably ordered the spicy ranch dressing. That should have been a clue.

4. It is difficult to get a group of servers together on a busy night to sing Happy Birthday. I can almost guarantee that your server was trying her hardest to get a group of people together. Everyone their is working hard and cannot just drop everything to sing. They also do not sing until the table is done eating. If your party requested their checks at this point, I am sure she made this the priority over singing.

5. Requesting 16 seperate checks at the end of the meal was a faux pas. You should always request seperate checks in the beginning. Of course your server should have asked but maybe she was new or just not a good server. Can't blame every outback steakhouse for one slow server. The system that Outback used in 2004 to ring up checks made it very difficult to seperate the check in the end. The server had to identify each item that the person ordered as well as who those people were. Then she had to go through and create the differnet checks and print them individually. This takes time. A lot of time. Had you asked at the begining of meal, it would have been much simpler to start off seperating them. She was probably having to do this while you were impatiently waiting for singing servers to make your wife's birthday dreams come true.

6. Sounds like you waitress made an honest mistake in not dropping the checks. I know from experience that working at Outback is hard work but fulfilling. You were probably not her only table. It also sounds like she made a mistake with the credit card. This is an honest mistake made by the server, not the Outback Steakhouse.

7. Once the meal is over and food has been consumed, you cannot expect food to be taken off the bill. If you didn't like it, you should say something so they can take care of the situation. For all they know, you could have enjoyed your food and then tried to scam them.

8. You said the manager never fixed the meals charged to your credit card. I am assuming this means the seperate checks that were put on your card. But then you say they went and reran all of the cards. You just contradicted yourself, unless you meant they never fixed your bill by taking off the charges. Refer to #7 for that one.

9. Outback food is of the highest quality. Their parmesian cheese is even imported from parma, Italy. If you didn't like what you ordered, that isn't necessarily their fault.

10. And finally, to the person who responded that they didnt find anything Australian about the restaurant. The Outback Steakhouse was opened around the time that the Crocodile Dundee movies were a big hit. They opened the restaurant as an Australian themed restaurant - hence the decorations and names of items on the food i.e., walkabout soup, Melbourne New York Strip, etc. They are not an Australian restaurant serving Australian food.

People like you guys come into restaurants all the time. I am not saying this was either of your intents, but they always cause a big fuss after finishing their meal and expecting things to be given to them for free. They complain that the cost of their food was too high even though they saw the price on the menu. They say their steak wasnt cooked right but refuse to send it back. You are paying for a product. One cannot expect to receive a refund for a product that was never returned or has been consumed. Use common sense.

Outback is a great family style restaurant that treats their employees and customers with the utmost respect. However, they are not a 5 star top notch restaurant and cannot be expected to provide that kind of service or food. If you can read the menu, you know what you are in for. Yes, not every server is going to be fantastic. You had a bad experience. I am sure if you wrote into to Outback corporate (and not in such a condescending way) and stated the simple facts of your meal they would have sent you some Tuckaways in denominations of $20 - $45 to be spent at your next visit, or at least a card for a free appetizer. You can't blame every restaurant for your evening. Mainly you can blame yourself.

Also - Joe - the Bloomin Onion is the first appetizer listed on the menu. It usually has a picture of it. They are not in the regular business of just going around and giving them to people. I am sure that if you wanted one, you could have asked your server and she would have pointed it out to you on the menu.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Outback Steakhouse is getting a bad rep here

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

1. A quote for your wait time is just that - a quote. It is very difficult to sit a 16 peron party. They have no control over when the other guests in the restaurant decide to leave.

2. Anytime someone complains that their food was inedible, we offer to cook something else or recook their order. If you don't say anything, how are we supposed to make this situation right?

3. Their food is spicy. It says so on the menu. You probably ordered the spicy ranch dressing. That should have been a clue.

4. It is difficult to get a group of servers together on a busy night to sing Happy Birthday. I can almost guarantee that your server was trying her hardest to get a group of people together. Everyone their is working hard and cannot just drop everything to sing. They also do not sing until the table is done eating. If your party requested their checks at this point, I am sure she made this the priority over singing.

5. Requesting 16 seperate checks at the end of the meal was a faux pas. You should always request seperate checks in the beginning. Of course your server should have asked but maybe she was new or just not a good server. Can't blame every outback steakhouse for one slow server. The system that Outback used in 2004 to ring up checks made it very difficult to seperate the check in the end. The server had to identify each item that the person ordered as well as who those people were. Then she had to go through and create the differnet checks and print them individually. This takes time. A lot of time. Had you asked at the begining of meal, it would have been much simpler to start off seperating them. She was probably having to do this while you were impatiently waiting for singing servers to make your wife's birthday dreams come true.

