Friday, April 30, 2010

A Letter to Carino's Restaurant

Yesterday, my Bayberry got her braces put on and she looks adorable.

I wasn't able to cook, as we were out most of the afternoon, so we made plans to eat "dunch" as a family. We went to Carino's Italian Restaurant.

Our experience was terrible, and I want to share it with you. The tables were dirty, the staff was rude, the prices were high, and the food was bad. I had no time to speak with management about it, as Bayberry had to be at the orthodontist right away. I did email the company. I will definitely be letting my blog readers know if and when I get a response, and what the result is. Here's my letter:

Yesterday, my family and I visited your restaurant on ********** (removed for privacy). We were there around 1:45 p.m. for an early family dinner. I'm writing because we were dissatisfied with our experience.

The retaurant wasn't crowded, yet it took us 90 minutes to complete our meal. We ordered one chicken entree and three pizzas. One of the pizzas was made incorrectly (is was supposed to be extra cheese, sausage, and bacon, and was made with pepperoni instead). When we mentioned it, our server pulled out her notebook and said she had written down pepperoni, not bacon. Who cares what she wrote down, really? I'm sure it's not in your policy for your server to insist that the customer ordered incorrectly. Yet, the table behind ours had the same problem (server brought out the wrong pasta and checked her own notes and told the customer she had written such and such, not angel hair) with the same server. Basically, it leaves the feeling that the server is saying, "Tough luck, you ordered wrong." Please train your servers not to try to pin mistakes on their customers. Just fix it.

She offered to have the pizza remade, but we had no time for that. Besides, this particular customer was six years old. A six year old isn't going to be able to wait for an entirely new pizza while the rest of her family eats theirs. I asked her to bring out some bacon and we could add it to the pizza. She did.

My pizza (cheese and sundried tomatoes) had a soggy crust and smelled chemical. We had no time to correct these issues, as we had orthodontist and dentist appointments at 3:20 and we were served at 2:55. Had I had the time, I would have addressed these issues in the restaurant with the management.

Our drinks were not refilled aside from one refill for my husband. We ended up sharing what we had with the kids. We only saw our server when the food came out and then again when she delivered the bill.

The booth we were seated at had crumbs from the previous party's bread on it and a dirty kids' menu on the floor underneath.

Your prices are fairly high for the area, and as such, I expected a higher level of professionalism and service. Both were lacking.

I would love to give your establishment another chance, as we had intended it to be our go-to dinner location for the days when we have orthodontist appointments. However, I would need to be reassured that the problems we experienced yesterday are not the norm and have been corrected, as I have no intention of throwing $60+ at poor service and mediocre cuisine.
Readers, I encourage you to let owners and managers know when you have a great experience, and also when you have a poor one. Money talks. They want to please you. They just have to hear from their customers so they know what works and what doesn't. I also encourage you to use word of mouth. Tell your friends when a place is great. Tell them when a place is terrible. I didn't give Carino's my suggestions for what they ought to do to fix this wrong. I would like my meal refunded or a free lunch for the whole family next time we come in, and I'd like the management to speak to us at that time. Today, I decided to leave the ball in their court and let them offer to fix it, or not to offer to fix it. We'll see what they say, and I will let you know.
P.S. my kids are going well. Bayberry looks so cute in her braces, and hasn't had any pain so far. :)
Back to cooking tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Your experience is NOT unlike what we experienced at our Carino's. I too sent a letter to the manager and we did get a positive response. They told us they would 'retrain' our wait person. They refunded our money and gave us a coupon for a free meal too. We did go back, the same wait person...he had not be retrained that I could tell...we have not been back since...Roxie

Michelle J said...

Major bummer about the dunch disaster! We've had a few experiences like that too. I hope that you included the waitress's name in your letter so that they can take appropriate action with regard to her horrific service and attitude.

I'm so glad to hear that the girls' mouths aren't bothering them much. Hopefully things will stay mellow and they'll be able to get back to eating your amazing food soon. :)

Andrea said...

How sad that half way across the country I too have had similar experiences at Carinos. The food is bad and the prices are high. The staff is a joke. I'm sorry your dunch was such a drag. BOO!! I hope they fix it for you guys, but at the same time do you really want to go back? LOL

Glad to hear the girls are doing well. I hope you all have a great night :)

Jenn said...

I don't think there are Carino's here, but I'll never go there if I see one! Sucks that you had such a bad experience though!

tunamarie said...

I've always heard bad things about Carino's....

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