It used to be that Bennigans was one of my favorite places to go eat. It comes from eating there for lunch every Saturday when I was growing up. Since then, though, I’ve noticed more and more Bennigans restaurants annoying the hell out of me, and even the ones I thought were decent are going downhill.
The three closest Bennigans restaurants to my house are the one at FM 1960 and I-45, the one at FM 1960 and Veterans Memorial, and the one at Willowbrook Mall. The one at Veterans Memorial has gotten pretty scuzzy over the years, and the last few times we went to the I-45 one, we’ve gotten rotten service. Sean has confirmed recently that the latter one has not been any better as of late. We went to the Willowbrook one on Saturday, and not only did my burger come out wrong, they only had cinnamon ice cream to go with the brownie bottom pie. (Yes, it tastes as bad as it sounds.) However, I had been telling my father recently that the one by my office (located on 610 by Buffalo Speedway) was pretty good to us. That all fell apart today.
I went to lunch there with my coworkers Cherry, Lettye, and Ruth. When we got there, we were told they had a new lunch promotion where certain menu items plus a soft drink were $4.99. We all ordered items off the lunch promotion, which were all standard Bennigans fare. From there, we waited… and waited… and waited…
After a while we started noticing that people who had been seated well before us were getting their food. At one point, Cherry stopped the waitress and asked why our food was taking so long. The waitress replied with a half-hearted, “Well, we do have a new menu…” I looked up at her, and said, “The stuff we ordered wasn’t.” She walked off, and at that point I realized that wasn’t the comeback I should have used. What I SHOULD have pointed out was that the menu was not changed at all. The only thing that had changed was the lunch promotion.
Anyway, a few minutes later, a table behind us got their food, and we had had enough. We stopped their waiter, and asked him to find out where our food was and to get the manager. Very shortly, the manager walked out with our food. The food was lukewarm, and both my meal and Cherry’s was served incorrectly. (I had asked the dressing in my salad to be pre-mixed in, and Cherry wanted mayo instead of honey mustard on her sandwich.) What angered us most, though, was the manager’s reaction to it all. Cherry was livid and demanded to know why the food was so late out and what he was going to do to remedy the problem. The manager gave a dumb smile and nodded; in essence, he acted as if he didn’t understand a word Cherry was saying. I almost did a Chris Tucker impression and asked, “Do you understand the words coming out of her mouth?”
FINALLY, the waitress brought the checks around… and the manager had only taken $1 off the meal for each person. Granted, it was $5 to begin with, but still, it almost seemed like an insult. We were already late, so Cherry and I put $5 in cash in each, and I lent Ruth and Lettye $5 each so they didn’t have to pay by debit/credit card and cause an even longer wait.
We used to go to that Bennigans just about weekly, ever since the corporate office moved into our building… and even then some of us went regularly before. No more. The staff’s unapologetic attitude basically guaranteed we will not be going back there for a good long while. That’s another Bennigans “lost” to us, which is a shame considering they used to be very good and quick. Now all I have left so far that I would go to are the Galleria and the 290 ones.
I hope it doesn’t happen, but in the meantime, we’ll see how long it takes for either of them to piss me off.