6. Sounds like you waitress made an honest mistake in not dropping the checks. I know from experience that working at Outback is hard work but fulfilling. You were probably not her only table. It also sounds like she made a mistake with the credit card. This is an honest mistake made by the server, not the Outback Steakhouse.

7. Once the meal is over and food has been consumed, you cannot expect food to be taken off the bill. If you didn't like it, you should say something so they can take care of the situation. For all they know, you could have enjoyed your food and then tried to scam them.

8. You said the manager never fixed the meals charged to your credit card. I am assuming this means the seperate checks that were put on your card. But then you say they went and reran all of the cards. You just contradicted yourself, unless you meant they never fixed your bill by taking off the charges. Refer to #7 for that one.

9. Outback food is of the highest quality. Their parmesian cheese is even imported from parma, Italy. If you didn't like what you ordered, that isn't necessarily their fault.

10. And finally, to the person who responded that they didnt find anything Australian about the restaurant. The Outback Steakhouse was opened around the time that the Crocodile Dundee movies were a big hit. They opened the restaurant as an Australian themed restaurant - hence the decorations and names of items on the food i.e., walkabout soup, Melbourne New York Strip, etc. They are not an Australian restaurant serving Australian food.

People like you guys come into restaurants all the time. I am not saying this was either of your intents, but they always cause a big fuss after finishing their meal and expecting things to be given to them for free. They complain that the cost of their food was too high even though they saw the price on the menu. They say their steak wasnt cooked right but refuse to send it back. You are paying for a product. One cannot expect to receive a refund for a product that was never returned or has been consumed. Use common sense.

Outback is a great family style restaurant that treats their employees and customers with the utmost respect. However, they are not a 5 star top notch restaurant and cannot be expected to provide that kind of service or food. If you can read the menu, you know what you are in for. Yes, not every server is going to be fantastic. You had a bad experience. I am sure if you wrote into to Outback corporate (and not in such a condescending way) and stated the simple facts of your meal they would have sent you some Tuckaways in denominations of $20 - $45 to be spent at your next visit, or at least a card for a free appetizer. You can't blame every restaurant for your evening. Mainly you can blame yourself.

Also - Joe - the Bloomin Onion is the first appetizer listed on the menu. It usually has a picture of it. They are not in the regular business of just going around and giving them to people. I am sure that if you wanted one, you could have asked your server and she would have pointed it out to you on the menu.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Too Bad...

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

Chearp...
Rude...'
Crass...
Sounds like a YUPPIE problem to me!

You knew your wife was going to have a birthday!
You should have took just her out to some place cozy, dim lights, string quartet or a Mexican Trio singing love songs or a gypsy violinist, EXCELLENT food and delightful sparkling wine, if you are a drinking person and other ice-cold beverages if you are not...

WHY a CROWD to celebrate a birthday that you could have probably had catered to surprise her and all of your guests AT YOUR OWN HOME???!!!!

You COULD have called a limo to take her out, called ahead to this wonderful restaurant and then bought her a red rose and/or her favorite perfume or a nice but naughty negligee! And some Chanel milkbath or something.

But that's just my opinion. Everyone has one and she would have probably had a better time with just you anyway...

But back to what REALLY happened.. And, hey, it IS fun to celebrate with a GROUP too but I have to question the choice of places.

This is a CELEBRATION, A SPECIAL EVENT and EVERYBODY wants to have FUN, SMILE,JOKES, NICE MUSIC for CELEBRATION and make a wonderful time for EVERYBODY!

This requires flexibility, creativeness and special attention that franchise, standardized reaturants like Outback Steak house or Burger King or Schlotzsky's just can't do at a moment's notice and I don't think you would have fared any better if you had phoned ahead for reservations --which is DEFINITELY recommended for a PLEASANT dining experience with a group!

OUTBACK STEAK HOUSE is NOT a Romantic place or even a FUN place, in my experience! It is overpriced, the wait staff are usualy young, inexperienced folks breaking in to the restaurant business with multiplepiercings, tattoos and red, green , blue or purple colored hair. They have to learn somewhere to be good servers and Out back is a good place to train them. Because they ARE young people who havent' learned all the nuances or subtlities of being a GREAT server, they are going to make mistakes....

In many cases, if they think they are serving rude, demanding, loud, inconsiderate, arrogant, overbearing YUPPIES, some of those mistakes will be made deliberately but PROVE IT!

You don't like it--don't go back!

