Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Rant: Space Aliens restaurant

First of all, let me say something positive: I am having a blast with this blog, and it makes it so much MORE fun when you read it and tell me you enjoyed it! So please do!:)

On to the subject of this rant.

Where: Space Aliens, apparently a kid mecca on level with Chucky Cheese.

When: today (kids eat free AND get free tokens for the rip-off games)

Who: 12 moms plus an average of 1.5 kids per mom. Lots. All moving. Nonstop.

I was the first to arrive. I've never been here before, and so was a bit disoriented. It might have had something to do with the decor and that Ben kept escaping to watch the big screen TV in the bar. (Warning for the future, I guess.) The "host" asked if he could help me, and we had the following conversation:

Me: Um, I'm meeting some others here...from MOMS club...I don't know if any are here...

Him: (blank look)

Him: How many will there be?

Me: I don't really know...a lot..

Him: (blank stare)

Him: Do you know how many?

Me: No - is there a party room or something we could use?

Me, after talking to another MOM: About 10 moms, plus kids?

Him: Okay. (then leaves for 10 minutes.)

Okay, so I wasn't exactly helpful, but come ON! You work at a kids restaurant, on a kids-eat-free day - help a mom OUT, here! Suggest something! ANYTHING! Halfway thro I was ready to leave.

So, we did get the party room. Our waitress did a pretty darn good job, considering the circus milling about. However, it took about 45 min. for us to get our food. On free pizza day. Shouldn't they have about 40 of those ready to go at opening?

While we waited (have you ever waited with a 20month old for food?!) we went to the game room with our coupons for free tokens. The machine wouldn't take them. The same "host" had to come redeem them for my friend and I, and every time he got one to work, he'd look up like, "See, isn't this easy? Aren't I SMART?" I just want the tokens, buddy, so I can quiet the whining for a few seconds. (I'm aware that I sound a lot like a druggie here...it's not a bad comparison, actually.)

The food was good, the kids ate well, and the rest was okay. I got home TWO HOURS later.

No, honey, this was most definitely NOT a party.

Did I mention that Leah and her best friend M had an arguement about whether or not Leah was a big girl? That had Leah in tears? M is taller, but Leah is older by DAYS. Leah's closing statement: "And MY mommy calls me the OLDEST." Take that!


Ruth said...

oh, snap! apparently, leah is leaning some needed assertiveness from her mommy! that makes me happy! i would shrunk to the size of a mushroom and said "you're right...i'm probably not a big girl."

Noel said...

As a ray of hope, your kids will probably outgrow Chuck E Cheese like ours did. It's a very memorable night when they are given the opportunity to pick the restaurant and it is one where the food doesn't come with tokens and the decor doesn't include a ball pit. After that, our girls developed a taste for $16 entrees and the Happy Meals and Play Places don't look quite so bad in the rear view mirror of life.

mama.nichols4 said...

What a bummer, I missed such a wild time.. sounds as bad as Pizza Hut after the Nov. meeting!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but you can't expect the guy to just accomodate a party of 12 moms plus their kids without some reservation. Yes, it's a kid's restaurant, but at any restaurant, a party that size should be called in before hand. It's just polite. To do otherwize throws off both kitchen staff and servers. The guy probably left for ten minutes to make accomodations. Don't rip on a place if you corner them like that.

Anonymous said...

I used to work for Space Aliens here in Fargo and typically it is people like you that make for a bad day...why in god's name would you just walk into a restaurant and say I'd like a table...we are not mind readers...

Do you walk into a gas station and say "I want gas for my car" without even pumping the fuel!?

Get a little bit of a clue before you rant about something in which you made the situation impossible to make a good one!

Lyz said...

Wow. This post by far gets the most Google traffic, and the ONLY negative (much less anonymous) comments.

Servers out there, I understand that your job is not easy - that's why I've never tried it myself. But I also know that I am coming to your establishment for food, and willing to pay money for it, for which I believe I deserve some sort of service. I keep re-reading this post, and it appears that the only issue I had was with the host, who at the time, felt less than helpful.

I specifically pointed out that our server did a good job, and that the food was good...just that the food was slow.

It's a kid's themed restaurant. I still think you should know your audience - and their parents.

I truly wrote this post- almost a year ago- from the point of view of a stressed parent. We've since been to Space Aliens again, and had fine experiences. My apologies to those I've offended!

Ruth said...

i have to side with the anonymous angryers.

to expect any type of fast service with more than six people in a party is just crazy, especially in the day time. fewer staff in the kitchen and on the floor make everything slow at lunch, even in a family restaurant.

liz, don't take it personally, but unless you've worked in the food industry, you don't understand the ramifications of an unexpected party of people who are too large to even guess how many people there are.

also...they can't just pre-make food. especially pizza. it's made out of dough. you know what it does when left unattended.

but keep being honest.