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Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
$10 - $15
CUISINES
American, Bar, Pub
Meals
Lunch, Dinner
Reviews (34)
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12
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LanguageEnglish
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Reviewed February 24, 2020

I have been in the restaurant industry for 20 years. I have been a bartender for 13 years. I am well-versed in best practices for the restaurant industry. The Shelby, NC location of Applebee's failed miserably at nearly every step during our visit. The town...is small, and there were very limited options for our Valentine's dinner. We were in town for my husband's business, and chose Applebee's for our special date. This was a mistake. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were told there would be a 45-minute wait for a table. This was even though at least 50% of the tables were empty. I understand that occasionally restaurants must go on a "kitchen wait" when the BOH gets backed up, but this didn't seem to be the case. There were servers milling about, and nobody was acting with a sense of urgency. There happened to be two seats available at the bar, so we elected to sit there instead of waiting for a table. Far less than ideal for a romantic date, but better than waiting to sit at tables that were already empty. Once we sat at the bar, it took nearly 5 minutes for the bartender to even acknowledge us. I understand sometimes it gets busy behind the bar, but it takes minimal effort to make eye contact and signal or say that you'll be right with a guest. When we finally were greeted, we got coasters dropped and were told by the bartender (Kristin D) that she'd be right back. Once she finally took our drink order, I ordered two Tito's and soda with a splash of pineapple. Seeing as I have been behind the bar for over a decade, I know how to pour liquor (both with and without jiggers). Regardless of the fact that I can count liquor, I can also use my eyeballs and see when somebody has not filled the jigger completely. The bottle of Tito's did not have enough vodka in it to make two drinks, so Kristin D split the liquor between our glasses and attempted to serve us the short-poured drinks. When I called her attention to this fact, Kristin D was rude and dismissive and questioned as to what motivation she would have for short-pouring drinks. Generally speaking, corporate restaurants keep the back-up bottles of liquor locked in a cage in dry storage or locked in the office and you have to get a manager to get another bottle. This bartender obviously did not want to take the time to get a new bottle of Tito's and pour our drinks properly. We asked to have Bud Light with some olives in the beer instead. Kristin D poured the Bud Lights and opened the cooler to get olives. She came over with our beers and reported that they were out of olives. Again, I understand that sometimes bars and restaurants run out of stock. But also in general, bar olives come in very large jars, and the back-ups are kept in the back in dry storage. Kristin D made no attempt to check to see if there was another large jar of olives in dry storage. At this point, it began to strike me that we had a very lazy bartender on our hands. She had a bar back/server drink maker helping her, and the bar was not even full. The restaurant wasn't full either. Kristin D was incredibly inefficient at her job and made no effort to deliver the basic minimum of decent service. After finally getting drinks, we wanted to see a menu. After all, we were out for our Valentine's Day dinner. Kristin D did not offer menus or ask us if we wanted to have something to eat. I had to get up and go to the host stand (where there was no host on duty) and retrieve menus myself. After deciding what we wanted to eat, and indicating such by folding our menus and putting them forward on the bar, we had to wait quite some time for our dinner order to be taken. I mean, this was just seriously slow and awful service. We started off by ordering an appetizer, and decided we would wait until the app arrived to put our entree order in so we could enjoy our food and each other's company. Once the appetizer arrived, we informed the food runner (who was the bar back) that we would like to place an entree order. The bar back told us she would inform Kristin D that we wanted to order dinner and I watched the bar back tell Kristin D we were ready to order. It took Kristin D over ten minutes to come over and take our order. She served multiple other guests before us, and didn't even check to make sure we had everything we needed or do a two-minute check back. Our beers ran empty and once again, we sat waiting. Our beers had been empty for over five minutes before Kristin D came to check and see if we would like another round and if we knew what we wanted to order for dinner. She took our order, but didn't write it down. She had to turn around and ask us twice what we had told her. It looks so unprofessional if you can't remember what you don't write down. Just go get a server pad. As my husband and I are sitting and waiting on our food, some colleagues of his who had sat at a table behind us called our attention over. They had arrived after we did, and they were sitting there with all of their meals finished and waiting on their check. How on earth did this happen? We got there first and these other folks had finished their entire meal before our entree even arrived? Our entrees finally arrive. We ordered sirloin steaks. They were cooked decently well, but the cut of meat was inedible. I took two bites of my steak before I gave up. I also ordered a premium side, the four cheese bacon mac and cheese. It came out stone cold, with no bacon, and shredded cheese just sitting on top of the plate, not melted at all. Talk about terrible plate presentation. We let the bartender know, and she got a new side of mac and cheese for me. The mashed potatoes were pretty good, but I was so over it at this point, it's hardly a redeeming factor for the visit. So we get the check and pay out. I had to go to the bathroom, so we headed to the back of the restaurant. The bathroom was absolutely filthy. Not only were the broom and dustpan leaned against the walls, there was trash all over the place. Worst of all, when I went into the stall, there was puke all over the wall and floor! Disgusting! I've been going out to eat for a long time. I'm also a career restaurant person who understands how to deliver a fantastic customer experience. This Applebee's was awful. The restaurant was filthy everywhere, the service was terrible, the workers were milling about and not hustling, and the manager never approached us to check on our experience. I have never had a worse experience in a restaurant ever. This restaurant gives Applebee's a bad name. My husband told this story to a colleague the next day and she told him "What did I tell you yesterday? You should have gone to Fatz." This indicates that even the locals know this Applebee's location is trash. My take-away is this location is poorly managed. Not so many things can go wrong without top-down issues. Applebee's has their brand reputation at stake with this location. Truly a terrible experience. Except for the mashed potatoes. I have photos of the filthy restaurant, including the puke in the bathroom. I also have a photo of how my plate came out of the kitchen.More