You want a GREAT PARTY where YOU control the experience and you want to entertain dear friends whom you wish to CONTINUE to be your friends!
Cater it! You get to choose your main course, beverages, desserts, drinks, etc. It would have probably been cheaper and certainly less aggravation than dealing with a FAUX AUSSIE steakhouse!

In my case, when I tried the Outback Steakhouse here in Austin,Texas near Highland Mall, my ONLY gripe was the OVERPRICED food which WAS edible!
It wasn't a birthday, it was just to check it out and see if all their saturation of radio commercials with all these FAKE AUSSIE ACCENTS about their place being " NO Rules, Just Right" was true. It wasn't very fun! I was NOT served the "celebrated Blooming Onion" in fact, never even saw it on the menu... It cost $50 for both of us, drinks and tip included... but it might as well have been in Odessa, Texas or anythwere in Middle America. I did not see anything that would be uniquely Australian on it--either the menu OR the general ambiance of the decor. Just another Texas steakhouse.h*o hum.

Got to agree with you about the overpriced food but, then again, I don't think it was designed for romantic getaways for two and certainly NOT for a fun party group!!!!

It's just a place like McDonald's where they want you to git your food and hit the door on your way out.

RIP-OFF!
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Pick up tab

AUTHOR: Bob - (U.S.A.)

When I take wife out for Birthday I make sure I pick up full tab or don't invite anyone
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#6 Consumer Comment

T.I.P.

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

To Insure Promptitude. Hey here's the deal. This guy is a customer and he is right. If a restaurant wants repeat business they d**n well better treat the customer like he's right. Too many times I have had to deal with substandard meals without complaint for not wanting to be rude. The waiter/waitress didn't make the meal, they served it. Beating their a*s over it isn't right it's the managers job to make things right. If the wait staff doesn't do their jobs, they shouldn't get tipped. We consumers get the brunt of wait staff ire for being cheap. Doesn't sound to me that anyone was proactive and as a customer he doesn't have to do a d**n thing except pay the bill. Competent staff can deal with situations like a large party and a bad meal. Incompetents cry and gnash their teeth over the injustice of being treated unfairly. Be a problems solver not a creator.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

I have been a restaurant manager, and lived in Virginia Beach, and I know what it's like there

AUTHOR: Constance - (U.S.A.)

To James in Virginia Beach,

I am sorry to hear about your dining experience on your wife's birthday. I have learned a few things over the years spending time as a General Manager for several different restaurants, and can tell you that I know a lot about the area, and have even been to Outback in Virginia Beach.

I think that there are a few things in particular that should be brought up in this thread about the service you received that other readers need to be aware of.

First and foremost, Virginia Beach is a 'tourist trap'. Let's not forget that when you get your check, at the bottom it should show three different taxes. One is state sales tax, then there is the city tax (Virginia Beach and Chesapeake), and on top of that a 'tourist tax' which everyone pays whether they are a tourist or not. Not that this really has anything to do with your service, but thought it worth mentioning.

With Virginia Beach being the said tourist trap, it also borders the very large military city of Norfolk, as well as Virginia Beach containing the Master Jet base Oceana. Put that along with the entire Mid-Atlantic Fleet based in Norfolk, the Little Creek Amphibious Base between the two cities, and many other neighboring military facilities like the Air Force Base (Langley), some 25 miles away, and Ft. Monroe Army Installation, and now besides tourists coming from all over to enjoy Virginia Beach's sights you have along with the tourist population, you have some 150,000+ military personnel who are there year round.

It does not matter if it is the Fourth of July or the dead of winter, there are a few 'givens' in the area. Restaurants aren't just busy on a Friday or Saturday night. They are busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I remember a few years back when Macaroni Grill opened in front of the Pembroke Mall on Va. Beach Blvd. Two months after they opened, they still had lines out the door of customers waiting for tables on a daily basis. We have gone there right after it was opened, and needless to say, although we had a considerable wait (and after we had our names put on the list waiting for tables, we shot across the street to the Starbucks and got coffee), our service, in a jammed packed resturant, was impeccable. Our waiter (male) was prompt, curteous, and made delightful suggestions for appetizers, main courses and dessert. My coffee cup never ran dry. As a customer in a restaurant in which I had no affiliation, I made a mental note of how everything went, and our waiter was tipped accordingly.

What really suprises me here is the fact that any day of the week restaurants are bombarded in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area with large groups of people who do not have reservations, as most establishments like the one you mentioned do not take reservations, but work on the first come/first served basis.

Any day of the week they have ships compliments returning from deployments, and send home of all things an air craft carrier. You now have 5,000 sailors returning, and along with it, their families, many who have travelled from all over the US to welcome home their sailors, and a ship coming home always means that the restaurants as well as the Malls are just flooded with business for the next week or so.

