Applebee's Food Comes With Delicious "Use By" Sticker

Reader Jamie’s Applebee’s dinner came with an interesting ingredient: an expiration date sticker. Understandably grossed out, Jamie asked Applebee’s for some new food. They agreed, fished out the sticker and brought the old food back. Ick.

Jamie writes:

Me and my 4 other military friends were enjoying our appetizers when our food arrived. After eating a few bites, I noticed a “food good until” date sticker cooked in with my food. I did not know a date was required on my food…

Anyways, we called the waiter over to show him what was going on. “Well,” he said, “Sometimes the food bags and stickers can be mixed in with the chicken when cut up.”

WTF! He said he is sorry and is there anything else he can do? Yes you can sir, you can get me another bowl of my food, cooked new. Well, he took the bowl back and about 2 min later he brought out another bowl… 2 min to cook a new bowl?

It looked exactly the same. My fork was still in the bowl. I told him I wanted it to go. He said he was sending the manager over to talk to me. Well the manager came over and said he was sorry and “any drinks need to be refilled?”

Jamie says he didn’t get new food, nor did the manager take the sticker pasta off the bill. You stay classy, Applebee’s!


Edit Your Comment

  1. dancing_bear says:

    Applebee’s sucks, worse than Bennigan’s, better than Ruby Tuesday’s. I can’t comment on TGIF.

    If you are going to eat in this class of restaurant, I pick Chili’s everytime.

    Yes, I have thought about this way too much.

    • chauncy that billups says:

      @dancing_bear: Better than Ruby Tuesdays? are you INSANE? Ruby Tuesdays has Prime steak and burgers! Applebee’s has the most gristle-ridden steak I have ever eaten. The two aren’t even comparable. Ruby Tuesdays:Applebees::the Taj Mahal:Garbage Dump.

    • Aresef says:

      @dancing_bear: As a rule, I don’t go to any of those places. Works out quite all right for me.

  2. gmss0205 says:

    Can someone confirm if everything is pre-cooked at Applebees and then just needs to be microwaved; or if they actually cook things there. I have heard it both ways.

    • davere says:

      @gmss0205: An ex of mine worked at Applebee’s as a bartender. Apparently most everything is already pre-portioned and in bags. The food is microwaved and put on a plate.

      A few things, like steaks, actually get cooked, but even that, I wonder if they already come partially cooked and then just finished off at the restaurant.

      • Wubbytoes says:

        @davere: Thing like side dishes are often cooked ahead of time in the morning by the prep cooks. I think every single restaurant in the world does this. You can’t cook individual portions of rice or whatever for each order if you want to get the food out in a timely manner.

    • Wubbytoes says:

      @gmss0205: I used to work there and I can tell you that they do cook everything. All the meat is pre-marinated in plastic bags, buts its still raw and has to be cooked on the grill.

    • nevesis says:


      I had a friend who cooked there in college a few years back.

      The steaks arrive frozen, pre cut, pre packaged and are grilled.

      Stuff like shrimp scampi comes in two parts – the noodles/veggies/sauce are in one plastic microwave package. the shrimp + sauce comes in another and is put under a broiler and then added to the microwaved pasta.

      Basically, it’s a step above Smart Ones but costs 3 times as much.

    • a_logic_so_cold says:

      @gmss0205: I can CONFIRM that Most of the food at Applebees is pre-cooked. I Used to cook at an applebees and well Grill Items are not pre-cooked. the garlic mashed potatoes, veggies, pastas, chicken wings…all pre-cooked.

      As for this story. I’m assuming he ordered pasta. in which they through a bag of pre-portioned noodles and pre-portioned alfredo into a container with whatever other ingredients and microwave it for 2 minutes. 2 minutes is all it takes. Chicken could have been one that just got done cooking on the grill.

  3. British Benzene says:

    Chili’s or Red Robin is the way to go. Applebee’s actually comes after several fast food places on my list.

  4. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Did the sticker at least indicate the food was used before that date?

  5. Crymson_77 says:

    Far as I hear, it is a mixed bag. Some is precooked, others not.

  6. timmus says:

    Wow, that sucks. I recall eating in Black Eyed Pea years ago, and my date found a long hair in the roll; the manager came over and insisted on comping the whole meal.

    I guess one of us has to start the Applebee’s pile-on, but I do hold them to be bottom of the barrel in terms of service and quality. I’ve had a few entrees there lately that were clearly made with the lowest possible quality of ingredient one could possibly buy from Sysco. After one particularly atrocious Cowboy Burger two years ago I’ve avoided them like the plague.

  7. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I told him I wanted it to go.

    I’m confused. Why would you ask for the food to go if you didn’t want to eat it at all? Were you just trying to get out of there at that point.

    • macinjosh says:

      @Rectilinear Propagation: Y’know on Norm MacDonald’s show (A Minute with Stan Hooper), they had a scene about this type of confusion. it went something like this:

      Norm, eating at a bar: I want it to go.
      Bartender takes it away and throws it away.
      Norm: No, when I say I want it “to go”, I want to take it home.
      Bartender: Ohhhhh.
      *some annoying (to Norm) conversation takes place
      Norm: I want you to go now.
      Bartender: Awwww, you want to take me home!!

      Aaaaand scene.

      What was my point? Oh yeah… he meant he wanted the gross food to go (away).

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        @macinjosh: OK, NOW it makes sense. Thanks.

        I’m amazed that, even to this point, commenters still don’t understand that its not always the initial action that is the problem, but most often the response by the company that is the problem.

        @Farquar: Emphasized for truth.
        Honestly, I don’t think that people don’t understand that it isn’t the initial action. I think that some people choose to act like they don’t understand what the OP’s problem is so that they can attack the victim based on the least important thing in the story.

        I’ll give people the benefit of the doubt when I’m replying to them but I think half the time people are just using Strawman arguments on purpose.

  8. CountryJustice says:

    Wanna know a good way to get food that you don’t eat taken off your bill? Leave.

  9. semanticantics says:

    Did you get free Jalapeno Poppers or some Pizza Shooters?

  10. rdm says:

    Why does it matter if his friends are “military friends”?

    Anyway, that is nasty.

    • backbroken says:

      @rdm: For some reason, most reader submitted stories start with “I’m a grandma” or some other irrelevant qualifier that is supposed to engender sympathy. If your story can’t stand on its own merit, and almost all of them do, then adding that you are a “single mom”, “in the military”, or whatever doesn’t change that. If it’s not directly relevant to the event, a transparent plea for sympathy is counterproductive. Probably a good EECB tip.

    • rh0926 says:

      @rdm: I’m with you. Why does it matter that you were with your ‘military friends’? Seems weird to mention that. It would be like somebody saying ‘ I was with 4 other white friends!’.

