By Lindy Earl
Like you, I visit restaurants. Because of my role as Restaurant Reviewer, I tend to visit them with some consistency. Like you, I have experienced the gamut of service, from “Hello, does anyone work here?” to “Wow, that was fabulous!”
I am tickled to say that I received the latter, the “Wow! That was AMAZING!” experience the other day.
Thousands of people have eaten at O’Charley’s, a chain of casual eating restaurants established in 1971. I am not sure if all of them share my experience, but I am guessing that many of them have.
We were having an early lunch so chose to split an order of chicken fingers and ribs (I got the ribs). This modestly priced meal included two sides—one salad and one soup. Perfect. Our server, Mike, was fabulous. He was attentive, polite, engaging, everything a server wants to be.
The food was brought promptly, but having filled up on the delicious sides of their signature potato soup and a Caesar Salad, we ate little of the entrée, which offered generous portions of both dishes. Mike was happy to supply a to-go box for the food that remained on our plates.
At this point I could write a rave review of the O’Charley’s Restaurant located at Shallowford and Sandy Springs Roads in Marietta. But wait, it gets better.
Fully sated, we left the restaurant and ran an errand across the street. As we were leaving after that, I realized we had forgotten our leftovers. That was really sad because the ribs had been absolutely fabulous – truly falling off the bone, melt in your mouth, delicious ribs!
With some hope we returned to the restaurant to see if, by chance, the box remained. Sadly, it did not. What happened next, however, separates good management from great management.
O’Charley’s hostess, upon learning why we returned, contacted the Manager, a Mr. Hill. By the time Mr. Hill came out, I had found Mike (it was still early so not yet crowded) and learned the table had been bussed. Oh well.
But wait. Mr. Hill offered to replace the meal. I told him no – the mistake was mine. I had left the box behind so the restaurant owed me nothing. Mr. Hill again offered, and I accepted! I mean, those ribs were too fabulous to resist, and I told him so.
At no time did I let anyone in the restaurant know that I am a restaurant reviewer. I paid for lunch (and used a coupon, by the way) and went on my way. So Mr. Hill was not catering (pun intended) for a good review.
Our entire experience was excellent. We had great service, great food, a great experience, made all the better by the Manager’s insistence on keeping his customers incredibly happy. O’Charley’s provided a full entrée of ribs and fingers, even though we had eaten a small portion. Wow! Anything would have been appreciated, but their generosity again shows their quality.
Whenever you are in the area of this restaurant, I have to encourage you to eat at O’Charley’s! You will enjoy every minute of your experience but, please, do not leave your box behind.