Add on top of that celebrations of a more subtle type, such as a sailors re-enlistment. Their command will almost always throw them a party someplace, which is usually thrown together at the last minute, meaning you may have a group of 20 guys come in after work.

What you experienced was what I would consider bad/poor management. I, as I have said, having spent years as a restaurant manager, would have also expected better of my waitstaff, as I have always maintained the policy if something comes up in the kitchen for you to serve one of our 'guests', if it does not look appealing enough to you that you would want to eat it...DO NOT SERVE IT! No customer wants to be served a raw steak or a burned chicken breast, with one exception, and that is if they had asked for it that way. I have always strived to inform my waitstaff to also inform our customers about potential risks when asking for extremely rare meat.

Any time a large party goes in to a dining establishment, the waitstaff should ask two questions up front. The first is whether or not the party will be drinking from the bar, and do they want a bar tab(s) to be ran or if they would like to pay cash as they go, and secondly, if they want one big check or seperate checks. If your waitstaff uses seperate order checks for each guest, then there cannot be any mistake made as to who gets what dinner, and whether or not they should be rang in the register seperately when it comes time to deliver the guest their check. Remember the saying about assumption. Laziness does not get a waitress good tips. Seems as if the younger generation (I am over 35), has this little problem of wanting a job but don't want to work.

Just the thoughts of a dining establishment manager who was once a waitress and lived very well on her tips.
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Restaurant Etiquette

AUTHOR: Meghan - (U.S.A.)

First of all, it's really sad that you had a bad experience. I work at Outback here in my college town and I must say that our managers are usually willing to bend over backwards in any way that they can to help a customer out. First of all, you should have called ahead. You show up with 16 people on Saturday night, you're going to have to wait. Also, (at least at our Outback) we have mostly booths and if the party isn't willing to split up, there is only ONE place to put 16 people. This consists of pushing 4 tables together. If these tables are sat, we have to wait for them to leave.

Again, if you have to wait a long time, not the hostesses fault. They can't ask people to leave. However, if you would have called ahead (Outback does NOT offer reservations, no matter what you've heard) then the hostesses would have kept those tables as open as possible by anticipate such a large party arriving.

Next you complain about spicy salads... wow. Try reading the freakin menu... chances are, some of you guys had ranch dressing on your salads. The menu says that our ranch dressing is a "homemade spicy ranch dressing". Crazy, I know... its actually on the menu.

And you wanted the staff to sing Happy Birthday to your wife? Well, we do it, but its pretty annoying on a Saturday night. Those people that came over and sang to you were taking time away from their tables (re-filling drinks, pre-bussing the tables, running food, etc) to sing happy birthday. Sorry it wasn't to your liking.

Lastly, instead of waiting for your check, perhaps you could have said something to your server or stopped one passing by your table. Simply flag them down and politely say "Excuse me, but is there anyway you could let our server know that we would like our check now?" Problem solved.

Finally, if you never go back to Outback again, that's probably okay with them. I'm sure that they have plenty of other loyal customers that are pleasant and not cheap.
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#9 Consumer Comment

never going back there again

AUTHOR: Thomas - (U.S.A.)

Me and my mom went to a outback and was charged $31.15 for two meals one was the cyclone chicken with much of nothing on it except a chicken with sauce and and some vegetables and no side items came with it she had close to the same thing except hers didnt have the sauce and she had to pay for a side item for $1.99 for a potatoe with the salt on the outside already even though she didnt ask for it. for $1.99 you could get a sack of potatoes. anyhow never going back there again.
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#10 Consumer Comment

never going back there again

AUTHOR: Thomas - (U.S.A.)

Me and my mom went to a outback and was charged $31.15 for two meals one was the cyclone chicken with much of nothing on it except a chicken with sauce and and some vegetables and no side items came with it she had close to the same thing except hers didnt have the sauce and she had to pay for a side item for $1.99 for a potatoe with the salt on the outside already even though she didnt ask for it. for $1.99 you could get a sack of potatoes. anyhow never going back there again.
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#11 Consumer Comment

never going back there again

AUTHOR: Thomas - (U.S.A.)

Me and my mom went to a outback and was charged $31.15 for two meals one was the cyclone chicken with much of nothing on it except a chicken with sauce and and some vegetables and no side items came with it she had close to the same thing except hers didnt have the sauce and she had to pay for a side item for $1.99 for a potatoe with the salt on the outside already even though she didnt ask for it. for $1.99 you could get a sack of potatoes. anyhow never going back there again.
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#12 Consumer Comment

never going back there again

AUTHOR: Thomas - (U.S.A.)