      Seems every military person I know goes for anything they can get discounted at establishments by playing the military card. I have a friend that wear’s his ACU’s to restaurants to get any discount they offer military folks. If he’s not in his uniform, his wife finds a way to bring it up in the conversation.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m patriotic and really appreciate the job the military does to keep this country safe and secure. Problem is, most of the people I know in the military do their 2 days a month and couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with their weapons and haven’t been deployed–ever!

      Sorry about the rant….

    • Little Time Bomb says:

      @rdm: I can in no way be positive but he may have mentioned that they were military by way of indicating that Applebees is the only place in town to eat. It doesn’t jump out at people who’ve never been military but that’s what jumped out at me. We were once posted to an area where Applebees was far and away the “fanciest” place in town. I can’t count the number of people we know who have gotten engaged at Applebees. We’re not there anymore but I hear they have a Panera bread now so I guess things are looking up!

  11. picardia says:

    I waited tables at Applebees while in college, and I tell you now, it is one of the gateways to the underworld. Do not go there under any circumstances short of otherwise totally unavoidable starvation. Even then, do not order the riblets.

    • magilacudy says:


      Why pray tell would you say not to order riblets?

      I used to devour them by the basketful when they had ‘All you can eat’ nights. =P

      • MeOhMy says:

        @magilacudy: They are horrifying. The sad part is that riblets have the potential to be one of the best parts of a rack of pork ribs and Applebees has turned them into a monster movie abomination. I’d sooner eat a McRib sandwich.

    • MomInTraining says:

      @picardia: I saw your comment about Riblets and almost threw up! A few years ago, I made the VERY bad decision to order them. They were funky, so I only ate few bites of them, but that was enough…

      After a pretty disgusting two days with major intestinal issues, I contacted their customer service. After eight months, someone finally got back to me. I reminded them about the situation a couple of times along the way, but apparently they were passing the buck internally between corporate and the franchise.

      They did eventually comp us a meal (and we did chance it for the free food), but it was too little, too late in my opinion. The restaurant eventually went out of business, and since my original visit, I learned that multiple people had gotten sick after eating there. If I am going to eat that kind of chain food, I prefer Friday’s.

  12. SkokieGuy says:

    Your local Department of Health should be interested in this information.

    A. They served adulterated food.
    B. When advised of adulterated food, they did not require the diner to surrender the dish for replacement, the diner had to request this obvious action.
    C. When requested by the diner, the dish was not replaced.

    Any establishment that will lie and reserve a contaminated dish will likely commit other health violations.

  13. Nogard13 says:

    I don’t think it’s “nasty” as others have said. It’s a friggin sticker, for Christ’s sake! It’s not like he found a huge booger on his sammy.

    • jtheletter says:

      @Nogard13: The sticker itself may not have been very contaminating, but it’s an indication of a larger problem. Just like with roaches, if you see one, that means there are likely many more.

      Just what was the food in contact with that it picked up that sticker? There are some harmless explanations and some not-so-harmless ones. With food I would err on the side of caution.

    • lannister80 says:

      @Nogard13: I’d rather have a booger than a sticker, honestly. At least the booger is “natural”, the sticker probably has some nasty adhesive on it. Probably not poisonous, but still…

  14. BronzeHammer says:

    Guys, don’t eat at Applebee’s. Don’t send them videos of you having fun at Applebee’s, don’t eat three courses there for $9.99, and don’t order one of their many desserts which inexplicably come in “shooter form”.

    It is, without a doubt, the worst restaurant on Earth. The last time I ate there I had a gift card, and the food did not even approach a good value for $0.

  15. GMFish says:

    “Can someone confirm if everything is pre-cooked at Applebees….”

    I got a great steak there once, and only once, so I know at least some of the food is cooked and not just warmed up.

    “Black Eyed Pea… insisted on comping the whole meal.”

    A friend and I were recently at Famous Dave’s and our lunch was a little late. I didn’t even notice it was late. But the manager came over and informed us that both of our lunches (but not drinks) would be comped for the delay. Just to make this clear, we never complained about the delay.

    We certainly thought that was very cool and definitely a pro-active approach to pleasing your customer. Don’t wait for the customer to complain, fix the problem first.

  16. jaydez says:

    I actually had a conversation with my roommate abouit Crapplebees yesterday when we drive by. Between the two of us, neither of us could name a single person who did not get sick from eating there.

    When I was in college I ended up in the ER after having unconrolable vomit the morning after eatting a steak from there… I haven’t been back since.

    • the_wiggle says:

      @jaydez: ah, sounds like they borrowed the How to Purge Your Customer’s cookbook from the Hooter’s here in Phx. Wretched never eat there again put our family in the ER with horrific intestinal purging. . . . .

  17. mazda3jdm says:

    I love the fiesta lime chicken i go there once a month for it. I dont care if its pre cooked its still good atleast the resturants in delaware are awesome

    • AllenK says:


      My wife and I seldom eat at Applebee’s anymore,but that’s our favorite dish too. We both like Applebee’s and Chili’s too,but I’d rather go with a local restuarant. I would say O Charley’s is my favorite of all the “family” type restaurants.

      I wouldn’t freak out over a sticker.

  18. Dilbitz says:

    I had the blackened chicken alfredo once from Applebee’s.
    I have health issues that prevent me from enjoying spicy food and I mentioned this when I ordered it. It comes out and is so spicy I cannot eat it even though it tastes good. I told the server that I’d like another that was more bland, and she said she couldn’t do that and that she would comp my drink. A $2 soda was comped for a $12 meal. Don’t think so! My friend and paid for all but that meal and left. I haven’t gone back.

    My friend went back another time and ordered a rueben sandwich without swiss cheese. She told them that she was allergic to that cheese. Of course, they brought it out with swiss on it, she ate a few bites of it, and they had to call an ambulance because of her throat swelled up. Manager didn’t even say sorry.

  19. Murph1908 says:

    I once heard from someone in the restaurant business (when I worked in it as a waiter and bartender) that food costs are the least expensive part about it. It’s the labor, and the rent, and the utilities, that are the big factors.

    So making a fresh bowl to keep a customer happy should be the first option.

    Like Famous Dave’s did for GMFish. They still probably broke even or better when Fish paid for the drinks. For that action, the manager got a very pleased customer who will be back and will tell his friends (and the Consumerist) the story.

    However, I too have often been the victim of the same dish brought back after noting an error. For me it’s either mayo or mustard remnants still on the sandwich, or pickle juice still on the bun or fries. (Blech)

    If they do that to me once, I leave.

  20. VA_White says:

    I saw a fly in the coleslaw at a salad place once. We report this to management and the manager comes out to the salad bar with a big spoon, scoops out the fly and some surrounding coleslaw, then smooths out the coleslaw with the back of the spoon. She carefully carried the slaw/fly combo over to the trash and dumped it out.

