Denny’s Restaurants can be very good, very bad, or somewhere in between, depending on the location of the store. I suppose that is true with just about every chain store, but we have noticed this especially at Denny’s, as we travel frequently and have visited Denny’s in many locations.
Our most recent trip found us eating dinner at Denny’s in Boerne, Texas, on a Wednesday evening. The restaurant was not crowded when we arrived at 5:30, but unfortunately, due to some kitchen problems, it was nearly an hour before we received our food. I realize that things like this happen, and when it does, you find out just how good or bad a restaurant is.
It would be easy to say, ‘it’s okay, they were shorthanded’, but it’s really not okay. The true test of a restaurant, or any business for that matter, is how they handle problems.
It was obvious that the lone cook was working hard to get the food out, and at one point, we saw what we assumed was the manager, also in the kitchen helping out. There were some mistakes in our orders, and one meal was not cooked properly. I realize that a Denny’s cook is not a world-class chef, and I know they are not getting rich from their salaries. However, I do expect every cook in every restaurant to make certain that regardless of whether he/she has enough help, that every dish leaving the kitchen is as perfect as humanly possible. No matter how busy you are, your job is to produce excellent food.
Just two weeks before, we had eaten in an IHOP in Waco, Texas, and as we were seated, I noticed a sign on the wall in their kitchen that read, ‘If it ain’t perfect, don’t serve it.’ That is exactly the attitude that I want to see in every restaurant, regardless of the number of employees, and regardless of the circumstances. You show your professionalism – or lack of it – by what you do when the stuff hits the fan, as they say. Unfortunately, that wasn’t what was happening at Denny’s in Boerne that night.
Four of us enjoyed our meals, but our fifth member did not have a good meal, and that should never happen anywhere. You can’t excuse that away by saying, ‘sorry, we’re shorthanded’. I give the cook credit for getting four of our meals right, but in a well run restaurant, every meal is right – not just four out of five. I can overlook the delay in serving the food, but poor quality food for 20% of diners – absolutely not.