Date of visit: February 2020
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Reviewed January 20, 2020 via mobile

I hadn't been to Applebees in over 10 years before this visit. It was absolutely wonderful. So much so that my wife and I have added it to our lunch list. The service was fantastic. It was clean, organized, staffed, and the food was so...good my wife and I started asking ourselves why we didnt go sooner. It was really good!More

Date of visit: January 2020
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Reviewed February 19, 2019

Love going here. Great service and food. You don’t wait long to get your food. The menu is loaded with great selections.

Date of visit: February 2019
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Reviewed October 7, 2017 via mobile

A friend and I met for a pedicure then wanted somewhere to go get a quick sit down lunch and chose this Applebee’s. Neither had been here in over a year and after looking at the menu we remembered why. She wanted shrimp cocktail..nope didn’t...have it..she wanted sliders...nope didn’t have that so she just settled on a kids burger. I was going to get a salad but when I took the cheese and bacon off there was only lettuce so I passed . The service was great but the menu is much to be desired for a quick small portion lunch even on the appetizer menu.More

Date of visit: October 2017
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Reviewed July 6, 2017

I met some friends here for my birthday and really hoped for a good steak and potato dinner. Came to find out that the online menu is not correct even though I had requested the menu for Shelby, NC. According to our server, Applebee's does...not serve baked potatoes in the Carolina's. Odd that people in NC or SC would not request a baked potato with their dinner. I ordered my steak medium rare and it arrive more rare that medium rare. The grilled vegetables were grilled but not cooked. My friend ordered a burger that recommended a certain beer as a complement but Applebee's did not serve that brand of beer. What???? This was my second visit to this restaurant, that never seems busy, and this restaurant is always to cold. Take an extra shirt along. The server was pleasant and even provided a ice cream sundae in honor of my birthday but I cannot recommend this restaurant. This Applebee's is not on par with other Applebee's that I have visited.More

Date of visit: June 2017
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Reviewed March 14, 2017 via mobile

Despite being a chain, the service and food were very good. Our server was busy but kept checking on our glasses and quality of food.

Date of visit: March 2017
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Reviewed February 21, 2017 via mobile

About 10 of my family members met here on a Sunday at 3:00 for my grandfather's 83rd birthday. We had an entree come out 25 minutes after everyone else's, our server was never anywhere to be found, managers didn't seem to care and definitely weren't...friendly or accomodating. There was a table of 5 near us that seemed very unhappy as well, anytime they needed something, they had to stop a random employee. We were there for right at 2 hours, there were two empty tables near us that were covered with dirty dishes until we got up to leave. Since it was 3:00, the place wasn't very crowded, but the service and the environment were terrible. My family agreed that we will never go back here again.More

Date of visit: February 2017
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Reviewed January 23, 2017

a real good place to eat drink and watch the game staff very very nice. bar oh man great bar order the long island ice tea

Date of visit: January 2017
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Reviewed December 26, 2016 via mobile

Went for a friends after Christmas lunch. Service was slow. Waited 50 minutes for our meal. After asking for the manager we got our food, Cold. We ask for boxes to go. The manager did comp our meal. Food was good once we got it....Don't think I will be back soon.More

Date of visit: December 2016
Helpful?1  
Reviewed July 25, 2016

When we arrived at this restaurant, I thought it was closed because there seemed to be very little cars in the lot. When I went to the door to see if they were opened I was greeted by one of the waitresses, who said they...were open but business was slow. Once inside we were seated and was asked what we would like to drink. With the drinks served, we were given time to browse the menu and make our selection. Once the food was served, my pastor said his fries were cold and we brought this to the attention of the waitress. Within minutes the manager returned to our table with a fresh order of fries. Overall the service was excellent and the refills were prompt.More

Date of visit: July 2016
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Frequently Asked Questions about Applebee's

Yes, Applebee's offers takeout services.

Applebee's is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 2.5
  • Service: 2.5
  • Value: 2.5
  • Atmosphere: 2.5