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Old 09-04-2012, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
28,931 posts, read 69,024,005 times
Reputation: 35364

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We eat at Slows probably once a month. The food is always examplary, the atmosphere neat and the service pleasant if nto prompt (it is slows after all). However our last visit a week or so ago was not typical. SOme of the food was just plain awful. My son's beef ribs were inedible. At first I thiought he was just being a whiney teen, then i tried them - shoe leather. No, not even that good. Shoe leather is more edible than what they put on his plate. My chicken was cut from a roll and dry, hard, and awful as well. We took both home for the dog, but evne the dog gagged ont he ribs. the cornbread was overcooked, hard dry and basically awful as well. My baked beans was lackin in - beans. One other side dish was terrible. I no longer remember which. The rest of the food was great though.

The service was surprising. They were repeatedly rude to us. Both the people at the front and the waiter were initially nasty. When I siad something about how rude they were being, he did a 180 and became very nice, but the service was bad. It was characteristically slow, but it was uncharacteristically bad. We did not get the food we ordered (we got different food, some of it got replaced, some never did). Some items were not as ordered (e.g. requested chees missing, requested sauce ont he side was poured on top). Getting a second drink was impossible. He finally returned after we had finished eating an asked if we wanted more drinks.

In the past we have never gotten anything but great food and friendly competent service at Slows. A fluke, or has something changed at Slows? New management? New staff? Definitely a different expereince fomr what we usually encounter. Hopefully a unique expereince. Anyone else had issues recently?
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:04 PM
 
1,648 posts, read 2,857,503 times
Reputation: 1440
Please tell us about the response when you directed your complaint to the manager working that evening. It's a little disingenuous to complain on an internet forum when you didn't air your grievances directly to those who can control them.

PS - I'm not saying this to be snarky - I'm just saying that the manager needs to know there is a service decline if you experience it - otherwise he has no idea why you stopped frequenting said establishment. You shouldn't be afraid to correct your server either if he took that long. I used to work in a restaurant during high school/college and I actually learned more from the people who repremanded me and explained what I was doing wrong (e.g. when giving out change - you should always give the coins first so the customer can clutch the fist and take the bills with the fingers. If you give the bills first - the coins will spill all over. Use tact when explaining how it should be down and down the road, the server will remember you and actually respect you more. I did).
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
28,931 posts, read 69,024,005 times
Reputation: 35364
I was not going to complain while we were still there. I do not want to eat someone's spit, or hairs or whatever. I also had no interest in delaying and embarrassing my family. It takes long enough to get lunch there. It is generally embarrassing to sit though a "please get the manager" session. The manager will almost always be defensive and you end up arguing. Not pleasant for my daughter's birthda celebration.

I considered calling and asking for a manager, however it is not really possible that he cannot know what is going on in such a small place and IME it never does any good. If they have a decent manager he is aware of it and would deal with it on his own. If they have a lazy manager, he will continue to be lazy and will not deal with it. Since more than one person was rude to us, it is clearly not just a case of they hired a bad employee.

I still considered calling, but decided I did not want to make the effort to find the number, sit on hold for half an hour and then explain/argue with the manager. At any resturaunt if the food and service are bad, I just do not go back. Unless I have a lot of time, I am on my own, or I am really really ticked off, I usually do not complain to the manager. Becuase of our history with Slows, I would like to go back if this is not the new norm. What I want to find out is whether this is the new norm, or whether it was just an off chance.

I did not post to complain, but to try to find out whether others have found the same experience. Has slows changed? If so, I will just stop going there. If no one else had simlar problems recently, I will give them a few more visits and see what happens. It is their job to ensure they provide good food and service, not mine. Certainly they do nto need to be told that ribs that are inferior to shoe leather should not be served.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:26 AM
 
1,648 posts, read 2,857,503 times
Reputation: 1440
I agree with you not wanting to make a scene - but you have identified a problem yet are unwilling to notify someone else of the problem. Therefore your desire to be complacent actually becomes the problem.