  21. pb5000 says:

    I had something similar in an Applebee’s salad years ago, I was almost done with the salad and just pointed it out to the waiter who immediately offered to remake it for me. Since I was almost done I passed on the offer and when my bill came the salad charge was removed. It seemed to me like an honest mistake and they handled it very well. Now seeing this though it seems I now know what that was in my salad that time.

    • MyPetFly says:


      An honest mistake, well-handled, can actually build business because people know it’s a place they can trust. It’s a lesson that escapes far too many managers in the world.

  22. Ghettoshark says:

    Be glad that they didn’t give you new food. Chances are that someone would’ve spit in it.

  23. rpm773 says:

    Order the expired meat, and may we suggest a Captain Morgan’s Rum and Coke to go with it? Or a Turning Leaf Cabernet? Or one of our other synergistic marketing programs?

    • neoflux says:

      @rpm773: The only things I “suggestive sell” anymore are flavored lemonade or tea, because I know that no one wants to hear that shit. And I ask if anyone is interested in dessert, occasionally suggesting a dessert shooter. I don’t force feed you the drink or dessert menu lol.

  24. Raiders757 says:

    At least it was a sticker. I once found a band-aid in my Long Island Ice Tea at a now defunct restaurant called the Rock-Ola Cafe. All I got was a “sorry” as well.

  25. charliew77 says:

    As my fiancee and I are concerned, Crapplebee’s is by far the worst “family” restaurant. In the few times we’ve gone there we’ve had improperly cooked food there before, and it almost always did not come to us hot, but near-room temp. But last week, while on vacation, it was one of the few options we had so we went.

    It was the usual sub-par quality we had associated with the chain (although when one of our party exploded a wine glass, they gave her another one and didn’t charge her for the extra). But at the end of our meal, we learned that the couple in the table next to ours found a big bug in their salad (don’t remember if it was alive or dead, but I don’t think that matters much in the end). We noticed the manager had come over to them, and the couple told us that they were given a new salad, and removed it from the bill.

    I’ve heard of stories like this where the entire meal is comped, but this place gave them another salad that they didn’t want and sent them on their way.

    My fiancee and I are now vowing to never again eat with Crapplebee’s.

  26. ironchef says:

    it’s only a sticker. Come on. Relax.

    It’s not like a piece of hair or a booger like the other poster says.

    • KyleOrton says:

      @ironchef: What if the sticker came off of a bag of raw chicken? It’s evidence of cross-contamination and lack of attention to detail.

      Also, I hate Applebee’s as well. Never have a good meal or experience there. I know that the Fridays/Ruby Tuesday/Chili’s type restaurants aren’t great food, but everyone seems to do better than Applebees.

  27. glennski says:

    Is this different than eating apples with PLU codes on them?

    • MyPetFly says:

      “Is this different than eating apples with PLU codes on them?”

      Sure, what if the sticker from Applebee’s had been on the floor? With an apple, you can wash it off. Hard to wash pasta after it’s been coated with sauce.

  28. Nogard13 says:

    Well, I have news for you. That sticker probably came from the bag that some of the food was shipped to the restaurant in. OMG, the food touched a bag???

    Relax, it was nuked to death do any contaminant bacteria has been killed by the heat.

  29. Starfury says:

    We never eat at Applebees. The last time the food was not very good, service blah. There are a lot of other places close we can eat out at; since our kitchen remodel is done we’ve stopped going out and have been cooking at home. It’s not too hard to grill a piece of chicken, put BBQ sauce on, and then serve on a bun w/ fries.

  30. backbroken says:

    This is a great example of a business losing $$$ while trying to save $. Penny-wise yet pound foolish.

    What kind of training is Applebee’s giving to their managers?

  31. Eels says:

    I was eating at one of these restaurants once I think it was Applebees or TGIFs and there was a big black curly hair in our spinach dip. We told the waitress and she said, “nobody in the kitchen has hair like this” and I was like, “well neither do we.”

    I was in total shock that she would say something like that. Did she think I found some friend with wiry black hair and saved some in a plastic baggie to get meal comps? Yikes.

    Chilis also used to be my chain restaurant of choice, until I ended up in the emergency room with horrible food poisoning after eating a hamburger. Now it is my mission to tell the world that their employees don’t was their hands.

    (I know employees don’t wash their hands at other places too, but I didn’t end up in the hospital because of it)

  32. TVGenius says:

    Must be your Applebee’s, we’ve never had problems with ours. But this reminds me of the first time we went to our Olive Garden after it opened. My wife and I ordered dessert, the Black Tie Mousse cake, and when the waitress delivered it one side still had the wax paper stuck to one side. Not that it grossed us out, and we still ate it.

    • HogwartsAlum says:

      I wouldn’t be grossed out by wax paper; that’s like the candy wrapper getting stuck to the bar. Just peel it off and you are fine.

      But if the customer is skeeved by a label or ANY foreign matter in their food, you make them a new one. If you don’t, you’re a suckhead. It’s just good customer service.

  33. mbz32190 says:

    The last time I went to Applebee’s, my parents paid and the server must not have liked her tip (the service wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t really good) because after that, all sorts of strange charges started showing up on the CC. Of course this could happen anywhere, but this is the last straw. We now all go to an indie. diner, which has much better quality food, huge amounts of it, for less money!

  34. sirfelix says:

    My wife and I refuse to eat at any franchise that serves what we call “Sysco Food”. Pre-portioned, par-cooked, high preservative, high sodium food that gets less regulatory inspections then animal feed.

    Stick with one-off places with small menus serving fresh food.

  35. TCameron says:

    You get what you pay for.

  36. dtmoore says:

    Who eats at applebees?

    • BeeBoo says:

      @dtmoore: I ate at Applebees once about ten or twelve years ago. I don’t remember exactly what I had but what I do remember is that everything was so salty that it was difficult to eat and it wasn’t food like chips that is supposed to be salty at all.

      That was my first and last experience there. Sometimes a restaurant is so bad that it doesn’t deserve a second chance.

    • macinjosh says:

      @bbagdan & dtmoore: 5 military guys.

    • East_Coast_Midwesterner says:


      I have a friend who works at Applebees. She is a student so I guess that makes it okay… maybe.

      Anyway, I went there with a friend to say hi and got some food. While there we were talking about the people that frequent the establishment. For most it appeared to be a destination. So in reality one of the people in the group has to say, “you know what sounds really good right now? Applebees”. Rest of group, “Yeah, it really does, lets go!”.

      The people are a piece of work. Also, I found out that the all you can eat “riblets” have almost 3000 calories per plate! Vomit.

  37. GMFish says:

    Murph1908 “Like Famous Dave’s did for GMFish. They still probably broke even or better when Fish paid for the drinks.

