Friday, May 10, 2013

We all knew my voice was loud...but this time it was worth it.

This blog posting is a follow up to my blog posting of May 7th, regarding my local franchise Red Robin's decision to serve a different pasta than the spaghetti they had pictured on their kid's menu:

After sharing my blog post for two days, Red Robin contacted me via Twitter Direct Message Wednesday night asking if I had heard from the executive management of the franchise that I had the issue with, as they had been trying to reach me. As the number I had give them was my work number, I let them know that I hadn't heard from them yet, and there were probably messages waiting for me as I was away from my desk most of the day.

Upon returning to the office on Thursday, I retrieved three messages from the Executive Vice President / Operating Manager of the local franchise. The messages were apologetic in nature and expressed a sincere need to want to talk to me. She left me her personal cell phone number and asked me to contact her at my earliest convenience. I called her back and left a message.

She shortly returned my phone call and our conversation commenced. She immediately apologized for the strife that Lex and I encountered. She explained that she decided to make the decision herself to change out the pasta in all of her 7 franchise restaurants because she considered the cavatelli pasta to be a higher quality pasta than the spaghetti. One thing that I didn't know is that she made this decision around six or seven years ago. She fully admitted that she never thought of the consequences of substituting the pasta without informing the customers until she heard about my complaint. It was also mentioned that it would have been smart to maybe have the servers tell the children when they ordered the spaghetti that they would actually be getting a different pasta. But hindsight is 50/50.

She said that once she heard about the impact that the "bait and switch" would have on children with autism, she said she knew my complaint made sense, as she knows children who are affected which autism spectrum disorders and could see how that would cause discomfort.

She continued to tell me that after speaking to me, the manager of the franchise restaurant that we went to went out on his own and bought boxes of spaghetti to have on hand in case there were children who came in who had the same issue. I was surprised to hear this, as one of the things that he told me was that he wasn't "allowed" to do this.

But now for the good news.

I was informed that from this week forward, all seven of her franchises will carry spaghetti. The servers have been instructed to offer the children that order the spaghetti the choice of it as pictured or the cavatelli as was being served for the last 6-7 years. I completely understand allowing both choices as some children who are frequent visitors to the restaurant (like my son was) may have come to love that and would be upset to now learn their favorite food is all of a sudden gone.

I was asked for my home address as she wanted to invite Lex and I back as her guests to prove that things have changed. Yes, I'll be back. In fact, I'll be visiting all seven franchise locations. And I'll let you know exactly what happens when Lex orders the spaghetti. Let's all pray that he gets what he orders, because I would really hate to intentionally be inducing a meltdown.


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