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Poor Seating Arrangements at Red Robin

Posted Wed September 17, 2008 12:00 pm, by jj f. written to Red Robin International

Write a Letter to this Company

This letter is featured on Mommage

There is a Red Robin that just opened in my area. My friend had once mentioned that she loved Red Robins when she lived out west so I thought this would be a great choice for a nice dinner celebrating her recent promotion.

We were greeted instantly and led to one of those teeny two-person tables (with a long joined booth seat on one side and chairs on the other) that's right off the main thoroughfare of the restaurant and is crammed closed to other tables on both sides. The hostess asked if one of those tables would be okay and I asked for a booth in another area instead. The hostess completely ignored us and proceeded to seat us at one of the tiny tables right next to a woman with a toddler and a baby. This was a Wednesday night, not busy, and there are plenty of open booths and tables yet we were seated within inches of 3 other people. She also had a diaper bags, totes, coloring books, toys, shopping bags, and huge purse laying all over the rest of the booth. My friend took the booth seat but barely had room to sit down with all of the lady's items spread out. When our server arrived I again asked if we could move to a booth. He just smiled and asked if we wanted to order drinks. At that point we gave up and ordered.

Before our drinks even arrived the toddler started crying and throwing food on the floor, and the baby began screaming like it was being murdered. The mother stayed on her cell phone through all this. Shortly after our drinks arrived the toddler jumped out of her chair and began up and down the aisle, bumping into my chair multiple times and almost causing our drinks to spill. The mother continued talking on her cell phone about what she'd bought at the mall that day. Shortly after our burgers arrived, she put down the cell long enough to close out her check and leave. From that point on we enjoyed a good meal as best we could. This could have all easily been avoided if we'd been seated at one of the many open booths.

Seat people with children next to others with children and couples near other couples. If the restaurant is not nearly full don't seat any party 3 inches away from another one. Listen to diner's seating requests and if for some reason they cannot be honored at least acknowledge the request. I understand that sections have to be balanced but just completely ignoring such a request, twice, is unacceptable.


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by liono Posted Tue September 30, 2008 @ 7:19 PM

This has happened to me three seperate times at Red Robbin( mispelled
purposely). You are not paying half price for the meal are you. Then
why should you put up with half a table. Far too many american sheep
just plod along with well maybe they don't have enough servers. Tough
they sure don't give you a discount you still pay the same price. The
last time they tried this it was a Tuesday evening about 5:00 pm.
There were a few patrons in the establishment and they tried to put us
at one of the mini tables right next to a very large family when there
were tables close by all aroung them. My wife said out loud " I don't
think so!" My wife is usually quiet and very polite but we have
learned from eating out a lot that only the sucker takes what they
give you. It is your money, speak up for it. This is a policy with Red
Robin, Ruby Tuesday's, Dakotas. These places are not in it to make you
feel nice or give you good food but to make money. Money, your money
speak up. If your not happy call and complain. They will send you a
gift card.Maybe some light will finally come on in some managers brain
and this policy of alienating customers will change.Remember the
customer is KING!

by red0596 Posted Fri September 26, 2008 @ 10:06 PM

You shouldn't be upset with the restaurant. You should be upset with
the mother who couldn't get off her cell phone long enough to control
her kid. People who do not care enough to try and control their
children when they are out in public, should either not have kids or
should stay at home.


by Need a vacation Posted Tue September 23, 2008 @ 12:37 PM

Did you think that maybe they didn't seat you in the other booths
because they don't servers to work in the other booths?. It was a
wednesday night after all, it is entirely possible that they only had
one section open and you had to sit there.
If you were so bothered by it, why didn't you either ask for a
manager, or leave? I would have asked for the manager, to see if they
have a solution that is mutually agreeable and if there wasn't
anything that could be done to my satisfaction, I would have left.


by Final Score: Boys-3, Girls-1 Posted Sat September 20, 2008 @ 10:41 AM

Ugh, parents who ignore their kids and let them act like little
monsters are bad news for everyone. But in this "it's all about ME"
world, it's wrong on the part of the establishment to do or say
anything about it, because that ignorant parent will complain to

If someone were to speak up to those kinds of people where I work, I'd
buy them a drink.


by SuzieCat Posted Fri September 19, 2008 @ 5:24 PM

Honestly, I dont care if it is an out of control kid a parent is
ignoring, a loud cell phone conversation, or a couple fighting loudly
at the next table.