    Just to be clear, we did not order alcohol, I ordered a diet soda while my friend had water with lemon.

  38. BullLifter says:

    My wife and I eat at Applebee’s occasionally. Mostly so we can get the Blondie Brownie dessert. Nothing we have found quite compares to it. The Applebee’s near us always seem nicer than the TGIFs, Chili’s, etc.

    • @BullLifter: If you have one near you, (the unfortunately named) BJ’s offers up the most guilt-ridden, gratuitous dessert EVAR: Pizzookie! Basically, it is a large chocolate chip cookie, baked in a deep-dish pizza tin, topped off with vanilla ice cream. Talk about your caloric overload. But mmmmmmmm it is delicious.

  39. Gopher bond says:

    I just thank heavens I have an iron gut and a non-discriminatory pallette. I’ll eat food off the floor, ground, whatever. Moldy bread or cheese? Cut around it and I’m good to go. Milk a little sour? Add some Ovaltine and it’s perfectly drinkable. Even a stray hair or two won’t dampen my appetite.

    Short of visible and moist extra-human contamination, I don’t really have a problem.

    I can understand wanting a new dinner but I’m glad such things don’t affect me.

    • Gannoc says:

      @testsicles: There’s a difference between cutting away a piece of moldy cheese from your own fridge that you know is otherwise OK.

      If you see that in a restaurant, mixed in with your food, you have no idea if the entire thing isn’t contaminated.

      If I made dinner for my friends, and they saw a sticker in it and I identified it, they’d pull it out and eat their meal. At a restaurant, (as was said before), that could have been on raw chicken, etc, and you don’t know.

      • Gopher bond says:

        @Gannoc: No, I wouldn’t have even thought about it in this example. I’d pick it out and keep eating. Like I said, short of a big green throat oyster on my plate, very little turns my appetite. I’ve eaten things with hair in them, pieces of plastic. I just pick them out and move on. For some reason my appetite force is strong.

        @Youthier: I get that too. My wife thinks I’m crazy because I don’t even send back wrong orders. I just don’t care. If I ordered a hamburger and you brough me a chicken sandwich, I’d just eat the chicken sandwich. My wife used to think I was shy or didn’t want to cause a scene but after so long she realized that when I’m hungry, I eat whatever is there.

        If this was 4500 B.C. I’d be alpha male.

        • Blitzgal says:

          @testsicles: Actually, isn’t it “beta male” when you avoid speaking up for yourself? :)

          • Gopher bond says:

            @Blitzgal: I meant that it’s an evolutionary advantage in times of scarcity when you can eat just about anything without turning your stomach.

            And I don’t see it as not speaking up for myself at all. I’m completely indifferent to what I get at a restaurant. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, just the way I am. It’s silly to me to return a misplaced order when I’ll get the same enjoyment out of what I received. In fact, I kind of like getting the wrong orders in that they are little surprises. I most often don’t even look at a menu and just order the special. I don’t even care what it is. I like the surprise. I don’t enjoy every meal equally but it matters so little to me as to be inconsequential.

            However, bring me the wrong beer and heads might roll.

    • Youthier says:

      @testsicles: That’s what I was thinking. I wouldn’t have even mentioned the sticker, I would have just picked it out and kept eating.

      I 100% agree that this guy deserved better treatment from the staff and his “demands” weren’t unreasonable but all these organic eating, no sticker touching, best cut of meat commenters make me think there’s something wrong with me.

  40. bbagdan says:

    Gross. Who still eats at Applebees?!

    • Expanding Buttocks says:

      I don’t know anyone who actually EATS there.. however, they do have some good happy hour drink specials. They should just turn the restaurant into a bar. They serve crap bar food anyway.

  41. wiggatron says:

    Meh, suck it up I say. It’s just a damn sticker from the bag of food that he’s eating. There are far worse things that could have found their way into the bowl.

  42. Sndtrkman says:

    I don’t have an Applebee’s story, but I do have one about Gino’s East pizza joint though. I was with my friends last year and we went out to eat at G.E. Well we finally got our pizza and I was given my slice. I started to cut into it and realized their was something in it. Turns out, it was a long strand of black hair (yuck). The waitress comes back and asks if we need anything to which I reply “either a comb or some nair” lol (the looks on my friends faces were priceless). She saw what I was holding and took the pizza back and apologized (after saying that was gross too). We ended up getting a new pizza for free and they didn’t charge us for the hairy pizza. Overall not too bad just that since then, I have avoided eating there.

  43. xkevin108x says:

    I got one of these stickers once years ago in a quesodilla. I haven’t eaten at Crapplebees since.

  44. Farquar says:

    Does everyone remember the 9/11 South Park Episode? There was a quote I that is apt:

    Kyle: “Yes. I’m saying one-fourth of Americans are retards.”
    Stan: “Yeah, at least one fourth”
    Kyle: “Let’s take a test sample: There’s four of us, you’re a retard, that’s one-fourth.”

    If Commenters here are any indication.. At least one-fourth.

    I’m amazed that, even to this point, commenters still don’t understand that its not always the initial action that is the problem, but most often the response by the company that is the problem. Yes, its just a sticker.. yes, big deal.

    Any time you find a foreign substance in your food the very least the restaraunt should do is automatically replace your meal. No questions asked.


  45. Communist Pope says:

    I worked at an Applebee’s in Maryland for about 3 weeks, and the lack of quality was pretty shocking. I didn’t leave because of that, though, I left because the customers tipped for shit. Possibly from receiving service like this for so many years. Who knows?

  46. Gopher bond says:

    and let me add, I think Applebee’s totally screwed the pooch with their actions. I’m just glad that I never have to deal with stuff like that, I bet it would be very frustrating.

  47. Blitzgal says:

    Wow, I’ve had my entire meal replaced and comped after requesting a well-done burger and getting a bloody one (and all I requested was that they cook the meat more since I’d eaten some of the fries and veggies already). Yeah, the issue isn’t that a mistake is made. The issue is the customer service that is received once that mistake is pointed out. And that customer service likely will dictate whether that customer ever returns to the establishment again. The place who went above and beyond to fix my bloody burger? Became a favorite haunt and got a lot more of my business after that.

  48. termitehead says:

    h my gd smn md mstk! Blsphmy! Srsly? D w hv t hr bt vry tny mstk vry str/rstrnt mks? Ds vry lttl mstk wrrnt hg ld f fr sht frm mngr? Cm n ppl, f y wr jdgd by vry tny mstk y md y’d frkng kll yrslf

    • SkokieGuy says:

      @termitehead: No one has a problem with the mistake, of course it happens.

      If the waiter has simply apologized and offered a fresh replacement, there would be no issue and no story.

