Needs More Ketchup

Get ready, Johnny Rockets, here I come.

We went to the new Johnny Rockets restaurant by our house last night. I protested because the last time we entered a Johnny Rockets, (at the new gigantic outlet mall complex), there was no indication if we were to seat ourselves or wait to be seated. We went with the former as no one noticed and/or approached us. So, we placed ourselves at a dirty table and swatted flies around thinking that surely someone would notice us. Nope. Not a peep. It wasn’t like it was crowded or anything, the place was only half full. I have a very low tolerance for crappy service and filthy restaurants so we left after 10 minutes.

Needless to say, I was less than enthused when hubby suggested we go to the new one located in the Norman Rockwell section of town near our house. (We don’t live in that section, we live in more of the Sling Blade section.) All the tables were full so we ate at the counter – no biggie there.

Anyway, here are my complaints.

  1. We ordered two hamburgers, two fries and one shake to split. EASY, right?
  2. The fries came first. WAY first. We were totally finished with the fries by the time the burgers arrived. That’s part of the whole burger experience. Not the appetizer. Ever.
  3. The burgers consisted of the most dreadful cuts of meat I have ever tasted. I have eaten better burgers at Hardee’s in the early 80s when they were REALLY shitty. It was rubbery and there were tough spots. The taste was generally OK, it was the texture that gave me the shivers.
  4. Almost done with the burger and still no shake.
  5. Weird mother-son duo sits down next to us and the woman began talking in a voice that led me to believe she was really a man or she smokes eighteen packs of unfiltered camels a day. And, she was loud enough to distract us from our own thoughts and therefore conversation.
  6. Every seating area has one of those nickel jukeboxes where you get to feed in your money and pick a bunch of songs. They clearly are reproductions so I’m thinking, “Hey, I bet this guy just has all these songs programmed into his computer and piped into the restaurant. That way, you always think you are hearing your song lined up in the queue. Meanwhile, he’s got a bunch of your nickels.” What a rip.
  7. I officially hate restaurants where the wait staff dances. A certain song comes on and everything slows to a dull grind while you watch these people dance and sing into ketchup bottles. They are totally embarrassed and you are still hungry and waiting for your shake.
  8. After the dancing spectacle, we asked our very young and shiny waitress for our shake. She got on it, but the shake boy was confused and tried to pawn the shake off on our neighbors. I had to intervene and actually touch the gravel-voiced lady’s arm next to me and say, “Excuse me, that’s ours.”
  9. Then it came time to pay the bill. Someone gave us one of those gift certificates that’s for a whole shopping area, not a specific store, so we thought we would try to use it at JR’s which is located in the Norman Rockwell Junction, the very Junction for which we had the certificate. When the waitress fetched the “manager” to approve the weird, possibly fake certificate, we noticed he was about four months older than her. Wise beyond his years, I’m sure one would say. But nonetheless, approximately the age of 16 and a half. He promptly got on the cell phone with the owner. (Who I pictured in a giant house in Pottersville smoking a cigar and counting his money while his own teenage sons who refuse to work are playing a wicked game of foosball in the background.) Of course, no one has heard of this type of certificate, so we kindly understand (they may not have been at the council meeting where the certificates were approved) and pay and leave. Then we swore we’d never go back.

In the car, I mentally crafted my complaint letter:

Dear Johnny Rockets,
Do not send me gift certificates for free food at your restaurant. Do not make me go there again. Just give your people a head’s up to get their shit together. Otherwise, three years from now, you will blindly wonder why your bloated over-extended chain is going down the tubes. It’s all about the flow, man. Good service, good food and whatever you do, don’t put out the fries unless there is a burger attached. Godspeed, people.

While I was doing this, hubby announced, “I’m so full I need a sherpa.”

Update: They closed within the year.

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