Me and my mom went to a outback and was charged $31.15 for two meals one was the cyclone chicken with much of nothing on it except a chicken with sauce and and some vegetables and no side items came with it she had close to the same thing except hers didnt have the sauce and she had to pay for a side item for $1.99 for a potatoe with the salt on the outside already even though she didnt ask for it. for $1.99 you could get a sack of potatoes. anyhow never going back there again.
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

Now you have it James, the Real way the Outbackers see you!

AUTHOR: Bradley - (U.S.A.)

Well now everbody can see what the Outbackers really think about their customers from all their comments...

Basically your just a pain in the a*s to them, and they only want you to eat, tip, and get the fut out!

Just let them draw their "check" and leave 'em alone dammit!
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#14 Consumer Suggestion

Helpful Hints

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

Hi,
I am a waitress at a busy, hip downtown restaurant in Chicago.

The way that your party was handled was in part due to your actions and the actions of Outback Steakhouse.

1. Large parties (8+) are difficult to accommodate on a Friday or Saturday night. If there is a problem with the quote the host staff gives you, NOTIFY a MANAGER immediately. If you are uncomfortable asking the hosts on staff, go to the bar and politely ask a bartender to get the manager for you. If the host stand is not working properly, the manager will make it his/her business to check the restaurant floor and plan to fit your party in accordingly.

2. If separate checks are needed, it is polite and in your best interest to let your server know immediately. This way, when the server takes your parties' orders, he/she can group the orders accordingly and ring everything separately to prevent misrings on your credit card. This protects you and your server.

3.Any charges on your credit card that you believe are not authorized (I.E. "all of the dinners") should be taken up with your credit card company. I use AMEX at any restaurant I dine at, since AMEX is very good at processing claims and taking unwarranted charges off. Unfortunately, servers make mistakes. Protect yourself.

4.It is, in fact, possible for the server to charge one person for the entire meal EVEN if there are previous credit card authorizations. An authorization is only preliminary. The server then gives you the tip tray with a pen, etc for you to tip and total. Credit card amounts are not deducted from your bill total on our systems until we hit "Credit Card Final?" and manually key in your tip and then confirm your charge amount. That is a charge that even a manager cannot undo. This is why #3 is very relevant. The manager may NOT have been able to undo what those servers' miscommunications caused.

5. If you don't like your food, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let your server or a manager know immediately! I know that it is uncomfortable in some situations to admit this, but, when you are in a large party, you are tipping your server whether you like it or not (due to anti-discrimination rules and such).
Make your server EARN the tip. It is NO problem to re-ring some food and let the kitchen manager know it is needed ASAP!!!

This is why servers are required to "check back" at tables. If servers ask how your steak is cooked or if you like the taste of your entree, etc and you lie to them and say it is fine when it isn't really, the restaurant is off the hook. You lied to the server by saying things were OK.

Now, whether the server was polite when he/she asked you and seemed sincere is another issue. Some servers are a lot warmer and more welcoming than others. Regardless, you must tell them if you are unable to eat something!


I'm sorry that you had such an awful experience.
I understand that you were trying to stick it out but, unfortunately, some of your actions worked against you in a corporate restaurant.

Best wishes and bon appetit in the future.
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#15 Consumer Comment

Who hasn't had a problem at Outback or any other place??

AUTHOR: Kristyna - (U.S.A.)

I just want to say, I've had problems myself at the Outback in Hagerstown, MD.
My family and I went to Outback for dinner one Saturday evening. We called two hours in advance and were told that they could only take reservations a half hour in advance. When we arrived at, they never wrote down our reservation. They did correct this as quickly as possible, however, the table we were given was too small for our party of 6 adults and 3 children. We complained to the hostess, and she told us we would have to wait out front for another 30-45 minutes before a larger table would be ready. We told her we weren't moving, and that when the table only then would we move. She threw a fit about other people waiting, which was ridiculous considering that we HAD called in advance. She stomped off and got the manager, who then told us that the hostess wrote down the wrong amount of people when we had arrived. To remedy this, he added a small table to the end of the booth. This was fine except that my brother and his wife were being constantly bumped into by the waiters and waitresses.

We enjoyed our evening regardless of this. Were we offered a discount? A free appetizer? Hell NO!!
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#16 Consumer Comment

There is a reason for everything !!!

AUTHOR: Paul Pickle - (U.S.A.)

Instead of sitting there in your state of astonishment that the manager didn't do ANYTHING and didn't offer you any FREE stuff (despite your previous denial that you are not cheap) .... why not take a moment to recant your behaviour that night and try to find a reason why the manager might have responded the way that he did.

