By the time I was ready to graduate from high school I had been on many dates at Steak & Shake. In one case, Glen Navarro, a crush from my last two years at Bishop Du Bourg High School came back from his tour in the Navy to take me for a Steak burger with 1000 Island Dressing. It was a memorable evening.
The dressing was just the tip of the iceberg but a lady like me doesn't kiss and tell.
When I left St. Louis for good to move to Dallas, I was sad to find that Steak & Shake did not exist in the Big D. Until a few years ago, that is. In 2004 I noticed a Steak & Shake off North Central Expressway. I was overjoyed to discover my childhood food memories were in my new hometown. A Steak & Shake soon popped up in my neighborhood in Carrollton, Texas off Frankford near George Bush Tollway.
Yes I know I should stop and eat a proper mean but as a crazy busy CEO, I do the best that I can and fast food is just part of the deal. I try to eat grilled foods and salads but sometimes I have limited choices.
After my very first visit to the neighborhood Steak & Shake I discovered, to my horror, that while the food was sensational (as I had remembered it), the service was very shakey, if not horrible. Tonight was the thrid time in a row that I got up after waiting over 10 minutes with no server in sight. Yes, the service sucks big time. Whic is very sad since I want to eat there, I want to spend my money there and I don't understand how the fabulous chain from St. Louis could be so very wrong here in Dallas.
Tonight I showed up with my guy, who was dubious that we would have good luck. Sometimes service is actually bad but not horrible. Most of the time it is the pits. When we arrived at 7:15 the Applebees next door was jam packed. It was really our first choice but the thought of waiting for a table was not appealing. We spotted the almost completely empty Steak & Shake parking lot next door and decided to give it yet another whirl.
A very talk manager greeted us without too much of a wait and parked us in a booth right next to the food pickup window. One young waitress hustled back and forth refusing to make eye contact After 13 minutes of watching her shoot back and forth and completely ignoring us....we were becoming frustrated. How hard would it have been to stop and tell us she would be with us as quickly as possible. But no. She continued to completely avoid us.
Finally my guy threw up his hands in frustration and said...OK, let's blow this goat shed. We stood up, leaving our menus open on the table. I stopped to tell the waitress we were leaving because no one had bothered to stop by our table and she just shrugged as if she was happy we were leaving.
Maybe the restaurant doesn't care? As a business owner I find these types of situations beyond bizarre. And yes, I have already told the Steak & Shake-y Service story to lots of friends, relatives and acquaintances. Why? Mainly because it makes a great story and everyone seems to love the Steak & Shake-y Service label. And of course it makes me sad that such a great childhood memory has been tarnished.Meanwhile, Arby's was happy to take my order and alls well that ends in good service.
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