Believe me, I write this post rather reluctantly. I really didn’t want to write it at all, but I did promise an update whenever one occurred…
I have written in a previous post about an awful experience we had at the TGIFriday’s in Cherry Hill, NJ. A rep from Guest Relations had reached out to me, and a couple days later, the manager of the Cherry Hill Friday’s also contacted me, and I was sent some “Be Our Guest” passes to try that location again. He’d also asked me to call in advance to let me know we would be coming, as we may have had our children with us and he wanted to make KinderGirl’s ruined birthday dinner up to her.
The girls were at the Wench-in-law’s on Saturday, April 27th, and two friends of the Mister and I wanted to go out to dinner. We decided to go to the Cherry Hill Friday’s. I was going to call ahead, but the Mister stated that he didn’t want any special treatment, that he wanted to get the same treatment as everyone else. After some thought, and being that we did not have the girls with us, I agreed.
When we walked in, it was about 9:30pm. The restaurant was not crowded at all, so we thought we’d have a better experience this time. The Mister was handed a pager and told there was a 15 minute wait. We looked around at a bunch of empty tables. Though to be fair, it’s probable that those sections were closed, and they might have been short on floor staff. So that really didn’t bother me at all, honestly.
Our pager buzzes, and we’re shown to a booth (ironically, the exact same booth we’d sat at before), a booth that had been empty and prepped from the time we walked in the door. Again, maybe the server in that section was overwhelmed (known as being “in the weeds”), so I didn’t care about that.
I ordered the same dish I’d ordered last time, the Chicken Bruschetta Pasta. The Mister ordered a Steak and Ribs platter, and our friends ordered Chicken Fingers and a burger, plus we ordered apps. The apps came out, and I loved the Fried Mozzarella, and the White Cheddar Queso was good as well, though the Mister stated he felt that the portion was much smaller than last time.
When our dishes came out, I was thrilled. Mine looked awesome, and there were no food tags to be found. The chicken was delicious, the pasta was perfectly al dente, and it was amazing. The Mister felt that his steak was dry, but had good taste.
Our main problem was the service…our server and the service he provided was painfully slow. Whereas the previous time, our server had been great at keeping us informed about the delays, our server would just vanish. Refills took forever, and the section we were in didn’t look to be that busy. In fact, the entire restaurant was less busy than it had been when we went for KinderGirl’s birthday.
During the dinner, to be honest, it wasn’t a big deal, as we weren’t really in a hurry. But then our friend who had ordered the Chicken Fingers finally bit into one after noshing on the fries for a little bit, and then she showed it to our other friend, then us. It was pink. Our server brought over a manager, who said he’d have the kitchen cook and box up another one to go. Then another manager came over a couple minutes later, and asked what happened and was brought up to speed. At that time, he also dropped off our check, but it wasn’t separated. He went off to separate our checks, and not 30 seconds later our server appeared with our separated checks. We handed him our cards, our passes, and a free app card we’d been given. He took our check holder.
We didn’t see him for 20 minutes. When he brought us our slips, he explained that there’d been some issues with the discounts, but we would have appreciated being informed of that while we were worried about why our credit cards were gone for so long.
When I had spoken to the manager on the phone, he had stated that he was there to try and turn the Cherry Hill TGIFriday’s around. I can appreciate that, and I can understand all too well the minor setbacks that, when combined in multitude, can bring a restaurant to its knees in a grinding halt. I have confidence in the general manager’s motivation to turn the Cherry Hill TGIFriday’s around, but I have to wonder if this location is beyond hope.
The Mister and I will still be customers of TGIFriday’s from time to time, but until we see current reviews reflecting the changes that the manager hopes to bring, we will stay away from the Cherry Hill location.
To the manager of the Cherry Hill TGIFriday’s, please don’t take it personally. We’ll be back, once it’s all turned around, and I have nothing but good wishes for you in your endeavor to make the Cherry Hill TGIFriday’s a location that the entire company can be proud of. You have your work cut out for you, and I hope it all goes well. Your handling of my initial complaint was professional, friendly, and made me feel like you truly care about the guest experience. You’re a credit to the company, and I hope you succeed in rehabbing the Cherry Hill TGIFriday’s.