You weren't in any way rude, demanding, pushy, or anything else, were you?

Let's see .... you show up with 16 people, unannounced, on a Friday night, without calling ahead .... you expect to be seated immediately and are upset when it takes over an hour (a reasonable time when you have a party of such gigantuan size) .... everything about everything is absolutely horrible .... even outback's complimentary rendition of "happy birthday" is not to your satisfaction .... and then you all ask for separate checks, and of course you expect to receive these time-consuming separate checks in a matter of seconds.

And you wonder why the manager would not want to give you something for FREE? Well, here's an idea. Perhaps you were so much of a pain in the rump-roast that the manager does not want you to come back!! I am sure that your threat of not returning is music to his ears, and his entire staff at Outback is dancing about, celebrating the fact that you and your brood will never set foot in there again!
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#17 Author of original report

Interesting, ..We will not visit Outback Steakhouse again.

AUTHOR: James - (U.S.A.)

Hello, I just wanted to say thank you for your responses to my original letter.

I would just like to state the issues I had with Outback were all mentioned to the manager when he came to our table. We discussed the long wait time, service, food quality, dissatisfaction with our meal, how they handled singing of happy birthday. We mentioned all of the issues, as well as, the problem with our bill. We were not mean, rude, or anything else...but, we did state our dissatisfaction to the manager. In turn, he did not offer to reduce our bill, take anything off, or offer us a card for a free dinner. He did nothing, he offered nothing, it was almost as though he had no response to anything we had to say at all...... He didn't care! Other people who were eating were listing to our conversation and you couldn't believe the looks they were giving the manager. This is more than likely not an isolated problem with this store. We felt after the conversation with the manager, he didn't care about anything that was said as long as he got the sales for his store. Just like any average Joe trying to take as much of his money as possible without giving much in return.

We will not visit Outback Steakhouse again.
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#18 UPDATE Employee

Its not really that bad!

AUTHOR: Bobbi-Jo - (U.S.A.)

I would just first like to say that I have been working for Outback Steakhouse for four years now, and I wouldn't say that we were are not a fast food joint. I would consider us as somewhat of a fine establishment. In fact, as an Outbacker I take pride in that fact. As far as your bad dining experience, I'm sorry. But like the one gentleman said, why didn't you tell your server of your unsatisfactory food. We are not mind readers. We stop by your table and ask if everything is okay for a reason. I understand that you were hungry and just wanted to eat the food, unhappy with it or not, but you could have eaten it and still had said something. I could almost 100% guarantee you that if you had at least just said something, they would have taken appetizers off of your bill, given you a desert, or even maybe taken the food off of the bill even though you did eat it. As an employee I know that Outback goes way beyond the call of duty to make the customer happy.

My next issue is the quote you were told for your table. I am not telling you that you are wrong for being upset, because I do understand. Overquoting does happen, no matter how experienced the hostess may be. But you have to stop and think about things from a restaurant perspective.

Those hostesses told you what they thought it would take for you to get a table. Honestly, if they told you 120 minutes they are crazy, especially on a busy Saturday night with 16 people.

We do not have tables easily assessible for big parties, we have to push tables together, which means we have to wait for three or four tables to get up to get a table ready for 16 people--NOT AN EASY TASK. However, the manager should have bought you some appetizers if you were overquoted on your wait time anyway--which was never said, so I don't know if they did or not. But my main point with the quote is you have to keep in mind sometimes you have tables sit for quite some time after they are done eating, and there is nothing that we can do about this. NO, it is not the customers fault at all either, but when you need to push three tables together and one of those tables is the table that decided to sit for an hour after eating and talk, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. That is why we apologize several times, and like I said try to make you happy by buying appetizers, deserts, or whatever else we can.

Next, on a Saturday night there are a lot of servers on the floor, so it is not uncommon to have several servers for a big party. One, we have small sections, so if the servers did not split the party, one or more of those server may not end up with any tables while you are sitting down. Another reason they would split the party, is so you get concentrated service to make sure your drinks are refilled and they are there when you need something. Okay, with the seperate checks, that is a task all in itself. It takes a while, especially when you ask for it at the end of the meal. When asked to seperate at the end of the meal you must do more work than if it were stated up front. You have to go back and remember who had what, and who is sitting where, and whose on whose check. After that, you then have to go into the computer, seperate each item inidividualy, and finally reprint each check. On a party of 8 or more we add gratutity, which then adds another task that we must do before presenting the check. And contrary to popular belief, we HAVE to add gratutity to EVERY party, because if not, one party can yell discrimination. (and yes, I am aware that some servers still do not do it, and they can get in trouble). I would also like to say that it can be very confusing, especially on a busy night and the fact that you did have more than one server.

