It's been 24 hours since I received a call from the local manager of our Terre Haute Red Lobster and I felt it neccessary to wait this long before responding as the call was very disturbing and I didn't want my initial anger to color my words.
That being said and time having passed, I'm still upset, so now I'll post my thoughts about Red Lobster's response to my blog posting of Monday.
To begin with, if you are not familiar with what occurred, please scroll down below this update for the original posting, which describes an unpleasant experience I had on Saturday at our local Red Lobster and their Lobster Fest promotion.
So I get a call yesterday afternoon from a man who identified himself as Shawn (Sean), the manager at Red Lobster. He apologized for our unpleasant experience with their restaurant on Saturday and asked some very thorough questions regarding the food we ate. He was polite to this point and offered to send a gift card to make up for the bad experience. I expressed some concern about eating at the same place where I got ill and he reassured me that the gift card was valid at Olive Garden as well, which my wife and I both really like. This satisfied my concerns and I was pleased... for only a moment.
Had it ended there, I would have considered the matter closed and posted a response here (as I have done with other issues in the past when dealing with customer service-related issues at other places) and praised the response and moved on. However, this Shawn/Sean felt obliged to then make a not-so-veiled implication that I was making up the whole story. "I'm not saying your making this up, but in the last several years, I have never had a single complaint like yours" was his statement. He outright accused me of lying and frankly, I found his comment to be both rude and offensive. If you have read any of my Oz books, you are well aware that Truth and Honesty are core values in the stories I write, especially since they are meant for kids and fans of the Wizard of Oz, not to mention that my parents raised me to be honest, truthful and I have imparted those values to my own 5 kids and 14 grandkids.
As such, I will NEVER spend my money at Red Lobster again and I will certainly NEVER recommend Red Lobster to anyone... ever! No wonder Darden Restaurants are losing money with this franchise if Shawn/Sean is any indicator of the management style employed at the rest of Red Lobster's outlets.
Previous Post Monday: March 31, 2014
Over the last few months, I had been reading where Red Lobster was facing declining sales numbers and facing a sell-off by their parent company, Darden Restaurants, and having enjoyed Red Lobster's fare in the past, I felt we should go there before it goes out of business. If my latest experience is any indicator, it won't be long before they are restaurant non grata! It turns out that I received a lovely case of food poisoning from their Lobster Fest.
Let's backtrack a bit for some background info. As I said, I've been reading reports of Red Lobster's imminent demise. So, when I started seeing ads for Lobster Fest while working up in North Dakota, I vowed to my wife that we would visit our local Red Lobster, which happens to be in Terre Haute, Indiana. We had been in the past and always enjoyed their lunch specials. Given our income back then, it was all we could afford about twice a year. Now, money is not an issue, so bring on the Lobster Fest I told myself.
So this previous Saturday, March 29, 20014, we showed up a little past 2pm and after a brief (15 minute) wait, we were seated and soon had two large Lobster Lover's plates before us. We hadn't eaten anything that day, so our appetites were quite high.
Initially, my wife was concerned about the serving temperature of the entree, but we didn't think too much over it. After paying our bill and going home, my wife felt a bit queasy and did so for the rest of the day. She was the lucky one! I also felt an initial queasiness, which soon turned into full blown diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting. I have spent the last two days confined to bed.
It's now a little over 48 hours later and, following a doctor's visit to confirm my concerns, it does indeed turn out that I had a lovely case of food poisoning.
Thank you Red Lobster for a lovely bout of diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting. What a lovely way to spend my time off from work.
I will think long and hard about ever returning to Red Lobster, and may never if this is what I can expect from there.
James C. Wallace II