The owners of the restaurant will likely think that you are choosing to eat else wherewhere because of a bad economy and you can't afford the restaurant. You need to downsize from BBQ to Taco Bell. That's fine - you have the right to vote with your feet and go anywhere you choose.

My point is you sounded afraid of confrontation and often confrontation is vital to effective communication, so long as it is done tactfully. Focus on the behavior that troubled you and not the individual. To you it was more important that your child had a "pleasant experience" and there was no argument than the choice to correct someone's bad behavior. That's a fair value choice - and I'm not juding your choice - I just think you can't then criticize the behavior when you made a conscious decision to overlook it. That's all from me on this thread - I don't want to make it go sideways...
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Portland OR
378 posts, read 899,057 times
Reputation: 439
I ate there when I visited home this year and your experience echoes mine. I used to eat there all the time when I still lived in Michigan so I was excited to have a "taste of home" with my wife this spring. Things have certainly changed. To be fair I moved 5 years ago so maybe my mind built up what I remembered it tasting like but regardless the product and presentation was sub par. It's great there's a draw in the area and exposure up on food programs etc but I think there is a lot of blind "Detroit for the sake of Detroit" enthusiasm for the food there. In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. The vacuum of truly good food in downtown makes Slows seem better than it is and I think they have not quite reacted to the national exposure by challenging themselves with new dishes or ingredients. It's standard fare and after a few years it's easy to lose passion making the same old dish over and over. The food on my plate sure felt that way.

The beer was excellent so there was that at least.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:56 AM
 
2,205 posts, read 2,968,239 times
Reputation: 2215
I went there about 6 months ago and had that "this isn't what it used to be" feeling. I've ordered the beef brisket every time I've eaten there, and they served it to me cold. It also came out suspiciously quickly which leads me to believe that they've turned the kitchen into a fast food type of operation so they can turn patrons over quickly in order to keep up with demand. To me, the place is nothing more than a tourist trap as you can find better BBQ options within SE Michigan. They may have been the first slow cooked BBQ joint in the area, but the competition has caught up with them.

I share your frustration with not wanting to have it out with the manager, and have found that posting reviews on Yelp is far more effective. Restaurants are starting to realize that people check Yelp a lot before deciding to try a new restaurant, and a low overall rating can be a death blow to their business. More than once I've been contacted by restaurant managers after posting a negative review. I think it's a far more effective tool than having it out on the spot.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:44 PM
 
1,648 posts, read 2,857,503 times
Reputation: 1440
BTW - Billy Sims just opened a BBQ restaurant in Southfield (Telegraph/10 Mile). I'll check it out this weekend and report back. I love me some good BBQ...

Former Lions star Billy Sims opens BBQ restaurant in Southfield | Dining Out | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:22 PM
 
Location: South Eastern Michiga
170 posts, read 449,266 times
Reputation: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by belleislerunner View Post
I agree with you not wanting to make a scene - but you have identified a problem yet are unwilling to notify someone else of the problem. Therefore your desire to be complacent actually becomes the problem.



My point is you sounded afraid of confrontation and often confrontation is vital to effective communication, so long as it is done tactfully. Focus on the behavior that troubled you and not the individual. To you it was more important that your child had a "pleasant experience" and there was no argument than the choice to correct someone's bad behavior. That's a fair value choice - and I'm not juding your choice - I just think you can't then criticize the behavior when you made a conscious decision to overlook it. That's all from me on this thread - I don't want to make it go sideways...
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Well said.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
28,931 posts, read 69,024,005 times
Reputation: 35364
Quote:
Originally Posted by rucks View Post
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Well said.
However poorly assumed.

Confrontation is my business. I have been doing it for 24 years and I am told I am unusually good at it. But hey, I certainly must be afraid of it if someone who has never met me makes such an assumption based on not much at all. Other than that - well said.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Here.
15,454 posts, read 14,087,699 times
Reputation: 18082
I try to avoid places that are hyped up. I prefer the quiet unpretentious local family restaurant. I would never travel all that way for food. Plus, I don't like barbeque.
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