This Ponderosa has to have the worst customer service record in the history of dining out.
About two months ago my roommate and I ate at this restaurant. According to the sign at the register chopped steak and hamburgers are only served medium-well or well done due to food safety concerns. We both ordered cheeseburgers medium-well and the buffet. We were told that the general manager didn't allow burgers to be served any way but well done and that the signs would be removed but that we'd get our burgers medium-well for that visit.
When the food arrived the burgers were way beyond well done. Not only were they cooked all the way through (well done); they were charred almost beyond recognition. We asked for a manager and were refunded the cost of the burgers.
Now Ponderosa is running a deal that if you bring in a fast food receipt you get the dinner buffet for $8.00 so we figured we'd give them another try since the buffet itself was great the first time.
We went in with our fast food receipt and ordered two buffets and two large drinks. The price posting on their menu board for drinks only lists one price for drinks ($1.99). Our total for two buffets and two drinks came out to $26 and change.
I tried explaining that we weren't given the discount on the buffet (normally $9.49) and that they had charged extra for our drinks. The cashier "Melissa" walked away from the register to go get the manager and on her walk away was audibly swearing under her breath. The other customers in line even commented on how rude she was.
When the shift manager "Ruth" came over I tried explaining the issue and was told rather rudely that she "was an adult and didn't deserve to be spoken to that way". I gave her a puzzled look and tried once again to explain. She then told us we were given the discounted price and that they charged $1.40 extra for the cup itself since it's a "take out" cup. She also told us that if we were going to continue being difficult that we could just take our money back and leave. I told her that was fine and that we'd just take our money back.
When I asked for contact information for the store's general manager I was told "I'm the one in charge right now." After asking whether the shift manager was without a supervisor she told me that it was a corporate store and that any complaint had to go through corporate. She then told me that the corporate website was ponderosa.com (which is an unrelated ad site, the site is actually ponderosasteakhouses.com which at the moment in unavailable).
Only after asking a third time for the name of the general manager did she finally give me the name (Lisa Bolio) and then told me "good luck, your not going to accomplish anything by being difficult". We then left the restaurant along with several other couples that were waiting in line that had listened to all this transpire.
I can't believe that A) they refused to realize that they didn't in fact give the promotional price, B) that they can even justify charging $3.39 for a soda, C) that they believe it's acceptable to swear in front of customers or D) to have managers that can't control their behavior in front of a group of customers.
It's not rocket science-
2x $8.00 Buffets - $16.00
2x $1.99 Drinks - $3.98
Tax on $19.98 - $1.55
Total - $21.53
On top of that confusion, the sign at the register showing burgers & chopped steak as available medium-well is still present and I was told that it was actually corporate that doesn't allow them served anyway but well done. Why then does Ponderosa corporate print signs that say otherwise?
I guess I'll never know, I've e-mailed corporate several times and never get a response.
Watertown, New York