We were in NOLA celebrating my birthday and decided to patronize Harrah's buffet on a Thursday for all you can eat crab legs! The experience was wonderful. The food was delicious, our server was on point, and the general staff seemed upbeat.
The experience was so good, we decided to go back and on Saturday evening...insert catastrophe here...
We arrived at 8 pm to find that the line was about 40 people long in the "platinum/non member section" and there was no one in the "Diamond club/we spend a ton of dough section". When I observed that there were no less than 8 tables empty, waiting to be bussed and sat, I walked to the front of the line and inquired why there was only one cashier for our line or why the "diamond" cashier couldn't assist us since there was no one in here line.
I was told by management that even if they rung us up, there was no where to seat us...I quickly pointed out the 8-10 empty tables that needed to be cleaned and sat. She simply replied "Saturdays are crazy"...Which I translate to mean that you are understaffed and overwhelmed.
What really frustrated me was the lack of speed/sense of urgency that the staff including management showed.
At any point, we were seated and proceeded to the buffet. They were out of crab legs, so I waited. Decided to go ahead and get butter, but that was out too and there were no littel plastic cups for it anyways. So I decided to go get soup, but they were out of bowls (evidently, ppl had been using the bowls for the butter since the plastic cups were out.
Once the crab legs did arrive, you could tell they were not of the same quality as Thursday. They stuck to the shell and were more work than they were worth.
So I decided to take a different route, but they were out of plates. At one point they didn't even have cups!
As I waited at the buffet for God only knows what this time, I asked a gentleman cook what the deal was. I said "It's like you all don't care what happens to people who come later (8:15 mind you). His reply "Well you know what they say, the early bird gets the worm, the late bird gets whatever's left"...kid you not, he said that after we had just spent $74.12 to eat there.
I was flabbergasted and went back to my table which had plates piled on it (we only saw our server 2 times) and asked for a manager.
He apologized and simply admitted that things were going as planned on the floor. But he was shocked with what I had to say about the food quality/buffet/and early bird comment.
He offered us breakfast or brunch in the morning. Which we took him up on...insert epic fail here...
Let's just say that everything was out and clearly no one was watching what needed to be replenished. I give you one example of the no less than 7: The sausage gravy was out, I asked for more. told me it would be 15 minutes. No problem, I got something else while they prepared it. Went back...still no gravy. I asked a gentleman what was going on. He said not only had they run out on the buffet, but evidently there was none in the kitchen and they had to go to the storage area downstairs and it was completely frozen, meaning it would take an hour to prepare?
REALLY? I waited so long for so many things that one of the chefs came out and complimented me on my attitude. She offered to replace the meals, but I told her we were headed home. She gave us a voucher anyhow.
Now here's my disclaimer, I am a Director of Sales for a 4-star Starwood hotel in the heart of Atlanta. I am sensitive to the experience of customers, especially when I am one.
I say all this to say that the efforts in the kitchen represent a lack of unity, cooperation, and care for what you do and who you serve. But more importantly, it represents gross mismanagement of people and their abilities
It being the weekend is no excuse for the complete breakdown of communication and process! The weekend comes every 5 days, if that is happening every weekend, then there's a problem.
Though we had a great server the first night, and the chef complimented my patience, we will not be going back here.
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