The first time we went on a weekday for an early dinner. With a two year old son, we figured the earlier the better and on a weekday we figured it wouldn’t be overcrowded. We still didn’t know if it would be kid friendly, but we decided to try it anyway.
Our first visit was great! We found out that Maggiano’s has a decent kids menu and a pretty sweet pre-fixe deal for adults. For about $40 (for two people) we were able to choose one appetizer, two classic pastas (one for each of us), and one dessert. When you order a classic pasta, you get one free to take home, and it doesn’t have to be the same as the one you originally ordered. We thought that was a pretty sweet deal. We also ordered a flatbread too to try it. We thought the portion sizes were pretty generous, and we couldn’t finish all the food. The service was great, but most importantly Derek enjoyed himself. After that first experience we knew we would be back.
So we tried going back to the same location again, but this time on a Saturday and at a later time. Unfortunately the experience was completely different. We’re not unreasonable people, so we expected it to be crowded, that wasn’t the problem. The food didn’t change so that wasn’t the problem either, it was the service. I was seated at a table of three, and next to us was a table of five, but our tables didn’t seem to matter much to the waiter who spent all of his time with the table of ten. As proof that I wasn’t being unreasonable with my expectations, I heard the table of five next to us complain about the same thing.
At that point I decided to tweet Maggiano’s and let them know and I received a tweet back from them on Monday. I have to give Maggiano’s credit because they did want to make sure that I was taken care of and they immediately wanted to fix the situation. It was refreshing and great to know that they cared enough to respond and make sure that the negative experience wasn’t the last impression that we had about the restaurant. In the next few days I received emails from the Manager, General Manager, and the Maggiano’s Corporate Office and I have to say that I was impressed by their quick response.
While I can’t say that the negative experience would have kept me away from Maggiano’s permanently, I’m not sure if I would have been quick to go back or recommend the restaurant on a weekend. However the attention and response that was initiated from their social media team has encouraged me to go back sooner and is on my list of recommended places to eat when I talk to my friends. The only thing that I would change about the Maggiano’s social strategy is the hours that their Twitter account is active. As a restaurant, when business is busiest at dinner and on weekends, the Twitter account that should be active more than just the stated Monday through Friday from 9-5 hours.
But I tip my hat to the Maggiano’s social media team for their response and their engagement. I’m definitely going to be back there soon to eat with my family. If you haven’t been there yet, you should try it!
Do you have a Maggiano’s experience that you’d like to share? If so, I’d love to hear it.