I like BBQ. I really do.
I wish I could tell you about the ribs at Famous Daves BBQ in Manchester, NH, right across the street from the Mall of New Hampshire, but alas, I cannot.
About five years ago or so, my wife and I went to this place sometime after it opened. My daughters were still in school and had dance class. We made the trip up to Manchester (about 20 minutes), and had about an hour to kill before needing to head back to Salem to pick the girls up after class. Thus, we had a bit of a hard stop at that hour.
Famous Dave's advertised BBQ, so we went in. The place wasn't crowded. My wife and I ordered drinks, no appetizers, and standard BBQ fare: ribs (me) and a brisket sandwich (my wife). Our waitress didn't come back to our table. In fact, she spent nearly all her time flirting with a few teenage boys sitting in one of the booths. My wife's ice tea was never refilled. And, after waiting fifty minutes, our food still hadn't arrived. We had no time left, so we got the waitress' attention and told her to forget about our food and give us the bill for our drinks. She apologized profusely, and even the manager was brought over, but we said waiting for fifty minutes for food with zero service during all that time was inexcusable. We left the place, still hungry, and raced back to Salem to pick up our girls.
Well, my wife suggested this weekend that we should give the place a second chance. After all, it had been five years; any kinks in the system must have worked themselves out. It was this past Sunday at 3pm, about an hour or so before the New England playoff game.
Once again, I ordered ribs. My wife ordered the fish sandwich this time. We had drinks and no appetizers. After a half hour, our waitress came back saying, "I've got bad news. The kitchen is out of cod." In other words, the waitress put the order in, and nothing was said from the kitchen about the lack of fish until she inquired a half hour later. Should communication be handled a bit better than that? Once again, we decided not to eat there. Sitting around a half hour for food that will never arrive is, once again, inexcusable.
Once again, I talked to the manager about the lack of service. The manager offered no apologies, no excuses, and absolutely no comment whatever, except a "good bye" to me as I left.
It may be that my two experiences at this place are atypical. It may be that usually, the place has the best and fastest service in the area. However, I did not witness this at all. On top of that, the lack of care from the manager about what happened to us this last time indicates to me that customer service isn't a high priority at this location.
I am appalled by the lack of service, and my intention is to tell everybody I know about how I have been treated at this restaurant. I cannot rate the food; I never had the opportunity to eat it.
I've sent a copy of my experiences to Famous Dave's web site, which says I may hear from them within two business days. I'm not holding my breath, though.