MisAdventures at IHOP
Anger, Hunger, and Milkshakes
Today’s National Pancake Day. My family and I decided to have brunch at IHOP. The weather was wonderful, warm and sunny. Autumn was off to a great start. We hopped into the car and drove to the IHOP restaurant in Dedham, Mass.
Upon arrival, we saw that the parking lot was packed. When we went in, we were told that the wait would be between 10–15 minutes. The waiting area was crowded and since we’re still in a pandemic, we decided to wait outside. I used the opportunity to go to the Stop & Shop gas station next door to fill up and add air to my front tires.
I was gone for exactly 15 minutes. When I returned, my family was still sitting outside. A text, telling us our table was ready, didn’t happen. Knowing my family was hungry, I pretended to have received the text and went inside to the check-in desk. I told the host that I had been contacted and after a moment, we were seated at our table.
Alas, karma had other ideas. While we had a table, it was at least ten minutes before someone came over to take our order. And that was after my sister had asked another server about our table. It was a young woman with jet Black hair and oversized eyelashes. We gave her our order and she hurried off to put it in.
The restaurant was busy, but I noticed that people who were seated around the same time as us or even after we had arrived were receiving their food at a much faster pace. There was a young couple next to us who received their food, ate, and got their check while we were still waiting for our food. We complained to our server who said our food would be out shortly. Shortly turned into 30 minutes later.
While we nursed our drinks and continued to wait, the waitress brought out some fruit salad for us to munch on. I was grateful as my stomach was grumbling and my energy was low. The fruit was fresh and sweet. It was a much-welcomed appetizer. But it wasn’t enough. Where was our food?!
Finally, about 45 minutes after taking our order, our food arrived. However, there was another problem — only three plates had been delivered to our table. My sister, who was ravenous at this point, had not received her food. It would be another 15 minutes before she would have anything in front of her.
The kids and I dug in. I felt bad for my sister, but I was starving. The fruit had been nice, but I needed something solid in my stomach. I had eggs with hash browns and bacon and pancakes on the side. Everything was delicious. At least our food was delivered hot. But my sister was still waiting for her order.
The server came over and again said the food was coming. There was some issue in the kitchen. As a peace offering, the server offered my sister a chocolate milkshake. It looked good with whip cream and colorful sprinkles on top. My sister was heated! She politely refused the milkshake and just wanted her food. The server scurried away towards the kitchen.
My sister’s food arrived. It was hot and smelled delicious. The server explained the delay was due to the fact that the cook had run out of bread to do the French Toast my sister had wanted. They had to get some more bread which delayed the process. We both looked at the server with wide eyes. Why didn’t anyone restock the bread when they saw it was running low? There is a Stop n Shop a short distance away from the restaurant. Someone could have run over and bought some bread. My sister asked for the manager.
The manager came over to our table. He was a tall, young man. He was dressed in a checkered shirt, pants, and loafers. My sister and I explained the situation — the wait for a server, the delay with our order, and the delay with my sister’s food. Even the fact that we had asked for extra napkins and syrup and it was never delivered. The service had been terrible.
The manager apologized. But then he asked us what he should do to rectify the situation. Why are you asking us? As a manager, he should know how to appease angry customers. Finally, he suggested a discount on our meal. We agreed to that, but my sister was still upset. She stated she would not be returning to this IHOP location any time soon.
We received our bill and the manager had kept his word. We had a substantial discount on our meal. We paid and have the server her tip (much of the situation wasn’t her fault). It was close to 3 p.m. when we left the restaurant. A good chunk of our time was wasted in one place. We had other things to do today.
We got in the car and headed out of the parking lot. My sister and I reflected on the IHOP experience. Some parts were laughable. Other parts were frustrating. IHOP in Dedham needs to do better, Fortunately, the day was still sunny and warm. We headed off towards our next destination and the adventure that awaited us there.