Everyone should make an effort to avoid unnecessarily annoying others
when in public.

That said, we all should also remember we are, after all, IN PUBLIC.
That means others may annoy us.

I think we should all look at both sides. We should all try to be
respectful of others and we should all try to tolerate a momentary
lapse if someone or their kid is loud.

Once in awhile, I have been disturbed enough to ask the place of
business to intervene. Once, I asked guy at a movie to take his cell
phone conversation outside. I have also "grinned and bared" (sp) it a
few times.


So true. by KJCat Mon September 29, 2008 @ 10:57 AM
by sueflgator Posted Fri September 19, 2008 @ 3:54 PM

My children are very well behaved in restaurants because I won't
tolerate them acting up. They've learned how to behave in public
since they were young and, therefore, I don't have a problem. If I
were to have an incident arise where one of my children was less then
polite, I would address it immediately.

Having said that, I don't agree with the families with children
needing a specific section. I don't want to sit near a family like
the one described in this letter either!


by Jude Posted Thu September 18, 2008 @ 11:21 PM

My mother and I had somewhat the same scenario happen to us during a
visit to one of our favorite casual dining spots.

What I ended up doing was gathering my plate and cutlery together in
one hand, my purse and jacket in the other, and moving two tables
over. I then went back to assist my mother.

And, yes, I had asked for a different table before even being seated.
Our hostess just smiled and said this one would be fine.

My mother wears hearing aids and the cacophony from the table next to
us was causing pain.

Our server was a bit distressed to see that we had moved, but if I'm
going to pay for a meal, I don't see why I have to put up with being
uncomfortable while eating it.

I wouldn't hesitate to do this again should the situation arise.


by ♫Venice♫ Posted Thu September 18, 2008 @ 2:49 PM

This isn't just about children. There are all kinds of annoying people
in restaurants. We were in Wendy's once when a man proceeded to make a
phone call and very loudly conduct business the entire time he was
eating. We couldn't even hear ourselves speak. There's nothing worse
than listening to a loud one-sided conversation.

I'd like a separate section for non cell phone users.


Phones by D. R. Thu September 18, 2008 @ 5:38 PM

If only by ♫Venice♫ Thu September 18, 2008 @ 6:28 PM

Selfish by D. R. Thu September 18, 2008 @ 6:42 PM

Last week Monday I went to the eye doctor. by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Thu September 18, 2008 @ 7:54 PM

I hope she was charged for the appointment.. ha! n/t by ♫Venice♫ Thu September 18, 2008 @ 11:07 PM

that reminds me.. by MayDay Fri September 19, 2008 @ 9:09 AM

My sister is a nurse.. by Harleycat Fri September 19, 2008 @ 11:16 AM

I also have a special ring for my husband. by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Fri September 19, 2008 @ 12:30 PM

I wish my husband.. by Harleycat Fri September 19, 2008 @ 1:30 PM

I don't understand.. by Harleycat Fri September 19, 2008 @ 11:12 AM

I go nuts when by ♫Venice♫ Fri September 19, 2008 @ 2:24 PM

I'd like a separate section by LadyMac Fri September 19, 2008 @ 9:49 AM

That's exactly what I meant by ♫Venice♫ Fri September 19, 2008 @ 2:29 PM

Where do you draw the line? by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Sat September 20, 2008 @ 9:21 AM

A little more cooperation by ♫Venice♫ Sat September 20, 2008 @ 10:12 PM
by Katseyes Posted Thu September 18, 2008 @ 8:37 AM

I so agree with you there should be smoking, nonsmoking and child free
areas. I honestly think people with children like that want the rest
of us to suffer as they do! I would sooner sit in the smoking section
than put up with that nonsense, and many times because so many quit
smoking they are the most tranquil places to sit.