      If the waiter, had – when requested by the diner – brought a fresh replacement, a little less gracious, but no real issue and no story.

      The story is that even when asked, they did not replace a dish that had an obvious problem.

      Make sense now? If you don’t want to hear about every little mistake a store or restaurant makes, why are you reading Consumerist?

      • termitehead says:

        @SkokieGuy: I read consumerist to hear about important happenings. It just seems that lately it has turned into a bitch-fest with every other story being about a minor slight against some poor guy somewhere. Yeah the Applebees should have replaced the food but is it news? We always get the side of the consumer and let’s face it – most consumers are total dicks who just want to profit from some tiny incident.

        • SkokieGuy says:

          @termitehead: Seems to me like the bitch fest is in the comments, [irony alert] including yours.

          The comment code explains that if you are unhappy with the editorial choices (included the selection of what stories are posted and the content of the posts) to email the author of the story.

          This story is not about someone looking to profit. This is not a story about someone being a total dick. This is someone who made an entirely reasonable request, which was agreed to, then not performed and lied about.

          Sorry you don’t feel that being served adulterated food is a ‘big’ enough story.

          And if you’re disapointed that Consumerist always gives the side of the Consumer [duh!], perhaps YOU should change your expectations of what you will find on Consumerist?

        • backbroken says:

          @termitehead: Yes, a lot of stories are probably insignificant isolated incidents caused by a bad manager or a bad employee somewhere who is having a bad day.

          But I still like to read about them because:

          1. Sometimes an incident can bring a flood of comments talking about similar experiences indicating that the incident wasn’t just an isolated incident after all.

          2. I like to hear how people handle difficult situations and the results they get. Might come in handy the next time I find a fly in my soup.

          3. More posts is generally better than fewer posts as I have the ability to resist clicking on posts I don’t want to read.

        • MyPetFly says:

          “most consumers are total dicks who just want to profit from some tiny incident. “

          No kidding? How long did you research this? I’d like to read the paper if it’s been published.

          I think posting these sorts of things is useful. It helps aggregate the complaints so we can see who to avoid… and I think all of us here know what companies to steer clear of based on repeated complaints published here.

          • dragonvpm says:

            @MyPetFly: WRT knowing who to avoid, a lot of times it’s also important to factor in local conditions.

            I was talking to a friend recently and we observed that we’ve had total crap service from some local merchants and totally outstanding service from national chains (and vice versa). Ultimately, it’s the people actually working in a given store/shop/restaurant that affect the final quality of the products/experience.

            The consumerist is great for giving us resources for dealing with problems (e.g. EECBs etcc..) and providing suggestions for what to do when faced with difficult situations (even if you’ve never seen it covered you can get an idea for what to do), but what it can’t do is tell you what the various businesses around you are actually like.

            For instance, I’ve never had a bad experience at an Applebees, Chilis, TGIFs, etc… I’m not a huge fan (and i think they’re overpriced) so I don’t go often, but aside from the occasional slow refills, I can’t name a single bad, let alone horrible experience. I’d be willing to bet that most people are in similar boats, sure those places aren’t even remotely gourmet cuisine, but they’re not as utterly horrible as many folks here make them out to be. You’re probably better off finding out about good places from friends and family than deciding to avoid Applebees because Bob and 20 other people on the Consumerist don’t like it.

            For instance, in my work in the construction industry, I’ve spent time in commercial restaurants and I can tell you, from my experience, the nastiest, dirtiest ones are invariably the small, local restaurants (often times they’re also the most popular with the best reputations for great food). That’s not to say that big chain kitchens aren’t bad too, they’re just never the worst I’ve seen. Usually big chains actually have procedures in place for keeping their kitchens clean and even if they aren’t followed religiously, it often beats what you find at small restaurants. Think about that next time you go out to eat.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Do we have to hear about every tiny mistake every store/restaurant makes?
      @termitehead: Maybe the sticker was a tiny mistake but refusing to bring out a new bowl of food or take it off of the bill is a larger error. We might not have heard about this at all if they’d done either of those things.

      Does every little mistake warrant a huge load of free shit from a manager?
      @termitehead: I don’t think a new bowl of noodles qualifies as a “huge load of free shit”.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      @termitehead: Aha! You didn’t end your comment with proper punctuation.


      Yes, there is no greater pleasure than pointing out the shortcomings of others.

    • @termitehead: use vowels or don’t waste the space posting gbbrsh!

  49. xip says:

    I don’t see the big deal about the sticker being there. It doesn’t really gross me out or anything… it’s just paper. I would have probably picked it out and kept eating.

    However, it isn’t supposed to be there, and if a customer is upset about its presence, Applebees should have replaced the dish and comped it with without hesitation.

    This is just terrible service.

  50. TechnoDestructo says:

    Did it also have the microwave instructions?

  51. indyjess says:

    Applebee’s was my very first job when I turned 16, and I worked there for a total of about 4 years. (long time for a teenager!) Back then it was still considered a fairly respectable family place, and I remember our standards being very high about service and quality. Sadly, that was over 10 years ago, and things are quite different now. The ones we have locally have gone straight down the tubes, and the prices have only gone up.

    Oh, FTR–yes, there were several pre-cooked things that were microwaved. So, not sure if the person who posted that everything was cooked fresh worked at one that did that? Ours had portioned baggies of pre-cooked stuff, or it was frozen. Nothing was fresh, really. Yeah, no thanks.

  52. forgottenpassword says:

    McD’s has these on their apple pies.

  53. I hate the fact I really have nothing of value to contribute other than saying that is really gross. Especially when you start to wonder what else is in there, like leftover plastic wrap, etc.

  54. lordargent says:

    Nogard13: Relax, it was nuked to death do any contaminant bacteria has been killed by the heat.

    yeah, what about the glue

  55. Dyscord says:

    Our applebees just opened a few months ago and me and my wife went there to try it out. The service was pretty good until my wife was halfway through her chicken sandwich and found out that middle was raw. She got someone’s attention (after about two or three of the waitresses ignored us, though it was fairly busy). They took the food back and the manager came out and officially apologized. Told us that the fryers were all timed or something like that. They asked if they could bring her anything else on the menu, free of charge. Since she loved their milkshakes, she asked for one to go.

    So I’d say that situation was handled well. She kept calm about it, figured it was a one time mistake and didn’t lose her head. The manager also seemed pretty helpful. Of course, they probably realized that they fucked up big time.

  56. mariospants says:

    Relax. If the Applebee’s commercials are anything to go by, you’re not there for the food, anyway. You’re there for the *experience* and given the way these chains are going under, that experience won’t be around for much longer. Next time (if there is a next time) mutter under your breath but so that the server can hear: “no wonder my uncle says they’re going to shut this Applebee’s down soon.” and start the inner turmoil.

