Tuesday, February 3, 2009

denny's free breakfast effect on my day

i must admit i am a sucker for a freebie. who isn't? but, i do a lot of searching for freebies; and have a lot of experience in this area . so, imagine my glee when while watching the superbowl i saw denny's ads for free grand slam breakfasts on february 3rd. hello, free meal; but then i became concerned this might affect the money i make at my restaurant since i work at a restaurant known for breakfast food. my boyfriend and decided we would make a date of it though.
we headed out a couple hours before i needed to be at work just to be safe. the denny's we choose to go is on the same road as my work and there is also an ihop across the road from denny's. this road, rt 3, is a major byway here. as we came upon the denny's, we could see the line went out the door; but more problematic the cars were backed up waiting on rt 3 trying to get into the parking lot. i'm sure the snow brought at more people in addition to the free grand slam offer. after waiting a bit like the cars in front of us to even get into the parking lot, we gave up and headed to my restaurant to eat breakfast there. at least, we could get my discount and were assured excellent service. i also enjoyed my coworkers getting time to see my boyfriend who never comes to my work and interact with him. as well as being able to customize my breakfast to fit my needs as a vegetarian something made especially easy by knowing our menu inside and out. i should have noticed other cars doing the same as us.
my restaurant was yet to see the "denny's effect". after i began working and more people became discouraged waiting, they too headed to my restaurant. unlike me, these people were generally grumpy before they even walked into our door. many had waited in line and were cold. many annoyed to have to pay for a meal when they had expected a free one. we had been slow and expected to be especially slow figuring people would go to denny's instead of us. we got slammed. people were rude before we even greeted them. around lunch time the entire restaurant filled and we had a wait for people to be seated. in contrast, the previous day we had less than 3 tables in the entire restaurant with a capacity of 39 tables. nothing could be fast enough or good enough for many of the customers. we had 2 tables walk out. one was mine upset that their meal took too long to make. one man began yelling. as a server, this was a nightmare. when there are this many customers all at once, it is impossible for me to give my tables the quality of service i normally would. and, since the service level is lower, my tips are lower. i even got stiffed by one table. i was exhausted and hadn't made very much money at all. this is worse case scenario as a server.
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