T.G.I. Friday’s Restaurant: Shame on you. A.K.A. Have you ever found something in your food that wasn’t supposed to be there?

Thursday was the first day of school for my three boys.  My husband decided it would be fun to celebrate by bringing the family out to dinner.  We don’t often go to T.G.I. Friday’s because there are other restaurants closer.  Well, now we have a new reason not to go there.

Okay, I’m not going to say there was a rat on my plate or anything.  This isn’t a gruesome story.  Rather, it is a testimonial on lack of customer service at T.G.I Friday’s.

While enjoying my dinner, I took a stab of my vegetable medley (which was zucchini and yellow squash with a few red peppers) and I spied something odd-colored mixed in with my veggies.

I picked up a sizable date-tag.  It looked a lot like a price tag you see sometimes in a store, only larger.

Okay, so someone made a mistake.  No biggie.  I’m not the kind of person to create a scene.  My husband said I should say something, so when the waitress came over I said “You should ask the people in the kitchen to be more careful.”

She said she would tell the manager, and she took the tag away.  I should have taken a picture of it as evidence.

My kids, at that point, started dreaming about free dessert.  I didn’t really want that.  The more I thought about it though; there was ink on that tag.  Did any come off into my food?

Now, let’s talk about customer service… Again, I didn’t necessarily want anything free.  I wanted them to be careful.  After all, I’m not dumping $85 for a meal to have trash on my plate, right?

We waited, finished our meals, got the check, paid and left.


We never saw a manager.  No one apologized. (Not even the waitress).

I left thinking, Huh? My husband asked if I wanted him so say something.  I thought… no, the price of the meal was not worth getting everyone’s blood pressure up.  I figured I can do something better.

Sorry T.G.I. Friday’s… despite the mistake, you had a chance to shine.  A simple stroll out of the manager’s office and an “I’m sorry” would have made me a happy, understanding customer.

Instead, I am writing an article about my experience, tagging it, and shooting it off to 650 or so people.  And now we’re gonna chat about it.

Bag press stinks, doesn’t it?

So, I am sure there are much worse stories out there.  Bring it on!

What have you found on your plate at a restaurant that was not supposed to be there?

What kind of bad customer service have you experienced that made you not want to go back?

(This should be an interesting conversation)


28 responses to “T.G.I. Friday’s Restaurant: Shame on you. A.K.A. Have you ever found something in your food that wasn’t supposed to be there?

  1. My latest personal beef is with Rogers (Canadian telecommunications company). I tried to cancel my internet/cable with them, only to discover that I had been locked into a 2 year contract without anyone telling me. Gah.

  2. If it’s an honest mistake and I get some feedback on the issue, I’ll give a restaurant another chance, but two strikes and I’m outta there.

  3. Not a restaurant case, but a big hotel in Nashville. My husband and I were there for a conference (not our choice of locations!), and our room wasn’t ready, even at 6:00 pm. Still not ready when we got back from dinner. They did then give us the keys so we could put our bags in the room. It was trashed from the previous occupants. I never yell, but I went through the roof with management on this one. It’s not like this place wasn’t used to large crowds. The room should have been cleaned on schedule.

    But it worked. We got a good price discount, a huge fruit basket and bottle of wine, and personal apologies from higher ups. They did try to make it right. And I appreciate that. But as others have said, when management doesn’t do that, it can cost them.

  4. Sorry to hear about your experience. Sadly, that kind of service is true of a lot of places.

  5. I had written a post about this a few months ago. There IS no service anymore. I go to grocery stores and the employees are miserable and never helpful. They actually look for YOU to get out of the way so they can pass instead of the other way around. Restaurants as well. Once my husband and I went to Red Lobster and spent about $100 just for the two of us. We had to continuously look for and call the guy for things we wanted like water and more bread. We usually get great service there but not this time. The guy sucked and we left $0 as a tip. I’ve never done that before but it burns my ass the way that even if they give you lousy service, they still expect a huge tip….just ridiculous.

    • Ha! I’ve never given NO tip, but I have adjusted accordingly. I didn’t on Thursday though, becuase it wasn’t really the waitress’s fault.

      • Yeah…I wouldn’t have taken it out on her either. But in our case, there really WAS no service so I didn’t feel that he deserved anything. I’ve been a waitress before and gotten no tip for providing a GOOD service..so if he was expecting a good tip, he was shit out of luck.

  6. My mom-in-law found a long hair in her food one time, and she told the waitress. The manager came out and apologized, and they took the meal off the bill AND gave us a free round of drinks. Mistakes happen, and as long as people own up to it, I’ll give them a second chance.

    TGIFs sure missed the yacht on this one. Too bad.

  7. Oh dear, oh dear, TGIs. Tut tut.
    That really is shocking. I’m afraid I don’t have any stories like that; I seem to be lucky in all the places I go to. In fact, there are so many places I go to regularly, that it almost feels like visiting family. And they treat me really well.