When going to a new place or one I don't frequent often I always ask
to be seated someplace quiet, my usual places already know my
preferences. My husband will even tip to the host/hostess to make
sure he is accommodated, I however do not feel that should be

In the future just leave, I would never stay knowing what to expect.
It would have been different had they been seated next to you after
you were already there. You put up with their disregard for your


Child-free areas by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Thu September 18, 2008 @ 10:55 AM

Parents by D. R. Thu September 18, 2008 @ 2:08 PM

The mother clearly wasn't teaching her kids anything except how to be selfish and rude by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Thu September 18, 2008 @ 2:47 PM

I know we don't agree on child issues, but... by Jeffrey/Branding/Alex Thu September 18, 2008 @ 3:20 PM

I agree by Katseyes Sat September 20, 2008 @ 7:10 PM

"If they were there first you could have simply left...if you were there first you would have had the right to complain. " by Jeffrey/Branding/Alex Mon September 22, 2008 @ 10:11 AM

Agree by Katseyes Mon September 22, 2008 @ 11:21 AM

I agree. by Jeffrey/Branding/Alex Mon September 22, 2008 @ 11:47 AM

I by LadyMac Fri September 19, 2008 @ 4:26 PM

I'd like by LadyMac Fri September 19, 2008 @ 4:28 PM

We agree by Katseyes Sat September 20, 2008 @ 7:21 PM

The other side by LadyMac Sun September 21, 2008 @ 8:09 AM

I am sure he'll behave by Katseyes Mon September 22, 2008 @ 11:09 AM

He behaved perfectly by LadyMac Mon September 22, 2008 @ 3:55 PM

Then remove them by Katseyes Tue September 23, 2008 @ 12:42 PM

You can't always by Wolf Wed September 24, 2008 @ 10:28 AM

Yes! by Katseyes Wed September 24, 2008 @ 5:15 PM

But by Just Brenda Wed September 24, 2008 @ 6:32 PM

My dog by Katseyes Mon September 29, 2008 @ 11:44 AM

You're really not good... by ♫Venice♫ Wed September 24, 2008 @ 7:02 PM

People by Katseyes Mon September 29, 2008 @ 11:45 AM

As I said... by ♫Venice♫ Mon September 29, 2008 @ 5:52 PM

At least I am by Katseyes Tue September 30, 2008 @ 1:05 PM

I prefer more company than an uber clean doggie by ♫Venice♫ Tue September 30, 2008 @ 6:17 PM

Yes by Katseyes Wed October 1, 2008 @ 11:52 AM

Interesting theory, but by ♫Venice♫ Wed October 1, 2008 @ 2:50 PM

by Donno Posted Wed September 17, 2008 @ 10:45 PM

If this had happened to me, well it *wouldn't* have happened to me.
Red Robin makes their managers quite visible. I would have asked to
speak with a manager if my requests to be moved were completely
ignored. I have a hard time believing two people just completely
ignored your request - that is unacceptable. Red Robin used to have a
website where you could post feedback. I would suggest looing into
that, and posting a complaint there also. Someone needs to address
this, if it occurred as described, in my opinion.


Well by fight noise pollution Thu September 18, 2008 @ 12:13 AM

Red Robin.. by Harleycat Thu September 18, 2008 @ 8:48 AM

they do by fight noise pollution Thu September 18, 2008 @ 11:28 AM

So what did they say? by olie Fri September 19, 2008 @ 9:20 PM
by mcgibblover Posted Wed September 17, 2008 @ 7:10 PM

The reason why parents like this get away with stuff like this in
resturants is because everyone is too scared to say anything. One day
my hubby and me went in pizza hut. There were some kids having a
party.they were running around screaming,yelling,and taking food off
people's tables. I complained and said that if something isn't done we
are leaving. The manager thanked us because they couldn't do anything
until someone complained.of course everyone was scared to. The parents
of course were offended and couldn't believe that their beautiful
children were causing trouble. So next time speak up about everything
the child and the seating.


