So, last night I was incredibly disappointed. My boyfriend and I decided we were in desperate need of some comfort food and ordered a large chicken poutine (for him and his friend) and a regular poutine (for me) from Benny BBQ. I mentioned it in another post this week, if you’re unsure of what that that restaurant is and what a poutine is.
First off, the last two times we got our order, there was hardly any sauce covering the fries. It was dry, edible…but dry. We were disappointed, but didn’t call them back seeing as how normally it’s fantastic. It must have been an honest mistake. But, the next time, we did mention to the receptionist that there was lacking sauce and that we would be grateful if they could add more this time. She informed up that there had been a lot of complaints about it and they had fixed the problem, so the order that came was fine.
While ordering, we reminded the receptionist that we would like more sauce because of the previous two times. She said the exact same thing “We’ve been getting a lot of complaints about that and we’ve fixed the problem”. Okay, excellent! Now we don’t have to mention it again.
Well, the order came, I opened the takeout box and to my surprise…..sauce! The problem: no cheese. Okay, now it seemed to be getting a little strange. After years of ordering from there and normally, when we order from Benny BBQ, everything is amazing and we have no complaints, but suddenly 3 of the 4 previous orders were wrong? Seemed a little strange to me. Putting my foot down, I called them back. The receptionist asked if I’d like to speak with a manager and I replied “Why yes, yes I would!”
I heard a rushed “Allo??” at the other end and proceeded to talk in English about how my order was wrong and I would like a new poutine to be delivered.
“QUOI?!” he asked. Translation: What?!
“The problem is that there is no cheese on my poutine and I would like another.”
“Je ne comprends pas.” Translation: I don’t understand.
“Il n’y a pas de frommage sur ma poutine, j’aimerais avoir une autre!!” Translation: There’s no cheese on my poutine, I’d like another!!
He flat out refused to talk to me in English. I understand, we’re in Quebec where the language in this province is first and foremost French, but when having to explain a situation to someone, I have a much easier time in English. I said that the past few orders have not been good and he then proceeded to say “Well, lady, these things happen and there’s no way that I can see everything that happens here” to which I replied “But, isn’t that the manager’s job? To make sure that things are done properly? I’m just mentioning that something is wrong because it’s usually so good and for the past few months it’s been, well, pretty terrible! Wouldn’t you want to check and see what’s going on in the kitchen?”.
He never answered, just flat out said “Do you want another poutine, or not?”
I said, “Yes! I’d like another poutine.”
So he said they’d send another order right away. 40 minutes later, as I was sitting upstairs near the door and checking out random blogs, I saw the delivery car across the street and over. I thought “Hey cool! Someone else ordered from Benny’s on our street” and went to open the front door for when the delivery guy would come by our house. Only, he drove away. Never to been seen again. I waited 20 minutes in case another car was coming. Still nothing. So I called back.
The receptionist informed me that the driver went back to the restaurant because he rang our doorbell and nobody answered. I don’t understand, they ask for our cellphone number for that reason alone; to call if we don’t answer the door. They totally skipped that part. I told them I was here the whole time so, the receptionist said that they would send it again. Meanwhile, my stomach is grumbling because I’ve been waiting to eat for nearly 2 hours.
The food gets here and the delivery guy informs me that they gave me a large poutine because of the errors. Well, that was very nice of them, although I never in a million years would eat all that food, but it was nice that they tried to make up for it.
Now, when I unwrapped the box, a piece of paper was attached to it with our address and order. For some reason, I flipped it to look at the other side.
This is what I saw…
Is this some sort of sick joke? What the hell did these people do to my order? Did they spit in it? Did they put something in it? Would you EVER eat something that had a note like this attached to it? No, I really want to know!
At this point, my boyfriend and I were seriously disgusted and angry. I mean, seriously, what the frak?! This time, he called back demanding to know what the hell a note like that was doing with our food. The manager (who is, we all remember, completely fluent in French and had even refused to talk to me in English) said he didn’t “understand” what that meant. Are you serious? You don’t understand those words? All he kept saying was that he doesn’t understand it. No “Holy crap! I’m soooo sorry, I have no idea how that got there and believe me I’m going to look into this” or “You’re right, that is completely unacceptable and disgusting to see on your order”. Just a stupid answer like “I don’t understand”.
