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Restaurants & Bars 8

Outback in Long Beach

Cat'sChow | Aug 14, 2004 11:58 AM

I was pouting when I heard that a b'day celebration would be held here for a friend. I'd rather eat at a taco truck then sit down and be served here. But sometimes it's not all about the food, it's about the friends. So I went. Sat on the patio and had nice views of the water.

I tend to stay away from fish at chains. Ordered the chicken skewer. Meat was rather tough as I expected, but the bbq sauce it came with was tasty. Ceaser salad was ok--not bad but not memeroable.

What WAS memeroable and my reason for this post was the service. MY GOODNESS. In all my years I can't recall friendlier service. And these were young kids serving as bartendar, hostesses, waiters, busboys (no one was over 22)...every employee was joking with us every time they passed the table, every employee acknowledged us as they passed! When does that happen?

Grandpa was with us, and as an ederly gentleman he was getting very chilly as the sun set. Hostess 1 came over and rubbed his shoulders saying she'd walk around the block with him if that would help get his blood going. We all laughed and he loved it. Hostess 2 came over a bit later and said she'd search around to see if she could find portable heat lamps for him. Waiter was incredibly friendly. Diff waitresses delivered our food and even though we moved our tables (to get closer to heat lamps) and were blocking the isleway to the adjacent table, they were all VERY friendly and joked about eating too much choc cake so they couldn't squeeze through. We were all so impressed with how engaging employees were.

Headed to valet and SHE was incredibly friendly. Asking if we lived in LB, if we enjoyed our visit, and basically just chatted with us as we waited for our vehicles. On the way out the parking attendant said "Hey thanks for coming, drive safely and have a great rest of the evening".

I was blown away. I used to live in LB and I know it's often called "Iowa by the Sea" so a lot of midwesterns reside there. But that wasn't it. Outback management clearly put their employees through extensive customer service traiing. It impressed me so much that I wrote a letter to them this morning. In talking with a few others, 3 of the 12 people did the exact same thing. MANY, MANY West LA and OC restaurants could learn from this chain. Made for a great experience. And even though I could have cooked the chicken better myself, based on service alone I'd definately go back. I think that speaks volumes.

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