|I want to share a recent experience my family had at the Orlando location of Roy's, primarily involving the GM, Dan Kirby, but continued into a literally unbearable evening for my family.It was by far the worst experience in a restaurant of any caliber I've had in my entire life and a devastating experience for my two daughters and my wife.|
I travel about 15 20 weeks a year and Roy's was, up to this point, my favorite chain restaurant hands down.So, while in Orlando we had to hit Roy's, and had picked our last vacationnight as it was the only night when it would just be me, my wife, and our two daughters (nine & thirteen).We called ahead and made reservations for four, and asked if we could get the sushi bar and were told it was a first come, first serve (fcfs) location but if it was available when we got there then yes.When we arrived there were four seats open at the sushi bar so we were very excited, mostly me and the girls because it's just so cool to see the kitchen operate.The only problem was that there was a gentleman sitting between two twosomes.I asked the hostess if it was okay to sit there if we could get the guy to move and she said yes.The older gentleman was so gracious, and moved down so my family could sit at the sushi bar.We were all so stoked, we had made a neat new friend, we got the sushi bar, and the night was off to a grand start.They placed our napkins, filled our water glasses, gave us menus and wine lists, served our Adamame, and we were really getting into the Roy's experience.A couple of minutes later the GM, Dan Kirby, came over to me and gave me this story about there being two people at the liquor bar that wanted to sit at the sushi bar and would we possibly entertain moving.He and I very politely discussed the fcfs concept, and that these were our seats and had been obtained fairly and with the knowledge of the hostess.The idea of giving them our table reservations came up, from Kirby, and off he went.A couple of minutes later he returned and went on to explain that they were actually guests of the chef, and that they wanted to sit at the sushi bar.I again brought up the fcfs concept, and that the seats were open when we arrived, not to mention that reservations weren't available for these seats anyway.He then strongly insisted that we move from the sushi bar as these two people were actually the chef's parents and were going to sit at the sushi bar one way or another. To make matters worse he then explained that they had arrived earlier but had decided to go to the bar for drinks first and now they wanted seats at the sushi bar, even though it meant kicking my family out of their seats after already being well into the dining experience.Not wanting to really cause a scene, which in hindsight I should have, I acquiesced and actually pulled my daughters out of their seats and away from the sushi bar against the protests and objections.The older gentleman next to us was even appalled; the look on his face when he understood what was happening was close to astonishment.
As Mr. Kirby escorted us to our table I quietly told him that what he was doing was wrong, and he and I both knew it.His reply to me was; I'm the proprietor and this is my restaurant.I was in absolute shell shock for several minutes after that, and just couldn't quite grasp what had just happened.I really feel he lashed out because he knew he was wrong and was indefensible and incapable of successfully arguing the point without invoking his imminent domain over the seating.My family's last vacation night special dinner was literally imploding right before my eyes and I allowed it to happen.My two Girls were devastated and my wife and I were both incredibly embarrassed as we can only imagine how it must have looked to the other guests.It still gives her an anxiety attack to talk about what happened. I didn't think it was the time or place to have a direct confrontation; although in hindsight I truly wish I had stood my ground for my family's sake!
The evening progressively got worse from there unfortunately. We got a table about midway back, right next to the server high traffic lane and then got the infamous crying baby right behind us (directly behind me actually).The next issue was that there was a miscommunication about sweet tea; I was told the flavored tea was the sweet tea substitute, and only after my first good swig did I realize it was unsweetened.When I mentioned to the server, she commented that was what the sugar boats were for. No biggie, swapped for Sprite and the evening continued.The server then came by to inform us the GM was graciously going to treat us to an app on the house.We politely declined his offer, what a slap in the face. We ordered and talked for a few minutes, mostly me answering the girl's questions as to why we were kicked out of our seats and moved to such a bad location, what had we done wrong, was it their fault, etc.Then, when the salads arrived two out of two had the wrong dressing.The server's response was that she had written it down correctly, so it was a kitchen mistake.She did not take the salads away to have them made correctly and left them for us to eat, incorrectly made.After she left, me and my entire family were completely beaten into submission at that point and chose to leave before it could get any worse.On the way out, I stopped to inform the young floor manager that we we're leaving but that I wanted to pay for our drinks and anything that had been prepared.His smug reply was; I'll take care of that for you along with a strong dose of pomposity.
What this is about is simple right and wrong! What this GM did to my family was just wrong, and it destroyed our vacation memories and tremendously embarrassed all of us in a restaurant full of people. Do not spend your money in a place with that kind of service attitude!!