Following is correspondence between myself and the leadership of Ralphies. They are not acknowledging that the way my sister was spoken to that evening was disrespectful, intentionally belittling, and downright rude. Therefore, I ask for your help. Don't patronize this establishment, and don't allow rude service anywhere to be acceptable. As humans, we have a basic right to be treated with dignity and respect. Pass it on.
On Monday, June 4th, I joined my family for dinner at
your Navarre Ave. location. There were a total of seven of us dining.
My sister, who goes in there nearly every week had a
problem with her steak. She told the waitress (who knew my sister by
name because of the frequency of her visits) that she would like to have
her steak cooked again with less seasoning. Shortly afterward, another
woman came out of the back that didn't identify herself, but stated that
they were going to cook the steak without any seasoning, and just put a
dish of the seasoning on the side. My sister told the woman that she
did not want the steak cooked without salt, only less salt. This fell
upon deaf ears. When the steak came out (in a to-go box upon her
request due to the wait we'd already endured...yet another story) the
steak was unseasoned, and a dish of seasoning was set to the side. My
sister, irritated that her request was ignored asked that the steak be
taken off her check. Shortly after, a woman came to the table who
identified herself only as "the manager". At first, she asked what the
problem was, and when my sister explained the issue to her, the
"manager" stated that it was her idea to put the salt on the side, and
as a "manager" it was her prerogative to do so. She then went on to
accuse my sister in an unprofessional and indiscreet manner of sending
something back every time she dined there. My sister, who was shocked
at the way she was being talked to, only looked up at the woman and
denied the accusation, stating that she does not send something back
every time she dines there, that she had only sent something back one or
two other times because they were not cooked correctly. This woman,
(the manager) with a restaurant full of people, continued to stand
there, accuse and belittle my sister while other patrons watched and
listened, and fell only a little shy of asking her not to return. My
sister was both shocked, and hurt. I finally spoke up and told the
"manager" that that was no way to treat a patron, and that she could put
the steak on my bill, and I would pay for it, but that none of us would
ever be back. She simply said "fine" and began to walk away. I asked
her for her name, to which she replied, "Karen, would you like the
corporate number too?" Our waitress was also embarrassed, and
apologized for the manner in which this Karen treated us.
Now that you have the short story, let me explain something else. My
sister frequents this establishment typically at least once a week.
After we left, I asked her to gather her credit card records of the
amount of money she has spent there so far this year. Since February
9th 2007, my sister has spent, in credit card receipts alone (not
counting cash transactions) a total of $983.57. In only four months,
nearly one thousand dollars worth of business, only to be publicly
belittled and humiliated, and treated like a criminal. This is
unacceptable. I've been in retail management for nearly twenty years
and could not fathom reacting to a paying customer in that manner. At
this point, I believe that my sister should receive an apology, and I
personally strongly encourage upper management to reconsider whom they
have running their establishments. Disciplinary action needs to be
administered forthright to this employee, up to and including
My family members who were present that day will no longer patronize the
establishment, nor will I. I would like to be contacted simply to be
assured that this concern has been addressed. Thank you.
Thank you for writing on your sister's behalf. We appreciate your
thoughts and we are grateful for your sister's loyalty.
We do regret that your sister's standards are such that we have in the
past repeatedly failed to meet her expectations. I am informed that on
most every visit her food needs to be remade and often removed from the
bill. Beckie is a great server and seems to be the person who generally
waits on your group, but her performance is not up to your standards
We also have a number of servers who are reluctant to wait on your group
as they are somewhat scarred from past experiences.
We also heard from a neighboring table regarding Monday's visit and they
informed us that management and staff handled this situation in a very
If your sister does return, I have previously asked our management to
let her know that we are doubtful that we can prepare her meal to the
standards she expects.
Now don't get me wrong. We do not want to lose your business. We
really would like to be able to please your group as we do so many
It is rare that we give up on trying to please a guest, very rare, but I
think in this case we are close to being there.
Mark Wallace is responsible for our seven Ralphie locations. He is
anxious to talk to you and likely be in attendance when you next visit
our store. I know he has put a phone call in to you. I hope we can
find a way to move forward together.
Thank you for writing.
Executive Vice President... Rob Armstrong
Thank you for your reply, however I have doubts in regard to your integrity.
First of all, I do not typically frequent the establishment because of poor service in the past, therefore your statement, that there are "a number of servers reluctant to wait on our group as they are somewhat scarred from past experiences" is certainly not in regard to my group.
In addition, our waitress, Beckie B (whom I did not take issue with at all) urged me to call the corporate number after the incident, apologized profusely, and asked my sister to continue to dine there. Now, I ask you, who is being honest with whom here? I also find it odd that a nearby table would just call in to state that the situation was handled in a professional manner. Working in the retail and service industry for nearly thirty years, and in management nearly twenty, I can count on one hand the amount of times a "witness" to a situation took it upon themselves to report their opinion.
Your comment that my sister's food is constantly removed from her bill is a little hard to believe as well, given she has spent nearly $1000,00 there in documented credit card receipts in the past four months.
Apparently your mind is set on where you stand with this situation, therefore I have no reason to speak with Mr. Wallace, and will be taking my complaints to the paying public via whatever means necessary. Thank you for bringing to light the type of establishment you truly run.