    Anyway, I’d sooner eat at McDonald’s than Applebee’s. At least you know your food-poisoning class-action lawsuit will garner some money.

  57. rogue11 says:

    I actually used to work at Applebee’s while going to school…..want the inside scoop?

    Yes most of the food is pre-measured and put into bags and then dated. Now in all fairness some are put into metal containers that sit on a line that is iced down to keep the food cold through the night. It gets pretty disgusting back there. Steaks, burgers, chicken breasts, some are cooked on the grill usually never to the desired medium or medium rare request, as is that burnt chicken breast in your chicken ceasar salad.
    Noodles, soups, salsas and the like are all pre-made before they ever reach the store we cut off the tops and measure them out and date them. . .eggs, tomatoes, celery, and most other veggies and garnishes for salads and dinners are all cut up in the morning and portioned out for the day. . .in case you ever wondered why those tomaotes were meely or your eggs smelled its because its been sitting out all afternoon on a line that is being “iced down”.
    I could go on for days but I’m not surprised management didn’t do anything. I worked there received undercooked salmon and sent it back. They still made me pay for it saying that I was a picky eater. I guess your right I like my fish cooked, now if you could only cook my steak correctly!

  58. xdatax says:

    I’ve been out of the restaurant business for appx 4 years now.

    What i can say as a former Manager of an Applebees is this was not a big deal and will explain why.

    Just about everything comes to the restaurant raw and has to be prepared and cooked for serving. ALL protiens (chicken, fish, meat) are cooked on the spot per order as necessary. All fired items are also made on the spot.

    Certain items get prepared earlier in the day, as making them per order will not work for a large restaurant (ie. pasta…. rice… mashed potatoes…) These items take time to cook. They get cooked earlier in the day, and portioned into bags (rice…salad…) or styrafoam containers (sauces… various items.) When the items is ordered these do get heated up in a microwave.

    Every single item has a “shelf life” and must be marked for expiry dates. This is a common practice. From the pictures it looks like this was a pasta/broc bowl with shrimp? Both the pasta and broc get portioned per wieght and placed into bags (which get stamped like groceries in a supermarket). Looks like the sticker didnt stick well to the container/bag and made it into the food somehow.

    Yeah it sucks that it happened. The manager should have handled it better. The fault is soley on the MGR not the restaurant. These practices are put into place to ENSURE the food is not old/expired and is suitable for serving.

    While i doubt the manager had a new order brought out to the customer its not impossible. If somehting like that would happen in my restaurant as i was running it, id take the next order that was about to go out (same item ofcourse) and bring it to the guest pushing each other order back slightly. (this would likely only affect 2-3 orders for a minute extra till the kitchen can catch up.

  59. The_Atomic_Pod says:

    This doesn’t necessarily mean pre-packaged.

    I worked in a restaurant for 5 years, and when the cooks would do prep (DAILY pre-packaging of food that would be used throughout the day, such as fajita chicken mixed with peppers, or portions of rice) they would be obligated to put the expiration sticker on it. It actually is a good thing.

    That it ended up on the plate is carelessness on the cooks part, and it absolutely should have been replaced upon request. That said, there was likely not a damn thing wrong with the food.

  60. trujunglist says:

    I never had much of a problem with Applebee’s other than that the food is subpar for what you pay. My ex used to enjoy eating there. I did find the santa fe chicken salad to be edible and even slightly enjoyable.
    However, I used to think that for a chain place Chili’s was probably one of the best of the bunch. Then, I went to the Chili’s in Mission Gorge off the 8. I ordered a quesadilla, and the sour cream had chunks of crap in it, leftover from whatever was in the little sauce cup previously. There was sour cream already on the quesadilla, so I set the cup aside and bit into the quesadilla. I immediately ran to the bathroom and puked, because the sour cream was rancid, or something else was because it definitely tasted like shit. I went back to the table and grabbed my hat and told my ex to follow me because we were leaving. She was almost finished eating by that point, so I left enough to cover her meal and walked out. The server saw us leaving and asked if everything was ok, and I said no, but I paid for the portion of the meal that wasn’t vomit inducing. She gave me a knowing look and said OK, and we never went back.

  61. kairi2 says:

    Applebees and all those other fastfood-esque chain restaurants just aren’t my thing. If I want microwaved dinner, I’ll go to the store and get a cheap and delicious VOILA! meal and make it myself.

  62. tsalaroth says:

    I had a similar incident at the Applebee’s in Little Rock this summer. My wife and I had ordered a Bourbon Street steak to split, medium rare.

    First time it came out, it was well done. Second time it came out it was medium.

    Third time it was a brown steak that was not even rare – it was rotten meat. Needless to say, we got a free meal, and I don’t think the cook was there after that.

  63. Coyote says:

    Applebees has a habit of putting bacon on everything.
    Including a veggie burger. And it was hidden UNDER the cheese.

    “Waitress, there’s a hair in my soup!”

    “Oh yeah, how do you know it’s not yours?”

    “Because I wear smaller curlers!”

  64. Not Applebees related, but cleanliness / hygiene related perhaps… My personal pet peeve is going to a higher end ($30+ per person tab) restaurant and being asked to “hold on” to my silverware (usually after salad / appetizers) with no place to put it except on the bare table. I have had wait staff actually hand it back to me or tell me to grab it back from my plate. Then, there I am clutching my fork or trying to precariously balance it on another utensil or sugar packet — because I am one of those people that hates to “cause a problem” — in a restaurant anyway.

    Note to Self — When waitstaff says “Hang on to your fork” , I’ll say “No Thanks, but I would love a CLEAN fork with my entree.”

    And then, they’ll take my dirty fork to the back, spit on it, and shine it right up : 0

  65. TzuMom says:

    One time, I ate at TGIFriday’s and found a piece of plate while chewing my salad. I didn’t break a tooth (but easily could have) and management wasn’t too concerned about the situation. After some discussion, they did comp my meal the next time I visited, so I still had to pay for the meal. When I returned to collect on my free meal, I found a piece of saran wrap in the salad while I was chewing on it. I gave up on that chain.
    The last time I set foot in an Applebee’s, I saw the health inspection report. They had received a really low grade like 72 that indicated rats were found in the kitchen. I very loudly announced this while in the waiting area before my husband and I left. We saw several other people leave after us.

  66. shiftless says:

    How can people stand to eat Applebees is beyond me. The food is disgusting. Any time I eat anywhere that serves me garbage I have the charge reversed from my credit card. I hate places that serve crap food.

    • MomInTraining says:

      @shiftless: Does that work? Do you complain to the manager first? Do you ever have to provide documentation that your meal was subpar? I definitely think that is a great idea if it actually works.

