How Corporate Food Service is Killing the Restaurant Experience

Being in the food service industry for over thirty years. I feel I am an expert on the restaurant industry. 

I am a big fan of eating at privately owned restaurants. I love knowing the family that owns and works the restaurant every day. Privately owned restaurants tend to care about your dinning experience.

Privately owned restaurants know how hard you work for the money you are spending at their establishment. Since the building is theirs, they tend to take care of the appearance of the dinning room and exterior.

The menus normally have local trends and products incorporated in the menu items. You also have the pleasure of choosing some creative black board specials.

Since I created www.foodfhonebook.com. I like to dine at a variety of restaurants. The purpose is to talk to great chefs and educate myself of whats hot and what’s not in the local food service industry.

Well, this weekend I wanted to visit some of the corporate restaurants in my area. It’s been a long time since dinning out at Chillis and IHOP.

Now I remember why I hate the corporate restaurant world. I had the worst dinning experience of my life. 

Chilli’s

The pleasant hostess brought us to our table. To find the table and seats soaking wet. The bus boy used a soaking wet towel to wipe everything into the floor. We asked to have the table wiped dry. So, the bus boy comes over with napkins and attempts to dry the table. He left little bits of napkin all over the table.

The waitress came to the table to introduce herself. (Great job).

We ordered our two ice teas and bottomless nachos.

They came out fine. The waitress said she would be back to take our order. Well that was the last we saw of her for 20 minutes. We finally found her. We asked for more ice tea and some more salsa for the chips. She then stated that our food would be out shortly. I looked at my wife then at her. I am sure with a very puzzled look on my face . Then stated ” We haven’t ordered yet”. 

She totally forgot about us!!!!!!!!!

When the food came to our table it was sub par at best.

IHOP

I can honestly say this was the worst experience of my life.

1. Enter the restaurant and walk up to the hostess station. My wife and I where sticking to the floor. Don’t these corporate restaurants all use ECOLAB. The guys in the white lab coats and push really expensive products on you and train your staff on how to clean your restaurant. I am assuming they missed this one.

2. Waited 10 minutes to be seated ( That was fine)

3. Again another soaking wet table and seat. All the trash was wiped onto the floor.

4. We sat and waited 20 mintutes before a waitress came to introduce herself. We couldn’t even find a manager. People where walking out.

5. Waitress finally shows up takes our order and leaves. We didn’t see her for another 15 minutes until she brought our drinks back.

6 . Again two ice teas. I needed to find silverware for my wife so she could scoop all the lemon seeds out of her tea. A nice bus boy brought us some silverware.

7.Our food finally comes out. My wife only receives one of her plates she had to wait for her eggs and hash browns. Mine came out in one piece. But cold and bad. Onion rings where stales. At 1pm in the afternoon. During your lunch hour how contour have stale onion rings. I was on the line for years. I never had stale onion ring at one o clock.

Really!!!!!!!!

Know I am not a complainer. 

But I am finding in the corporate restaurant industry some very common problems.

1. Lack of qualified management on the floor during peak hours.

2. Lack of training both management and staff

3. Lack of quality controls enforce on plating 

4. Lack of pride in plate appearance 

5. Lack of training on cleaning procedures

I believe alot of this issues can be fixed quickly with a little investment from some of these corporate restaurants. I feel they are turning a blind eye to the basics. 

Corporate restaurants where alway known for their training. A new restaurant manager would have an intense training program before he / she would ever hit the floor.

Remember corporates. You can put a pretty building up and a flashy menu. But if your service is bad, your quality is bad people are not coming.

Thank you 

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2 thoughts on “How Corporate Food Service is Killing the Restaurant Experience

  1. Independent Restaurant Operators are No different when it comes to what you experienced with Chain Restaurants.

    What’s changed is the Consistency with Food on the Menu for both Chains & Independents..

    Blame the Chefs or Owners for allowing it to happen…(Not All Chefs/Independents)

    Buying products for less Monies to save on Cost of Goods is changing the quality of the Entrées we eat as patrons.

    I never question what I’m paying for an Entrée I chose however, it better be Damn Good and support the Menu Price Restaurants are charging…from $15 to $36 for a choice on the menu I expect No Flaws and No Excuses just a Great Experience.

    Like

    • Badger
      Great points.
      My expectations on performance and experience are always higher at corporate.
      They sell the facts that they have systems in place to educate the staff.
      Training for managers
      So, lately I find the experience to be very poor.
      I believe they don’t spend the money on training programs for staff and management. I also believe they don’t recruit and compensate the best any more.
      They are going the path of automation in the kitchen and bodies on the floor

      Like

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