We used to be loyal customers of this Chili's since they first opened -- back then the service was exceptional, the food was fantastic and plentiful, and overall it was a fun place to visit to celebrate an occasion. Back then we were more than happy to recommend this Chili's to all our friends.
Unfortunately as time went on, and servers/managers/favored dishes came and went, the quality of the service began degrading to disheartening levels. We skipped going there entirely during 2008. But we made a nostalgic visit in 2009, and while the food was punier than we remembered it, at least the new servers were prompt and courteous.
Because of that we were willing to visit this Chili's again today to celebrate an occasion, in lieu of other better diners. Sadly, this proved to be a mistake.
Our server was still courteous, but the delays were simply awful and she did little to actually assuage our growing impatience. The drinks took 10 minutes, the appetizer 30, and we had to hunt her down for questions on our food over an hour later. The excuse given was that we had requested a steak to be well done, but even during peak hours in better diners (or prior visits to Chili's) this never took more than 30 minutes.
We nearly canceled the order, but since she was courteous I made the mistake of opting for take-out instead. Almost on queue, we ran into more delays and frustrations getting this packed order paid, and none of the free servers idling on the floor were willing to help us at this point. To add insult to injury, the steaks that we were told were not quite ""well done"" yet were in fact bloody raw -- unless the oven was broken, there's simply no way it takes an hour and a half to get a steak to such a sorry state. It's much easier to conclude (from the other evidence) that she completely ignored our order and only placed it in the last 10 minutes.
Or maybe the kitchen staff was just incompetent? While I was impatiently waiting to pay my takeout, the kitchen area seemed like a circus of revolving-door staff more willing to goof around then focus on the job at hand. I hope for their sake they at last follow proper sanitation procedures.
Either way, this reflected horribly on our impression of this Chili's and the entire chain in general. It's obvious we will never return to this location again, but worse yet we feel like never visiting a Chili's... period. We feel compelled to apologize to our friends for recommending this restaurant chain, which is no longer interested in training a proper, dedicated staff or keeping its long-term customers happy.
Maybe they can still get their act together and at least satisfy the next generation of Chili-goers, but never again will they have our support.