  67. lidor7 says:

    I’ve always had good service and fairly decent food all the times I’ve gone to Applebee’s. One time my grandma ordered a steak well done, and she thought it was a little too well down (maybe slightly burnt) so they took the steak back and said they’d cook her a new one. Not only did they redo the steak, but they sent a whole new plate with the sides included as well (in addition to the sides that were left behind from the burnt steak).

  68. Odin138 says:

    I made an account just to post on this, I worked at an Applebees for about a year and a half and honestly most of the food is old, The managers used to go through all the food in the morning and re-date it for the next day, some times you could get food that was almost a week old. Most times they would just stick a new date sticker over the old one. I finally got fired for refusing to do this I would never eat there anything I didn’t cook myself.

  69. roguemarvel says:

    I’ve never had problems at Applebees and used to eat there all the time. Prepackaged food doesn’t bother me as long as its cooked right. Of course because of the pre-packaging I stopped going.

    See I just adore their Chicken Oriental salad, but it comes with nuts. My boyfrind is allergic to nuts. Because is prepackaged there is no way to get it without nuts. So we just go to places that can accommodate his (and by proxy mine) dietary needs in most of their dishes.

    We actually had an issue an other restaurant where they put walnuts in a dish, which it didn’t say it had on the menu. When we confronted them about it. They said that they had no clue if here were walnuts in it (again with some prepackaging). They then chastised us for ordering a peanut dish, since everyone seems to think peanuts are nuts. after we kindly tried to explain how peanuts are, in fact, not nuts and still having them look at us like we crazy we left and never went back.

    • neoflux says:

      @roguemarvel: I’m pretty sure you can get the Oriental Chx salad without the almonds on it. I wouldn’t quote me on that, but I’m pretty sure it’s just topped with the almonds. If you do go back and the server tells you otherwise, I’d ask for the manager. While there are some pre-mixed foods, it sounds like the server is confused with the Crispy Orange Chx Bowl, with has a rice pilaf which IS pre-mixed with almonds, and you can’t get that without the almonds, you can only not get the extra almonds which they top that with (double almonds apparently).

  70. That ‘use by’ sticker was fucking delicious…

    wait, sorry, wrong site…

  71. lingum says:

    What location was this???????

  72. Voiceoftreason80 says:

    As a former Applebee’s employee, I have to say this guy got off pretty easy. I seen much much worse than a sticker in someones food.

    If you want good food dont do to one of the major chain restuarants they are all the same. What kind of service can you expect when the average employee is hardly out of high school and just dont give a shit?

    Havent you guys seen the movie Waiting? Sad, but pretty accurate.

  73. shadowboxer524 says:

    I have given Applebee’s (and its identical twin Chili’s) way too many chances. I tried desperately hard to like both of these restaurants, but in the end, it’s mediocre food and mediocre service. I’ve vowed not to go back if I can avoid it.

  74. Pro-Pain says:

    Since the gas price increase and I the fact I like electronic toys, we don’t go out to eat anymore. I’ve lost 20lbs this year. Eat much healthier, and take turn cooking with the galpal. She turned down going out to eat on her birthday even. I gave her the money we’d of spent instead on top of her other gifts. Stay home. These places don’t deserve our business, they are gross, and the food is unhealthy for the most part.

  75. enderx says:

    It’s only a big deal because all of you are whiners.

    Stay in side please. No one needs y’all outside in the world where something might by accident SLIP IN TO YOUR FOOD. OMG YOU MIGHT DIE.

  76. emgargo says:

    Whoa – the same thing happened to me at Olive Garden this weekend! About halfway through my minestrone soup there was a little blue “expired by” sticker.

    Olive Garden was nice enough to 1) waive the price of the meal, and 2) give me a $15 gift card.

  77. jessicat says:

    I’ve worked in more than one chain restaurant while in college and I can tell you the sticker is a “day dot”, something used to show when the food was prepped, and when it needs to be tossed by. Having it on the rim of the bowl (or in the food for that matter) presents no harm at all. If you see the high levels of heat that these things are cooked at to get them done quickly, you would realize that it’s very unlikely you’ll suffer any illness. In fact, the expo, had he/she seen it before the plate went out, would have simply removed it and served the plate as is anyway. We aren’t re-cooking shit unless we absolutely have to. You didn’t want onions on your salad? We take it back, remove the offensive onions with our bare hands, and bring it right back out. 9 times out of 10 there are no gloves invloved in the handling of any part of your meal. A sticker is the least of your worries.

    I totally think the food should have been redone and boxed if that’s what he wanted, but why the hell is everyone freaking out about the way a chain restaurant operates? Does it really shock you? There’s a little bit of overreaction going on. Hell, if I find a hair in my food I’ll take it out and keep on going. Nothing in a single hair, or a sticker, is going to hurt you.

  78. Con Seannery says:

    This would never happen at Shenanigans!

  79. QquegChristian says:

    Every container, large or small, in a restaurant kitchen is supposed to have a dated sticker on it… kitchens are usually stocked to the brim and not stickering things would lead to a batch of this or that getting lost in the fridge with newer batches for a month before it’s used. Be happy that the stickers are around!

    Of course, this whole sticker system in EVERY restaurant is ensuring that you are ALWAYS eating the oldest food in the fridge at all times. So, maybe that’s what this story should be about!

    If today is Monday and new steaks are coming in… the stickers are saying you should cook the steaks that came in Thursday first. Guess which gallon, of thirty gallons of milk you’re getting your child’s milk from? The oldest. Not expired… today. But maybe tomorrow.

  80. neoflux says:

    For those wondering if things are pre-cooked at Applebee’s, I’m a server there and nothing is pre-cooked as far as I know. Everything is prepped from fresh food (think mashed potatoes physically mashed in store, fruits and vegetables cut up, etc.) and used in a timely manner consistent with whatever guidelines there are for food expiration. The managers are a pretty picky about making sure everything is labeled with dates and such. I’m no expert on this stuff but at least at my restaurant we try to not be idiots like this story shows some of our chain can be.

    Actually, now that I think about it I think they just switched from pre-cooked bacon to real bacon. Other than that nothing pre-cooked I can think of. The kid’s mac ‘n’ cheese does come in a little pouch from kraft and gets nuked and put on a plate, which I think is a bit lame, but anyways.

    Don’t think I’m trying to say all Applebee’s are created equal, I’ve eaten at a few less than satisfactory ones, but at least the food at mine is well taken care of. How the management treats employees is a different story lol.

    Anyways, hope that helped some.

  81. neoflux says:

    Also, that sticker is one used to label the plastic bags about the size of sandwich bags used to portion things like sides of vegetables, which are reheated (read: nuked) in the bags and placed on the plate til the food is ready to go out, and which time the side is removed from the bag and placed on the plate. Sometimes when I’m in a rush I’ll forget to take the frilly toothpicks which indicate the temp of a steak out or not see a sticker like in the story. Once I almost took out a plate with the food still in the prep bags lol. No excuse for how it was handled at that restaurant though.

