When Enough Really Is Enough

Over the weekend, my family and I ventured to Applebees, one of our favorite restaurants because of their inexpensive but large and filling appetizer selections. You see, by my estimations, if my family or a typical family of four with kids that are my kids age each gets a meal to themselves, and the kids get a meal off the kids menu, they will end up spending at least $25 to $30 plus tax and tip at a restaurant like Applebees. But by ordering the appetizer combo which comes with 4 different types of food and fairly generous portions, my family can all eat there, each have a little taste of each of the different things in the dish, and be full while only spending about $12+tax and tip. If the mood strikes us, we have room in our budget for desert or a side of something else should we still be hungry.

I’m lucky to have a wife and kids that are not very picky, and I like just about everything so am always happy pending the service and price are acceptable.

Well, this particular night, my family and I went in with the hopes of getting a table on a very busy Friday night. There were people actually waiting outside when we arrived, but we put our name in and were told we would be waiting 20 to 25 minutes for a table. The crowds soon cleared out and about 10 minutes later we were seated. It was the start of a very enjoyable evening.

Our waiter came to the table, and while Marc didn’t recognize us (we aren’t exactly regulars but Marc had served us twice before) he was very pleasant as usual on this busy evening and he took our order.

“One appetizer combo and a side of mashed potatoes, my good sir” I said and he rushed away to put our order in.

My wife and I enjoyed some chit chat as the kids colored on their kiddie menus.

Marc returned with our dish, checked on our drinks and left us to eat. The food was perfect. This particular dish has come out a bit overcooked once or twice which my wife reminded me of before we ordered, but it sounded really good and turned out to have been a good choice. Even the mashed potatoes, ordered for the kids, were delicious.

As we finished eating and Marc came by to check on us, I mentioned it was my birthday and Marc offered up their complimentary song with a side of ice cream. I took it, despite the humiliation.

Everything was perfect that night. The service swift even though the place was packed. The food was cooked just right. The ice cream pleasantly free. Everything was perfect except one thing..

At this Applebees they have a policy that states if the manager does not come to the table and check on you personally after your meal, you are due a $10 gift card redeemable on your next visit. The manager never visited us.

I was almost excited when it struck me that we were about to leave and the manager didn’t realize she had missed our table, after all, a $10 gift card is almost enough to cover our whole meal there. I grabbed the leaflet on the table declaring the policy and was preparing to alert the manager of her oversight..but I just couldn’t do it. She was right there, but I couldn’t bring myself to speak with her.

Even if Applebees policy was to give me a gift for not making sure I was happy, I was happy with everything that night and I was fully satisfied. I guess I don’t have that extractor gene in me.

So we left, full and happy. We will be returning to Applebees again when the mood strikes us even without our complimentary $10 gift card.

Would you have left without this gift? It is their policy after all, right?

Leave you thoughts in the comments below 🙂

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6 People have left comments on this post

» MoneyconeNo Gravatar said: { Jan 12, 2011 - 07:01:27 }

I’m just like you! I wouldn’t have either and I can’t stand the ‘humiliation’ – I can sing along, just don’t sing for me!

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

haha Applebees song is much longer than other places I visit too, it was almost unbearable…almost… 😉

» Kevin @ Thousandaire.comNo Gravatar said: { Jan 12, 2011 - 09:01:59 }

I definitely would not have asked for the $10 gift card. In fact, I’d prefer if the manager doesn’t come and check on me.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Funny you should say that. With this new policy, Applebees managers not only come to every table, they have to ask you certain things and they hang around a bit too long according to my wife. She’d rather they not come over at all either. I’m a bit more chatty and don’t mind but she was pleased when they forgot to check on us that night.

» krantcentsNo Gravatar said: { Jan 12, 2011 - 11:01:14 }

I have no problem taking that type of offer. Why would I? It breaks all my rules, getting something for nothing! After all it is their rule not mine.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

True, but I didn’t want to ruin the great night if the experience of talking to the manager went sour as things like that can fast.

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