Although I did not personally stay in the Riverside Hotel (which I have heard great things about as a Fort Lauderdale local and fellow hotelier), I dined today in the restaurant on property. Much to my dismay, I must say that I was shocked and literally horrified at the level of service which I received. After 20 minutes with not even so much as a glass of water, our waitor paid little/no attention to us. Three of our four guests were served their lunch, and I was told that my food would be out "shortly". Twenty five minutes later, I still had yet to receive my order. Our drinks had not been refilled without getting up out of our chairs to find our waitors, and the patrons around us were complaining of the same difficulties. My mother got out of her chair and went into the adjacent bar area to request that the restaurant manager come to our table. It took approximately 15 minutes for him to come over, and when we described the service that he had received (mind you I still had yet to receive my order), he asked what I had ordered (simple French Toast), and he vanished without apologies, empathy, or even so much taking the time to listen to our list of complaints. He came back shortly thereafter with my french toast, and when I politely told him that I had told our waitor 20 minutes beforehand that I had requested my food "to go" because everyone else at our table was already finished eating and that I expected the food to be removed from our bill, he said that he absolutely could not do that, because they were very "busy". I told him that I was absolutely shocked at the level of service that I had received from both our individual waitor and himself, and that as a fellow hotelier from a local competing hotel, he replied "do you want the food or not", I said no that I did not. At that point, I wanted nothing to do with the restaurant, the food, etc. Luckily, a hostess nearby heard the squabble going on (by this point, other waitors and such were gathering around to hear our complaints, as several other tables were joining in), and she was the ONLY employee of the restaurant who took the time to listen to the difficulties which we had experienced. She did ensure that the french toast was removed from our bill and further deducted a 20% discount off of our bill. I understand that restaurants get busy, food orders can be slow, and other things beyond the wait staff control can get in the way of them delivering service in a timely mannor, however I do believe that the manner in which these situations are handled is the clear cut line between a good and a terrible experience. I am sad to say that I must rank my experience at the Riverside restaurant as absolutely the most terrible dining experience I have ever had. I will never ever go back there to dine, and I will be sure that my friends, colleagues, and clients know my thoughts if I am asked.
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- Also Known As:
- Riverside Fort Lauderdale