  82. Kusabi says:

    As far as answering the question about food preperation at Applebees, I can say 90% of it is indeed “pre-packaged”, however, a good portion of it is prepared fresh ahead of time, and then portioned out into bags. I used to be a cook for an Applebees, in South Carolina. I have worked in the food industry for three years, and I can say without a doubt Applebees is the worst franchise to work for, in terms of health/sanitation. The particular Applebees I worked for did not use a variety of chemicals, and one of their employees (happily) told me to either “heat it out or freeze it out”. However, service from management can VASTLY differ location to location because, as a franchised business, they don’t necessarily have to follow the same rules as, say, your Applebees down the street.

    As far as finding a label in your food…I’m disappointed with how those staff members treated the incident, however accidents DO happen. I’m not saying their response was amazing, it wasn’t your cooks fault, the problem lies with who ever was EXPO (IE, the “quality” checker, he/she is responsible for presentation – such as garnishes, and making sure the plate is clean). I would have viewed this as “nasty”, only if the date were actually expired. I mean…it’s a sticker, and odds are it probably fell off the baggy as the cook was dumping it into the bowl, he/she probably didn’t notice. Them not making fresh IS on the retarded side though, because it only really takes about three and a half to four minutes to microwave a new batch.

    I state I wouldn’t really feel TOO upset because I’ve worked in the industry, and I know and understand mistakes happen. If your chef of the day is spiteful, there are a lot of items in kitchens that can be tossed in to screw it up even more.

    Lastly, I hate to break it to ya’, but if you’re eating out any and pretty much all food chains (unless they are in OPEN kitchen, which means you can see your food being made in front of you…Such as Red Robin, Macaroni Grill, etc), just about all the foods with the exception of meats will be premade. It’s just how prep work is done. You make a large batch of what ever sauce/marinade, etc and throw it into a bag for storage. It’s not “fast food-esque” as someone stated, rather, a method of saving time. Unless you’re paying 17.99+ per plate, like at the Space Needle’s Sky City, odds are it’s prepped ahead of time for simplicity.


  83. CyberCowboy says:

    I have literally NEVER had good food at Applebee’s my wife enjoys going there so I force myself to go 1-2 times a year for her benefit but the burgers are always over cooked and dry, the chicken I’ve had either raw or burnt, pasta always rubbery. My wifes food is always good she says, so I think they have a picture of me in the back with instructions on how to tick me off.

  84. dvdchris says:

    The same thing happened to me at a Cheddar’s a few weeks ago. I had soup and salad, and about half-way into my soup, there was a ‘Friday’ sticker. It was Sunday night.
    They (supposedly) discarded the rest of the soup and got me fresh soup, which appeared to me to not be from the same batch (was fresher and tasted delicious) and comped the soup. I think my first bowl was from the bottom of the soup pot.

  85. HaxRomana says:

    I found – no joke – a pencil lead in my food at an Applebee’s once.

    Maybe I just grew up and got harder to please, but it seems like Applebee’s was a much better place to eat a few years ago.

    However, while I do seem to have more problems (items missing from an order, writing utensil components in my food) at Applebee’s, I’ve never had a problem with their resolution or customer service.

    Still, I prefer Grizzlebee’s! Grizzlebee’s! You’ll wish you had less fun!

  86. winstonasmith says:

    Hey all –
    as a former mystery shopper of Applebee’s, let me tell you very succinctly:


    We would do the mystery shop, and then reveal our identities and take pictures of the bathrooms, kitchen / prep areas, and bar. This was not a popular shop for obvious reasons, and it was unfortunate that we were required to have a meal and THEN have to inspect the joints.

  87. ian937262 says:

    This is a good thing you dumbasses. Unless it was expired then you should be glad they have a system in place to not use food that has gone past date.

  88. Shannon says:

    Errrrr looking at that picture looks like that same bowl of noodle mess I ordered last time I was there. The sauce tasted funny, but no sticker was in my bowl.

  89. gibmarkney says:

    Ya know how in Israel everybody has to serve in the military? Well, I suggest that in the U.S. everyone should work in a restaurant for a year(no college deferments!). We all eat in restaurants but many of us have no idea what it like to work in one(Or work at all, for that matter).Then you wouldn’t be relying on shit someone else tells you about ‘what goes on’. Anyone who has spent any time in a kitchen knows mistakes do happen and they are the exception and not the rule. Most of the people I’ve worked with in the 20+ years of restaurant work take great pride in what they do and those of us in the industry don’t need to be maligned by people who don’t have a clue.
    I agree that dude got bad service from his server and from the mgr. but to read some of these comments, some of you people think Applebee’s is out to poison America. Work in a restaurant for awhile and you just might learn something.

  90. darkryd says:

    Majority of Applebee’s food is pre-cooked and flash frozen at a facility in Texas before being shipped out.

    So, theoretically they could have heated up new food in just a few minutes, however his fork was still in it. For shame, lazy Applebee’s employees!

  91. GVOLTT says:

    Aah, this reminds me of a similar incident a month and a half ago at the Applebee’s in Orange, CT. My family and I just completed a tag sale two or three hours beforehand (at 3pm, iirc), and we decided to chill out by going out to dinner that night. However, what happened was the worst experience we’ve ever had at a restaurant, even though service has been pretty good at Applebee’s for us before. First and second (can’t remember the order these two happened in), my sister ordered a chicken/ranch/cheese sandwich (whatever the heck it’s called), and not only did it not come with the ranch dressing, the cheese was barely noticeable as well; it basically was melted to the bun; and, she also ordered a drink, which was sent to the wrong table (the table next to us). Next, my dad receives his sizzling chicken fajitas…only to get it with cold steak, cold vegetables, and no tortillas. He sends it back so he can get chicken instead of the steak, and they only put chicken on top of the steak and sent it back out. My dad sent it back a third time, demanding he get the dish with only chicken, and that it was actually sizzling like it’s supposed to. They got it right the third time, but it doesn’t end there. Already about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way into my meal, I notice a piece of a styrofoam cup in my meal (which happens to be the chicken broccoli alfredo, which appears to be the same dish as the one pictured in the article). I wanted to finish eating, as I wasn’t really disgusted (unlike most people would be), but I told my parents, who were then able to ask for the table manager. That’s where we drew the line. It turns out that they measure the pasta in styrofoam cups, and a piece must have broken off. The table manager couldn’t stop apologizing and asked if there was anything they could do to make it up, but my parents refused and requested the bill. I guess the only good thing out of this was the entire meal for each of us was free, but needless to say, we won’t be returning to that Applebee’s for a while.