My boyfriend told him he’d go over and explain it to him if he didn’t understand and finally the manager said that they’ll send us yet another one and to give the note to the delivery guy. As my boyfriend hung up, I told him there was no way I was going to eat the next poutine they were sending, and no chance in hell was the delivery guy getting that note. I proceeded to take pictures of it. We waited 20 minutes until the delivery guy came. He was nice, but kept trying to tell us that there was nothing wrong with the poutine he brought, saying that it was okay to eat it. We said “Look, sorry, but there’s no way we’re eating it.” I asked for my money back. He called the manager saying we wanted our money back and that we were refusing to give him the note. So he took pictures instead and gave us back what we paid.
When he left, it was about 45 minutes after the original call we made about the note. I never heard back from the manager with an explanation or apology, so I called back to get the phone number or contact information of the head office. The same receptionist answered.
“Yes, I’d like the contact information for the head office.” was all I said.
“Madame, let me explain…I….” she started to say.
“No, I’d just like the contact information for the head office.”
“But, Madame, I was JUST about to call you. I even have your phone number right in front of me…”
Getting frustrated I said, “You were just about to call me? You waited 45 minutes to call to explain? No. I’d like the contact information for the head office, please.”
Then she started yelling at me. Something about “You’re not even going to let me explain? You won’t even listen to me?”
So I said “Alright, fine. Go ahead.”
The excuse she gave me is as follows.
“I bought my daughter, who works with me, a cup of coffee. She refused to take it, saying she didn’t want it. I asked her why not and she wrote me a note because she didn’t want to say it in front of the customers. She said it was because she had explosive diarrhea and I thought “Oh poor her!” and wrote that note back to her as you called. I just forgot to throw out the paper in the garbage. I wrote your order on the back by accident.”
I said nothing back to her except that I wanted the contact information of the head office. I really just wanted to information and to get off the phone as soon as possible.
She LOST IT on me. “What, you don’t believe me? You won’t even try to understand? Contacting the head office won’t do ANYTHING! It’s pointless! We don’t even have a head office. It would be absolutely useless to call anyone!” and went on and on like that. I said “How can you not understand how disgusting that is to find on your food? I work in a restaurant and if something like that happened, we wouldn’t wait 45 minutes to call the person back. You never even called me back! It was ME that called back!” I asked for the information again and she passed the phone to someone else who proceeded to get mad at me as well. She said “Lady, we are not giving you the personal phone number of the owner”. I told her that I never asked for that number, that I wanted the number of the head office. She said that they don’t have one and I can call the owner of the restaurant tomorrow (today) at 9am-10am. So I hung up and wrote an email to the owner (it was posted on their website).
After a lot of comments from my fellow Facebookers, I decided that I don’t think that I could ever eat there again. What are the chances that on an order that had to be redone, there’s a note with “explosive diarrhea” attached to it and it has nothing to do with us? Why is her daughter even at work where they are around food with explosive diarrhea? I want to believe them, but I don’t feel right believing it based on their reaction. They were completely defensive and angry with me instead of apologetic and understanding. To me, that’s someone who got caught doing something bad instead of just a misunderstanding.
This morning, bright and early, my boyfriend’s phone rang. I felt so bad for him because he didn’t get much sleep last night and had to work this morning. He hung up without looking. Then it rang again right away. He checked who it was and it was Benny BBQ calling. He hung up again because he wanted to keep sleeping. They called again and he yelled into the phone “Stop calling, I’m sleeping!”. Yet they called AGAIN! This time with a “unknown number”. I answered, all groggy and everything. It was the owner calling to apologize for what happened. I told him I’d call him back because I was still half asleep.
I just spoke with the owner now. He said he wanted to apologize on behalf of Benny BBQ and the staff. He explained the same story that the receptionist told me and that it was all just a big mistake and that nobody would do something to our food. He said that if he ever caught anyone doing anything like that, he’d fire them on the spot (that’s the thing, though, if you ever caught). I told him that it was unacceptable and that the manager could have called to explain and that they could have handled it a lot better. I told him that I don’t think we’re ever going to order from there again. He said he didn’t want to lose us as customers and that he’s really sorry this happened. I told him “Honestly, I’m torn. I love your restaurant, but now I’m disgusted by it because there’s no way that I can know 100% that my food wasn’t tampered with It’s great that you know and trust your staff, but I’m not there all the time to witness that. There’s no way I can know.” Honestly, had I talked with someone like him last night, I may have felt less like they were trying to cover something up. He honestly seemed like a decent person with high standards and genuinely agreed that he would be disgusted by that note too, but he was keen on mentioning over and over that it was sincerely a mistake and wanted me to understand that.
What would you do if you were me? Would you have eaten the food? Do you believe the receptionist’s story? Would you ever eat from there again?
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this!