    • Yay for you! I wanna live where you are. Actually, we usually get great service from Applebees and Friendly’s as far as chains go. Mom and Pops usually give good service, but there are not many around anymore.

  8. I’m with you–mistakes happen, I get that. But as you point out, an acknowledgement and apology from the management can make a huge difference. And if they throw in a free dessert? Even better. It seems the non-chain restaurants are better about this. We have a local pizza place we visit, and last time the pizza took awhile when my husband went to pick it up. He didn’t think much of it actually–just read the paper while waiting. But given they had our home address from other orders and deliveries we’ve placed, they sent us an apology letter with a $10 off coupon for our next visit. Talk about an unexpected surprise. Now that’s how you keep people coming back.

  9. My husband got a piece of glass in his mouth in a frozen yogurt years ago and so we stopped going to a restaurant that had been a favourite of ours –we just did not feel management took the matter seriously enough

  10. I find odd things in my wife’s cooking all the time. And if I want to continue having home cooked meals there’s not a damn thing I can do about it!

    (Sorry Wifey! That obviously isn’t true. I just wrote it for the humour value.)

    But seriously, she does get overly irate whenever we find something unwanted in my son’s take-out meals: cheese. He does not like cheese at all and she understandably gets immensely frustrated when she has to repeatedly go back into a popular burger restaurant and ask the manager “Which part of NO CHEESE do your people not understand?!”
    She usually just gets her money back but only once did the manager publicly called out for all the workers’ attention and scolded them with words to the effect of “When you receive a special order please pay attention to the order and the ingredients and get it right!” This was clearly heard by all the customers!

  11. When I lived in Atlanta, I went to this little mom and pop southern buffet restaurant. I’d been going there for years and the food was always fantastic. Then one day I went and almost bit into a roach hiding amongst my green beans. I almost puked. I never went back. I told the waitress about it, but no one removed the container of green beans from the buffet line and they didn’t offer any compensation. It wouldn’t have mattered. After you find a bug in your meal, you can’t go back.

    I have been to restaurants, though, that iffy things have happened and I’ve received free meals or XX dollars off next meal, etc. Unfortunately, this one location speaks for the entire chain. You could probably go to another TGI Fridays and the event would have been completely different. Sad the whole restaurant chain has to get a bad rep because of one location. But restaurants and retail are like people: you only get one ‘first time’ to impress. Better not blow it or it could be bad news down the line.

  12. Outrageous, but, unfortunately NOT uncommon. Ive had 2 similar experiences myself and both times the response was disappointing to say the least. I don’t know what these places think. Madness!


  13. I’m going to tell your our story which is the opposite extreme – A little while ago, seven of us from work went out to a pub/restaurant for dinner. One of our party found a match in her meal, as in a match that you strike to make fire, and it had been used because the end was black. Not very pleasant, but not the grossest thing in the world either. We told the waitress and she was very apologetic.

    At the end of the meal, the manager came out and told us he was giving all of us our whole meals for free! That’s seven dinners, some of us had more than one course, and it also included the drinks we had had with the meals! None of us had to pay a penny for any of it. We were staggered, that’s way beyond what we would have expected as compensation. But of course, that resulted in seven very happy customers who would no doubt be back and tell their friends too! And this is in England too, where we are not known for our good customer service.

    • That’s great. I have experienced that before. I received a free meal for me and all my kids at applebees because they took too long to cook our food. Funny, because we were having such a good time that I didn’t notice. I hadn’t even complained!

  14. You know, The Bride and I were talking about Fridays just the other day. My birthday was last week, and she wanted to take me out to dinner to whatever was my favorite restaurant at the moment. She said she was surprised I didn’t say Fridays. I go there a lot, usually it’s my first choice.

    But I got to thinking. The customer service is always bad (usually worse than what you describe), the fries are crappy (and you know what a big deal that is for me), and I don’t think we’ve ever had a good experience there.

    Was it the food? Not specifically. I dig their Jack Daniels BBQ sauce. Whether it’s on chicken or a burger or whatever. The Bride and I determined that was the only reason we ever went there, and quite honestly, thanks to the interwebs, I have a copycat recipe I can make my own with.

    As I said, the customer service is horrendous. Why put up with it? Thank you, you’ve cemented that decision for me. Don’t go back, and all the readers here, stay away and steer other folks away too.

  15. There’s a Roadhouse grill down the street from us and both times we’ve gone there its the customer service that was the fail. The first time we went, my wife put steaksauce on her steak…except it wasn’t steak sauce…someone had poured tobasco from the neighboring bottle into it…so my wife’s mouth was burning and she couldn’t eat it.
    Told the waitress and she acted like we wer lying or faking it or something. Hellow, wife face red, coughing, drinking water?
    No manager talked to us, said anything…didn’t hear a thing about it. Sure she brought my wife a new steak, but under duress.
    Second time we went there we had other bad experiences…don’t remember the details now as they weren’t quite so dramatic, but it was the last straw.