However, I don't excuse the servers for the twenty minute delay. However, think of this scenario--one server may have been in charge of collecting money, and the other servers thought that it was done when in fact it wasn't. The server who was suppose to take the money may have thought another one of your servers had already done it,yadda yadda yadda, if you get my point. But yes, I agree there should have been better communication between your servers.

Overall, all I have to say is you are stereo-typing. Just because you had a bad experience one time and one of Outback's restaurants, does not mean that Outback sucks. That would be like me saying that because one of your kids was a trouble maker, that all of your kids are going to be the same way, which I'm sure you know is wrong. The same thing could have happened at any restaruant. So, to make a long story short, give Outback another chance. I know that we take a lot of pride in serving good food and having quality service.
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#19 Author of original report

Okay, I'm Cheap

AUTHOR: James - (U.S.A.)

First of all, let me just say that our party was by no means rude to the staff. Also, none of us are cheap hence, going to Outback steakhouse. If we were cheap don't you think we would have went to another establishment instead of paying roughly $20/person to eat?

As for the amount of time to be seated, there is a big difference of being quoted one hour and twenty minutes versus two hours. Don't you think?

As for the issues of waiter vs. waitress, well we had two waiters and a waitress thank you very much. We had the waitress at our end of the table a waiter helping in the middle and another waiter at the other end. However, they were helping each other out when need be.

As for the entire bill being charged to my credit card! Well since you're intelligent, why don't you explain it to me because no one else has been able to figure it out either! That's the main reason the manager became involved in the first place.

I will have to make a mental note of what you said about Outback being a fast-food establishment which turns over tables quickley. That explains the bad service, nasty food, and incompetent manager. You see, I'm not everyone else nor is this area like every other, $20 per person is rather high in this area according to almost all other restaurants. You right, I should have went to a cheaper fast food restaurant such as applebees, bennigans, or maybe even a high class seafood restaurant located on the ocean front in virginia beach AND PAID LESS........ I could of had lobster tails for a cheaper price.......

As for being cheap, well maybe we were considering we left a 20% tip even though nothing was as expected. The only reason we left that much was well people live off of those tips. So you can do the math 20% of a $20 meal per person for 16 people adds up to $64. Yep, we're cheap alright.

As far as turning tables over quickley, if they brought our bill they could have even done it faster. Maybe if they processed our bill correctly, they could have got our tables faster. But wait they're a fast food dining establishment, we should have just ate at the bar and not wasted their time. Considering they are a FAST-FOOD DINING ESTABLISHMENT, you would think they would have brought us a bill.

They could have maybe even offered us dessert. What a novel idea!!!!

Thank you for your enlightenment and wisdom, I now see the light. We're cheap, rude and crass. I hope you have a wonderful day. Eating at Outback Steakhouse and getting good service is like a one legged man in a butt kicking contest. It just doesn't work......
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#20 Author of original report

Okay, I'm Cheap

AUTHOR: James - (U.S.A.)

First of all, let me just say that our party was by no means rude to the staff. Also, none of us are cheap hence, going to Outback steakhouse. If we were cheap don't you think we would have went to another establishment instead of paying roughly $20/person to eat?

As for the amount of time to be seated, there is a big difference of being quoted one hour and twenty minutes versus two hours. Don't you think?

As for the issues of waiter vs. waitress, well we had two waiters and a waitress thank you very much. We had the waitress at our end of the table a waiter helping in the middle and another waiter at the other end. However, they were helping each other out when need be.

As for the entire bill being charged to my credit card! Well since you're intelligent, why don't you explain it to me because no one else has been able to figure it out either! That's the main reason the manager became involved in the first place.

I will have to make a mental note of what you said about Outback being a fast-food establishment which turns over tables quickley. That explains the bad service, nasty food, and incompetent manager. You see, I'm not everyone else nor is this area like every other, $20 per person is rather high in this area according to almost all other restaurants. You right, I should have went to a cheaper fast food restaurant such as applebees, bennigans, or maybe even a high class seafood restaurant located on the ocean front in virginia beach AND PAID LESS........ I could of had lobster tails for a cheaper price.......

As for being cheap, well maybe we were considering we left a 20% tip even though nothing was as expected. The only reason we left that much was well people live off of those tips. So you can do the math 20% of a $20 meal per person for 16 people adds up to $64. Yep, we're cheap alright.

As far as turning tables over quickley, if they brought our bill they could have even done it faster. Maybe if they processed our bill correctly, they could have got our tables faster. But wait they're a fast food dining establishment, we should have just ate at the bar and not wasted their time. Considering they are a FAST-FOOD DINING ESTABLISHMENT, you would think they would have brought us a bill.

