Truthfully, I think my wife would be happy I got a Woody at all.
Today was supposed to be a working lunch and I recommended we go to Woody’s in San Diego on Miramar Road, just outside of the west gate at MCAS Miramar. The location is convenient and I’ve had their burgers before.
The trip today seemed a bit odd since we arrived just after Woody’s opened for lunch. Funny, my last visit was for a large take-out order just about the exact time as today, and about the same size order as the one I was watching be filled upon my arrival. Today, as we waited for our dine-in meal to arrive at our table, I watched that large take-out order being filled. Last time, I wrote about the service failure that occurred with Woody’s missing an order of my fries from my take-out. I could not help think as I was watching them fill that large to-go order, that I was that guy . . . last time. Maybe that to-go order is what set off a chain of service failures again today at Woody’s . . . I just hope they get my fries right.
We ordered three burgers, each of which was hailed as “outstanding” by my cohorts. But as we waited for our food to arrive, we clearly noticed that a table that was seated a good 10 minutes after our arrival was now receiving their burgers. “Hey, didn’t that table sit after us”, I asked the others at my table. “Yeah, I think they were”, they responded. Just then, I notice the server heading our way, now with our burgers in hand. How do I know they were seated after us; because we were the second to be seated in the dining area for that lunch service. Our food came out a bit slow, but that was ok because we were engaged in “work” conversation; but when I saw the other table get served before us, I began to worry.
We finally did receive our burgers. And my cole slaw quickly arrived on our server’s second run back from the service counter. But wait, as we all kind of stared at each other, . . . uh, . . . wondering where our fries and onion rings were. After another solid 3 minutes of staring at our burgers and my cole slaw, . . . we then saw the other table get their fries . . . us again, just having our burgers. I said, “doesn’t look like the fries are coming anytime soon, lets eat!” Just then, we also realized we had no flatware or plastic-ware to eat with. Thank God we had napkins on the table. When the server finally brought out our fries and onion rings . . . ,late, we asked her to bring out some forks and knives in which she hurriedly responded with fulfilling that request with Woody’s finest plastic-ware. It wasn’t until another solid 5 to 7 minutes after the first round of fries showed up, Woody himself brought out a second order of fries. I thought he had made a mistake. Either he recognized me and wanted to reconcile the missing fries from my previous visit, or the order was extremely late to be filled. He asked at that time if there was anything else we needed and offered some ranch for the onion rings. He immediately filled that request. Once Woody left, I confirmed with my business associates that the second order of fries was correct.
So let’s recap the service failures. 1) our table was served out of sequence from other guests. 2) we were served our fries late after our burgers were served. 3) second order of fries were brought out very late, clearly after the meal had begun to be consumed. 4) no serviceware brought out with the coleslaw or other entrée’s.
Although Woody checked on our table several times, as did the server when refilling our waters and other drinks; I didn’t think it right for me to complain about the service failures in front of business associates, especially since I didn’t pay today. I’m not really sure I ever really feel right about complaining in front of other people I’m with unless it’s really something blatantly wrong. Most folks know I write and I don’t want them to feel awkward. I may be wrong for not saying something at the time of failure, but that is also why restaurateurs and servers are supposed to ask of their patrons within 2 minutes or two bites of the food delivery to the table; and supposed to do it when you have a bite of food in your mouth, so all you can do is nod. “Everything ok here?”, the server usually asks, . . . mouth-full “nod”, is what is returned.
Woody’s still has a knockout burger and some pretty good fries . . . when they do get the fries to you. The coleslaw was again just meh flavor-wise, but the size of cabbage cuts seemed to be remedied. The onion rings were still not that good. The onion was again non-existent flavor-wise compared to the very greasy and heavily breaded coating. The other persons at our table agreed they could not taste the onion either.
Woody’s needs to care for their patrons. They need to correct their service failures. Other than this “Dick” noticing many things wrong, they were also noticed by others at my table . . . and, they are also noticed by other patrons.
I can’t say I won’t go back, but I won’t be ordering the rings, the slaw or expecting my fries. I don’t know if the fries will show up late . . . or show up at all!