I thought that this would be interesting to all those who purchase The Train Package to the Grand Canyon and receive the meal vouchers for Max and Thelma's Restaurant in Williams. I sent an email to the General Manager of the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, AZ. Read on...
Dear Mr. Pieterick,
I understand that you are the General Manager for the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. I have just booked a three night package for March of 2007. My family and I are very much looking forward to this vacation. From reading other peoples' positive comments on the train trip, we are all anticipating a great time. However, while researching your hotel and reading the dining comments from past visitors I was very distressed to read about all the negative experiences with the food at Max and Thelma's restaurant that were posted on the Trip Advisor website tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g31407-Williams_…
I am considering changing our hotel reservation to another hotel because of all these negative dining reviews. But first, I want to check with you to see if you have addressed this situation with Max and Thelma's restaurant? Has the management or service and the food quality improved since July? It is a such a shame to have this problem when everything else seems to be excellent. I am hoping that you have corrected this situation. Please let me know if this has changed or not. Kindly reply to all so that I will receive your reply.
Thank you for your help in this situation,
His response below...
I visited the link you provided to TripAdvisor referencing the complaints about food at our restaurant. It is obvious from reading these comments that not all of our customers were entirely pleased with their dining experience, and I truly regret anyone left with this impression. Our goal is to have zero complaints, but we realize that as hard as we try, we will occasionally miss with something. I can assure you that when that happens, we work equally as hard to make things right for that customer.
I also noticed that the number of negative comments regarding our food quality totalled ten; five from this year and five from 2005. Just so you get some idea of the level of activity at our restaurant, we served 462,287 meals in 2005, and we are on pace to exceed that number this year. This is the equivelant of nearly one million meals over two years with ten people saying it was "terrible." I have to believe that if our food was truly as bad as these people say, the number of complaints would be much higher than it is. I can also say from personal experience that this is not the case because I eat from the same buffet nearly six days a week, and usually at least once per day.
Mr. Baker, this is not to say every complaint is not a concern, but the truth of the matter is we also know we will at times be unable to please some customers regardless of what we do for them. You can be assured that if you have a problem during your visit, and if you give us a chance to remedy it, we will do what we can to make it right for you.
Finally, let me also explain a bit of what our restaurant is so you don't come with an inflated expectation - namely a value priced family style restaurant that strives to provide a hot and nourishing meal to our guests without charging them "arm and a leg". We do not represent that this will be the finest dining experience you have ever had, but as I said, we serve nearly half a million meals annually, and our price for the dinner buffet is only $13.95 INCLUSIVE. Included at this price ($13.95) is our salad bar, one or two home made soups, hot buffet with carved Prime Rib (nightly) and two other hot entrees, choice of starch and vegetables, hot or cold non-alcoholic beverage, and dessert. Our price also includes tax and gratuity. In addition, if a customer finds our buffet not to their liking, they may instead order from our regular menu and apply their buffet credit against their menu order, paying only the difference between the price of the buffet and what was ordered from the menu (if any).
If you are not happy with the selections provided on the buffet, please consider the menu. If after you dine you find the food was of the caliber described on TripAdvisor, I will personally issue you the appropriate credit for the money you were charged for your meals. Now that you know what our restaurant provides to our customers, I will trust you to be fair in your evaluation of us. I believe this is as good a guarantee as any restaurant in the world is willing to provide. I hope your fears are now eliminated, and we look forward to your upcoming visit. Thank you for the chance to be of service.
Very respectfully yours,
Vice President Resort Operations
Grand Canyon Railway
928-773-1976 x 3025