They could have maybe even offered us dessert. What a novel idea!!!!

Thank you for your enlightenment and wisdom, I now see the light. We're cheap, rude and crass. I hope you have a wonderful day. Eating at Outback Steakhouse and getting good service is like a one legged man in a butt kicking contest. It just doesn't work......
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#21 Author of original report

Okay, I'm Cheap

AUTHOR: James - (U.S.A.)

First of all, let me just say that our party was by no means rude to the staff. Also, none of us are cheap hence, going to Outback steakhouse. If we were cheap don't you think we would have went to another establishment instead of paying roughly $20/person to eat?

As for the amount of time to be seated, there is a big difference of being quoted one hour and twenty minutes versus two hours. Don't you think?

As for the issues of waiter vs. waitress, well we had two waiters and a waitress thank you very much. We had the waitress at our end of the table a waiter helping in the middle and another waiter at the other end. However, they were helping each other out when need be.

As for the entire bill being charged to my credit card! Well since you're intelligent, why don't you explain it to me because no one else has been able to figure it out either! That's the main reason the manager became involved in the first place.

I will have to make a mental note of what you said about Outback being a fast-food establishment which turns over tables quickley. That explains the bad service, nasty food, and incompetent manager. You see, I'm not everyone else nor is this area like every other, $20 per person is rather high in this area according to almost all other restaurants. You right, I should have went to a cheaper fast food restaurant such as applebees, bennigans, or maybe even a high class seafood restaurant located on the ocean front in virginia beach AND PAID LESS........ I could of had lobster tails for a cheaper price.......

As for being cheap, well maybe we were considering we left a 20% tip even though nothing was as expected. The only reason we left that much was well people live off of those tips. So you can do the math 20% of a $20 meal per person for 16 people adds up to $64. Yep, we're cheap alright.

As far as turning tables over quickley, if they brought our bill they could have even done it faster. Maybe if they processed our bill correctly, they could have got our tables faster. But wait they're a fast food dining establishment, we should have just ate at the bar and not wasted their time. Considering they are a FAST-FOOD DINING ESTABLISHMENT, you would think they would have brought us a bill.

They could have maybe even offered us dessert. What a novel idea!!!!

Thank you for your enlightenment and wisdom, I now see the light. We're cheap, rude and crass. I hope you have a wonderful day. Eating at Outback Steakhouse and getting good service is like a one legged man in a butt kicking contest. It just doesn't work......
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#22 Consumer Comment

Get a life!!! you were simply a rude, crass, not to mention cheap customer!

AUTHOR: Paul Pickle - (U.S.A.)

First of all, what did you expect, showing up on a SATURDAY NIGHT with a party of 16 PEOPLE without bothering to call ahead first and reserve a table for your crowd??? And to top it off, you ask for separate checks at the end of your meal?? AND you don't think that either of these two actions should be TIME CONSUMING or INCONVENIENT for the restaurant staff?

Secondly, it is unreasonable for you to complain about the quality and taste of your food when you yourself state that you NEVER mentioned your unsatisfaction to the waiter or management.

Thirdly, let's get some facts straight. You start out by talking about the "waiters" (several guys perhaps?) and then end by talking about how the "waitress was an idiot." Who was waiting on you? A guy? A girl? Several people? Also, if the "half" of your party had already paid for their food, then how did the ENTIRE bill get charged to your credit card at the very end of the meal? That makes no sense at all!

As for the "waiters" trying to rush everyone to order, you do realize that Outback is a casual fast-service dining establishment, do you not? It is one step up from fast food. If you wanted a leisurely, relaxing meal, perhaps you should have gone to a nicer establishment, especially considering it was your wife's birthday and all. Outback is a place to go, eat a good meal, and then leave. They turn tables quickly. Again, this is common knowledge to most people, so you might want to make a mental note for next time.

As for your ending about how the employees were so RUDE, is this really the case? You do not mention anywhere in your report about them being rude. You mentioned about having to wait a long time for your party of 16 (!) to be seated (not a valid complaint considering you did not have the brains to call ahead to let the restaurant know you were coming), that your food was horrible (also not a valid complaint since you never notified the server), that they did not sing "happy birthday" to your wife at exactly the right time (also not a valid complaint since this was simply a COURTESY that you REQUESTED that they do, not something they need to bend over backwards and stop everything to bow down to your every command). It sounds to me like Outback went above and beyond to accommodate your unexpected party, and that you were simply a rude, crass, not to mention cheap customer!
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