Dear Ihop management,
Apologize already. Please. Don’t you remember how it used to be, Ihop? The many evenings we spent together with my family. The joy and laughter shared over funny face pancakes and fruity country griddle cakes? It can be that way again! We can end this silly feud and get back to enjoying each other again. I just need you to suck up your pride a little, Ihop. You hired a crappy manager who let that specific store go to pot. It happens. Maybe you d….
Could it be?
Maybe you don’t know about our little tiff. Maybe our local Ihop never reported our displeasure to you and you haven’t had a chance to rain fire upon them and bless us with french toast and bacon. Allow me to fill you in.
We’ve gone to that location for four years. It’s close, the food was always good, as was the service. Then, earlier this year, things changed, for the worse. Waits increased, food quality decreased, as did service. Finally, we had an evening there so bad, we vowed never to return. Here is a (somewhat) condensed version. We show up at 6:00PM or so on a Sunday. There were about six customer cars in the parking lot. The Applebees that shares the parking lot was packed. When we pulled up, an SUV parked at Applebees and six people got out and went in. We went into Ihop. After about 3-4 minutes someone came up to the front and brought us to our table. After five minutes or so, they took our order, then promptly disappeared off the face of the Earth. In the next 45 minutes, we only saw him walk by twice. Mind you, there were only six other tables with customers in the entire restaurant. (we counted) Yet, it took 45 minutes for our food to show up. It arrived without so much as a “sorry for the long wait”.
At this time, I was just short of steaming. We had a three year old with us. A hungry three year old. 45 minutes with a hungry three year old in a booth at Ihop is not an experience anyone should have to go through. Not to mention, my daughter is sitting there hungry. When the food did show up, I said to my wife, “These had better be the best pancakes in the history of pancakery.” Alas, they were not. The hash browns were an odd amalgamation of frozen and charred potatoes. It was just sad. After we finished eating, we were primed to get out of there already. We had planned for a 30-40 minute trip, and thought we would be home by 7:00. Now it’s 7:15 and we’re still stuck in the restaurant. We finally get our check, pay, with no tip, and leave.
The next day, my wife called the restaurant to voice our complaint. To quote her, “When I called IHOP, (1503 Cornhusker Road, BELLEVUE, NE 68123-4419) the day manager asked why I didn’t ask for the manager when we were in the restaurant. I told it was because we had already been there with a 3 year old for over an hour and I felt I could address it the next day. She said she would talk to our server (supposedly he was one of the best there) and call me back the next day. Never happened. I even gave her my cell # so I wouldn’t miss the call.” That was two months ago or longer. We have yet to hear from said manager.
We have not been back since. Instead we have resorted to catering other businesses. Luckily, Cracker Barrel obliges my daughter’s request for a whipped cream smiley face on her pancakes.
Still, sometimes I wonder, what it would be like to sit in those blue booths once again.