Trouble in the Rainforest (Café)

          We were recently in San Antonio.  Karah and I have made a habit of eating at the Rainforest Café and the Hard Rock Café when we are in town there.  We both liked the restaurants on our own, one of the reasons why we’re so perfect for each other (though, in all seriousness, if you don’t like those two restaurants you should see a doctor, they are awesome in every aspect).  Them being on the River Walk makes them seem more fun than the ones here in Houston (which are still great, just a little different atmosphere).  This time though, there was a problem, and we didn’t eat at the Rainforest Café (ba da da dumm)!
Earlier this year we joined the Safari Club, the Rainforest Café’s membership program.  It is a great plan, low cost, good rewards, and gives you some benefits at other Landry’s restaurants.  But see, I misplaced our membership card.  We went anyways, and talked to the hostess, she was no help.  Aside from speaking like she had learned all her English from watching “The Hills” (incredibly annoying to me) she said there was nothing that could be done, she couldn’t ask anyone else to assist us, and she had no recommendation of what to do.  We ate that night at the Hard Rock Café, good food, good service; currently they are renovating the lower level, after that they’ll renovate the upper level, and then they will have a grand re-opening in February (live music and some other stuff, it’ll be awesome I’m sure), everyone should go.
We decided to call the club help line the next day.  Karah handled that call since I was training some clients all day (the purpose of the trip).  The support person was rude, and would not give us our member number.  She did inform us that soon they will have a system for members to be issued a new card, but for now the only thing we could do would be to join again as new members.  One of the reasons we wanted to eat at the Rainforest Café was because when we signed-up as Safari Club Members we received a $10 off coupon in the mail that expired sooner than we would be back there.  You have to be a Safari Club member to use the coupon; the coupon also had “Kyle Souza” right on it.  But the San Antonio River Walk Rainforest Café would not let us use it without our membership card.  We left town without eating dinner.
On the road, we decided to try again at the Katy-Mills Mall location.  Guess what, our server was nice, talked to her manager, and even though we didn’t have our membership card (so we didn’t get any of the member perks) they did let us use the coupon (most of the savings went to her tip, we were pretty happy).  We finally got to eat and enjoy the experience.  Customer service makes such a big difference.  When people have choices of where they spend money and the ability to disseminate information on their experiences quickly to a large number of people business really need to consider how difficult or enjoyable an experience is, especially in the current economy.  I would not recommend joining the club until the replacement card system is in place, and we ourselves have/are not eating at any Landry’s restaurants until we get a new card.

One thought on “Trouble in the Rainforest (Café)

  • November 16, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Never been to the Rainforest Cafe, but I have been to plenty of restaurants with poor customer service. I find it very frustrating. You spend way more than you should to be served and you leave with them making you feel like you were there to serve them. I think I’ll just stay home and grill some chicken. 🙂


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