I recently went to Golden Corral while on vacation. I don’t want to get into too many details but I ended up in the parking lot throwing up before it was over – then the fun begins.
I, being the unbelievably talented writer that I am, I immediately fired off a letter to the tarnished Golden Corral upon returning home. They had a form I could write into and I did. Then they had a few questions for me. Name , address and the like. They also asked when they could contact me. I answered 8 AM – they called at 7 AM. I really hate waking an hour before I need to even to describe one of the worst dining experiences of my life but I did when the phone rang.
I tried to be as nice as one can be while explaining the restaurant your listener manages is a disgusting pit of filth and cold food. Adding of course, about the employees caring more about cigarettes than waiting tables. Which is okay as long as it’s not discussed at my table side – which it was.
He offered me six free coupons as either enticement or a threat, I am not sure which. I explained to him I only pass through his town about every ten years. He asked where the nearest Golden Corral was in relation to my humble domicile. I replied, “E-Town, KY” or Elizabethtown to you people not lucky enough to live in the Bluegrass State. He said the coupons would be honored there. I liked this idea because I have been to the E-Town location many times and almost half the time it was pretty good.
Promptly a week later, six coupons stating, good for a meal and a beverage arrived in the mail. A week? Not bad! It so happened my wife and I were going to E-Town for another hot date at Sam’s Club to buy raw meat to pacify our animal like children so we brought along the coupons.
Now I am not going to blame Golden Corral for I-65 being a long thin parking lot due to the ingenious idea of fixing the road in July, during the middle of the day, but it sure didn’t help my mood.
I arrived at the Golden Corral after checking to see if the new Cheddar’s Casual Cafe was done yet. It wasn’t. I checked with my wife to make sure we had the coupons and enough cash to cover the meal because I am well aware of the incompetence of chain restaurants and I wanted to be prepared to pay if need be.
We walked in and I saw a manager working as the cashier. A good sign or so I thought. She was a manger but obviously she was taught by a wounded grizzly bear the nuances of dealing with people. Her icy stare confirmed this as we handed her the coupons.
She immediately informed us that they don’t take coupons from other restaurants. Until this moment I didn’t know some Golden Corrals are franchises and some are company stores. My wife showed her the letter sent with the coupons and she glanced from it to us with the a look that made me want to run for the door. She stated firmly the coupons were meant to be redeemed in the original offending restaurant. I started to correct her but she quickly cut me off and said she would “honor them this time.”
How nice, we were allowed to be graced with her less than warm temperature food items. The baby back ribs were the temperature of a baby’s back – about 98.6 and could of used a few more minutes on the grill to render the fat taste out of them. The chicken wings were tasty but again not warm. The fried chicken was good. The steak and the gentleman serving it was great.
On a scale of one to ten this location was a five overall. The manager a zero for rudeness and the grill guy a ten. The fried chicken and steak tens – the ribs and wings fives. Cleanliness was not bad but the dessert area lacking greatly. Service was sufficient but lacking warmth. MMM? Imagine employees managed by this woman lacking warmth?
So me, being me, couldn’t help but writing to Golden Corral once again. I wanted to know what I should do with my other four coupons. I know what I would like to do with them and it probably isn’t legal in Hardin County Kentucky.
A nice gentleman called me back representing himself as the District Manager. He was polite and nice and assured me the coupons were good at any Golden Corral especially the nine he is responsible for managing. We had a pleasant conversation and discussed his restaurant and others and I hung up thinking maybe we would actually try Golden Corral again. What an idiot I am.
The next day I received another phone call from Golden Corral. This time from a female representing herself as the General Manager of the E-Town restaurant. She apologized for her assistant manager being rude. I can’t be sure but i would bet my four coupons the woman on the phone and the rude manager is one and the same.
She went on to explain that the four coupons weren’t good and she would send me out four others. She also took the time to tell me how the manager, in vomit town, should of handled the situation. I am not sure about you but when I have a problem at a place I don’t care to hear a story of why I was treated badly I just want my problem solved.
It was at this moment I asked her if she had spoken to her District Manager, because I had. She stuttered and stammered and threw out a few excuses of why her story didn’t match his and how embarrassed she was about it. I said, “I would be embarrassed too if I got caught telling a big fat lie.”
I told her she should call her boss and then have someone Call me back. Her boss called and left a message but I didn’t call back because at this point, E-Town is a few weeks from having a Cheddar’s Casual Cafe and I will no longer need Golden Corral.
If you have ever eaten at Cheddar’s you know why.
By the way – any one in the market, for 4, practically worthless coupons for dinner?