That's an interesting take by ~Fiâi-la-âlea~ Fri September 19, 2008 @ 9:22 PM

by Wolf Posted Wed September 17, 2008 @ 5:57 PM

"Seat people with children next to others with children and couples
near other couples", I have NEVER liked this idea. The reason is,
just because they are like you (couple, kids, you get the idea) does
NOT mean the will be OK to sit by. There have been loads of times
where my husband and I have gone out and been seated by another couple
where the couple have been loud and rude. There also have been loads
of times where we have been by toddlers, both when we have ours and
when we don't have ours, when the toddler is no problem.

The MOTHER is the problem here. I understand why the servers did NOT
speak to her. Having worked retail and fast food, I have learned that
there are MANY parents that will get mad when you try to tell them
their little "angel" is being a brat. I have learned to just get them
out as fast as you can.

We go to RR all the time. LOVE them! Every time we ask for a booth.
We have NEVER been turned down. You really needed to speak up. This
all could have been handled in the restaurant if you would have said

Also, please don't let this be the last time you go. Try it again!
They are worth it! Try the Teriyaki Chicken burger. YUMMY!


by ♫Venice♫ Posted Wed September 17, 2008 @ 5:45 PM

I'm a parent, and there's no way I would have stayed seated next to
that mother and child (assuming your description of the situation is
accurate). You really needed to be more assertive about moving.
Being ignored by the hostess and server is completely unacceptable.
You should have never let that slide.

It's nice to see you're just offering a suggestion and not asking for


by dulynoted (aka duttycalls) Posted Wed September 17, 2008 @ 5:19 PM

If the hostess did not hear you then you should have asked again...and
if the server also ignored you I would have asked to please speak to
someone who could help you like the manager.
Although it could be a slow night and some areas closed off because of
limited staff they could let you know that this is the reason instead
of ignoring you.

I hate seeing an adult with a child ignore the child and think that
the restraunt staff/customers are there to watch over their child(ren)
while they complete their "important"phone calls.

But I still believe you should have spoken up a third time and asked
to be moved. I am sure someone eventually would have heard your
request and if not then I would have left.


I agree by ~Fiâi-la-âlea~ Fri September 19, 2008 @ 9:24 PM

by PrettySureI'mMovingOnUp..BellaSera Posted Wed September 17, 2008 @ 12:41 PM

It may be that some sections were closed off. On non-busy nights, many
restaurants won't seat people in certain sections to make it easier
for the waitstaff.

But yes, they should've acknowledged your request by explaining that
to you, if that was the case.

In regards to the mother and her children, I think it's within the
restaurant's control to make sure other patrons aren't bothered by
more unruly ones. While I agree the responsibility for the child's
behavior ultimately rests on the parent, the restaurant could've made
sure the child was under control. The reason why they probably didn't
is probably because no one, particularly you, complained.


by fight noise pollution Posted Wed September 17, 2008 @ 11:52 AM

I admit that I did not ask for a manager.

I don't mean to blame the restaurant for the way the mom and kids were
acting. My reasoning with including that information is that I felt it
should have been very obvious that this table was totally obnoxious
and they shouldn't have seated anyone within inches of them.


You can't assume the table would be obnoxious by Lisa H. Wed September 17, 2008 @ 4:08 PM

I agree, Lisa... by ♫Venice♫ Wed September 17, 2008 @ 5:10 PM

I agree as well by RedheadwGlasses Wed September 17, 2008 @ 5:15 PM

I think we all learn lessons every day... by dulynoted (aka duttycalls) Wed September 17, 2008 @ 5:22 PM

by Harleycat Posted Wed September 17, 2008 @ 11:45 AM

Did you ask to speak with a manager about the table? I'm sure he/she
would have moved you. As far as the behavior of the mother and
toddler, that's completely out of their control.


I don't agree.... by C A. Mon September 22, 2008 @ 12:20 PM

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