If you've ever read my reviews, you'll see I'm pretty pleased with the experiences I've had while traveling, mostly because I do my research on TripAdvisor ahead of time. Yesterday, that wasn't the case when we stopped by the Macaroni Grill in Strongsville, Ohio.
We had been to this particular restaurant a long time ago when the kids were little, but the food and service was excellent so after a little shopping we thought what the heck - it was good last time it should still be (plus the parking lot was pretty crowded which is always a good sign).
First off, let me say the food was just as good as it was the last time we were there (a good dozen years ago) which is a high compliment to the cooking staff. The rosemary bread, the goat-cheese stuffed peppers, the pasta, the chocolate cake dessert all excellent.
However, that's where the good ended. We are pretty patient people and aren't snobbish by any stretch of the imagination. Nor do we expect to be waited on hand and foot while at a restaurant. However, having experience in the restaurant industry, we are probably more aware of what you should or should not do out on the floor where customers can see.
Though we were seated swiftly and got our order in quickly, we sat watching the management and waiters quarrel quietly beside customer tables. We thought perhaps it was just something momentary that needed attended to, but this behavior continued for a good hour as we ate and watched.
From the hostess stand, to the waiting staff, to who we later found out was the manager, there was no recognition that you don't complain within ear-shot of the customers. Sure, when you are back in the kitchen area or out of sight and hearing of customers, quietly complain all you want, but not right there where everybody is watching.
To add insult to injury, my wife forgot her purse so she went back in to retrieve it and was practically reprimanded by the hostess. She didn't have the common courtesy to treat her nicely and politely check on it, but rather pointed out the manager and told my wife to go ask her. What a crock.
Needless to say, though Macaroni Grill has only had our patronage twice in a dozen years, we will not be going back.
If you can put up with an unprofessional staff in lieu of some good food - go for it. But as a customer, I don't expect to have my meal interrupted with a gossiping staff or be treated like an interruption while panicking about a missing purse.
Never going back.
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