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minniejack

Response To Outback That I Copied From Reader's Digest

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After being glutened for the 2nd time in a little over 2 years at the Outback, I sent them an email detailing why I was peeved. It took the manager over 2 wks to respond to me and he basically took no blame just that the Outback gets compliments all the time regarding their gluten free menu and how the waitress had just returned to work after being off for a while getting her teaching degree.

I promptly sent him back this reply which I copied from the March 2010 Readers Digest and I think I'm going to keep it in my stock pile of what to send from now on to restaurants when I get glutened--not often, but I think this response nails it.

Servers should have the maturity to realize that when a customer tells them about a food allergy, it's not to annoy them. We are trying our best not to have to spend the weekend in the bathroom, the emergency room, or the morgue.

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*wild applause* Fabulous! :lol:

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I had the pleasure of going on a sightseeing tour in Savannah with about two dozen Outback managers and a regional manager for the southeast recently. Outback is very committed to serving the celiac community and spend quite a bit of time and money on training. Please contact Outback's corporate headquarters if you are having a problem with a particular Outback. I've eaten at a dozen or so and never had anything but positive experiences.

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I had the pleasure of going on a sightseeing tour in Savannah with about two dozen Outback managers and a regional manager for the southeast recently. Outback is very committed to serving the celiac community and spend quite a bit of time and money on training. Please contact Outback's corporate headquarters if you are having a problem with a particular Outback. I've eaten at a dozen or so and never had anything but positive experiences.

I, too, have had the pleasure of eating at the Savannah one and it is NOT my local Outback. So glad that you have had positive experiences, but I have not--and I complained on the corporate site with the local manager responding (St. Clairsville, Ohio store if you all want to know which restaurant).

Obviously, you are somehow in the Outback circle with the experience you just described--most of us do not have that pleasure and have to rely on ourselves or sheer luck to have positive experiences at Outback restaurants.

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Minniejack,

Please reread my reply. I was not referring to the Savannah Outback location. I am not connected to the company in any way. I just don't think it's appropriate to bash all Outbacks because you had two bad experiences in two plus years at one location. We all eat out at our own risk. Mistakes are bound to happen. I am merely suggesting that if you have an issue with Outback to call the corporate offices.

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Love the note! We have eaten at several Outback restaurants with no problems at all. We've also had no problems with Famous Dave's. Still, with my DH virtually symptom-free, we probably would never know if he was glutened.

He was glutened accidentally at Biaggi's, and inadvertently ate the regular bread that is brought to the table (I wasn't with him, so I couldn't warn him). Even knowing he was glutened, he had no symptoms. I'm glad he doesn't suffer from the distressing symptoms some people have, but it's not knowing for sure that is an aggravation. The only way we know he had improved is that his iron levels are back to normal.

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I did reread your reply and I came back with the same impression--I was not able to eat with Outback managers and it has been more than 2 experiences in 2 years. I actually googled and came up with some Outback experiences that I had had that I I'd forgotten about. I was not bashing as you say Outbacks, I was providing a pithy response for people that was copied from a magazine. Sorry that you could not use that reply in your efforts to uphold a company that I have had BAD experiences with. I won't be checking this thread again so don't bother with a response.

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Janetw, I think I understand what you said. You were going on a sight- seeing tour and some people from Outback and a family from Ohio and a couple from Italy were also on it. ( or some such assortment of tourists). :). You got to chatting with the folks from Outback. Might have talked to the 8 year old from Ohio, too.

It can be hard to make ourselves understood in this format. I will be happy to translate as needed. :)

Did I get this right?

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I rarely find that being rude gets me what I want in the end. If I really want a place to eat out I'll work with them to get them to understand my specifications rather than send off a sniping message.

It comes down to what do you want? To feel righteous or to have dinner?

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Seems pretty simple to me.

I patronize those restaurants that "get it", whether their Corporate HQ is interested in serving gluten-free patrons or not.

For example, I gave Ted's Montana Grill 3 chances (2 different locations), I got cc'd twice. No need to write to Corporate, I just gave up giving them my business.

If they were the only restaurant in town, maybe I'd make the effort, but they are not.

It's pretty apparent when all 3 of their servers had no clue about gluten-free dining, even though they have a separate menu.

On the other hand, if I DO find a restaurant that is a favorite and something suddenly changes for the worse...then I'm absolutely going to mention it.

Everyone is different, but life is too short to fight each and every battle.

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I find that using humor, tinged with sincerity, works for me.

Server: My name is Ted and I'll be taking care of you tonight.

Me: My name is Marilyn and I am the customer from hell (laugh)

No, really, I have a special problem that I need your help with.

Then I explain what I need and ask the server for reccommendations. Just about always works.

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I got sick there just last night!!! Thank you for the note!

quote name='minniejack' date='02 October 2010 - 09:12 PM' timestamp='1286075555' post='643638']

After being glutened for the 2nd time in a little over 2 years at the Outback, I sent them an email detailing why I was peeved. It took the manager over 2 wks to respond to me and he basically took no blame just that the Outback gets compliments all the time regarding their gluten free menu and how the waitress had just returned to work after being off for a while getting her teaching degree.

I promptly sent him back this reply which I copied from the March 2010 Readers Digest and I think I'm going to keep it in my stock pile of what to send from now on to restaurants when I get glutened--not often, but I think this response nails it.

Servers should have the maturity to realize that when a customer tells them about a food allergy, it's not to annoy them. We are trying our best not to have to spend the weekend in the bathroom, the emergency room, or the morgue.

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