Episode II: Crapplebee’s Writes Back


Did you read my Crapplebee’s post, and the AllergyEats blog post that it referred you to?  (Really, check out all the comments, especially from AEPaul about the posts at aceliaconthemove.blogspot.com!) Okay, then you’re ready to read this.

Well, maybe read one more thing… the latest blog from AllergyEats with the response from Applebee’s.  It’s awesome to know that there are others out there that share my affinity for writing letters/emails to companies and getting stupid responses.  I encourage you to let AllergyEats know that you want to see it pursued further.  I want to encourage you to pursue it yourself.  Write emails, write letters, write blogs, make phone calls, blog, tweet,  Digg it, post on Facebook or to the 3 people left on MySpace that aren’t bands, Tumblr, re-blog, re-tweet, re-Tumblr this until it gets out an annoys everyone and not just Applebee’s.

While Paul at AllergyEats dissects the message in his own way, I would like to translate the response as I read it:

Dear AllergyEats Subscribers,

“Dear people that we could really care less about,”

We recognize the importance of making sure our food-allergic guests have safe options they can enjoy at their neighborhood Applebee’s.

“We’re saying that we recognize that the food-allergic need to have safe options, but we don’t feel the need to mention any specific allergies or options.  While we recognize the importance, we’re also not saying that we’re doing anything about it.”

Food allergies are a serious concern, and we are working to improve how we accommodate the needs of our FA-guests.

“We’re telling you that food allergies are a serious concern, even though they’re clearly not because it hasn’t yet affected our profits.  We’re also telling you we’re ‘working to improve’, and again failing to mention any specifics”

Depending on the food allergy, we do offer different menu items that are appropriate options, or that can be prepared without the allergic food.

“We obviously didn’t read your blog, because you were told something quite different by your server and manager, about how there was butter all over the grill & absolutely no way to accommodate you.”

We recommend that you talk with your server or restaurant manager about the allergy, and how your meal is prepared, to help ensure your dining experience is safe.

“This is another way of letting you know that we didn’t read or comprehend your blog… or don’t have all that great of a grasp on the English language, because you already tried what we just recommended, and it most certainly did not work out for you.”

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention — we value the safety and enjoyment of all our guests.

“We’re not going to follow up with the server & manager from that store who are obviously unaware of our apparent policies, because we really really really don’t care.”

Sincerely,

Applebee’s

“Full of Shit, Applebee’s (The newly sentient restaurant chain, now capable of writing letters.)”  –  Seriously.  They couldn’t even sign their name or provide some contact information for a follow up?

I think I may just have to write to Applebee’s myself.

Crapplebee’s


So, I read an infuriating post yesterday on The AllergyEats Blog.  It was a post from someone who has an allergy quite unsuccessfully trying to find a meal that won’t kill them at Applebee’s.  The poster is much more adventurous than I am.  I do as much research as possible before setting foot into a place, even down to emailing or calling ahead to can see what I can eat that hasn’t touched any death-fish.  I wouldn’t even go into an Applebee’s because they cook shrimp on the grill & in the fryer in there.  A sample of the text…

I ordered a hamburger, but explained my dairy allergy and politely went through my usual requests – no butter on the bun, no cheese on the burger, make sure the burger is cooked with no dairy, etc.  The waitress immediately told me that they “couldn’t do that.”

What?  You can’t stop yourself from slathering butter on the roll?  All of the burgers come pre-packaged with cheese on top?

I was actually shocked because the staff had always cheerfully prepared my dairy-free food in the past.  Did they change their attitude along with their menu?

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you may have seen this link.  I felt it was worth posting again, as my W(aL)D instincts took over and I ended up tweeting a link to the blog to the people at Applebee’s

@Applebees Wow – “#foodallergy F-you: http://bit.ly/9UeUvz (via @AiXeLsyD13)” –  What do you have to say for yourself?

&

@Applebees Check out @AllergyEats, they’re the ones who blogged the situation: http://twitter.com/AllergyEats/status/21397851915

Apparently I got their attention, and they’ve contacted Paul at the Allergy Eats blog. Hopefully they can offer up some sort of formal apology, but more importantly start the steps to put a process in place where they not only recognize people with food allergies (and their families) who might want to dine out and need a safe place to eat, but implement training and procedures to become that dining safe haven.

At any rate, the comments on their blog have blown up, and get more & more interesting with each posting.  (Apparently the AllergyEats Facebook page is kickin’ with comments too.) Some of the stories share are appalling (& remind me of my original Subway-related rant and the recent “dog turd” one).  Thankfully AEPaul doesn’t seem to mind me sticking my proverbial nose into this Applebee’s mess, but apparently I just can’t help myself.  The internet makes it so easy to be crazy and so easy to contact people.  But really, this kind of stuff can’t go unaddressed.  Applebee’s has a responsibility to make it right.

I keep pounding on this, but for next year’s Food Allergy Awareness Week, we need to concentrate less on legislation and government and more on the people who are in a better position to actually do something about it.  I really feel that better accommodations can be made to those with food allergies when it’s consumer driven, versus having to make those accommodations because of government regulations.  Regulations provide no incentive to exceed the guidelines passed along.  Beating the chain restaurant across the street is incentive.  Word of mouth (or free viral social media  advertising) from people with food allergies and their families would be a hell of a boon to any business, and would most certainly generate some positive press.

Please post, re-post, tweet, re-tweet, tumblr, or Vulcan-mind meld this blog or the original blog (or both) to everyone that you can.  Let Applebee’s and other chain restaurants know that this is not cool.

W_a_L_D

  1. @Applebees Check out @AllergyEats, they’re the ones who blogged the situation: http://twitter.com/AllergyEats/status/21397851915
  2. @Applebees Thanks, it wasn’t my experience. I just read about it here: http://bit.ly/9UeUvz
  3. @Applebees Wow – “#foodallergy F-you: http://bit.ly/9UeUvz (via @AiXeLsyD13)” – What do you have to say for yourself?
  4. @negative13 Tuesday is the day for war & law.
  5. @BrandiCarter @subway @subwayfreshbuzz… did the egg whites have any “seafood sub” filling splashed on them?
  6. Amusing McStory from “braincell” who commented about the West Liberty Ave. @McDonalds: http://bit.ly/bQuCWC #McDonalds @Kty_McD @Kim_McD
  7. What kind of sauce would you like to see bottled & sold? http://wp.me/pwqzc-k6 @Arbys @Wendys
  8. @ChickfilA Those little mini sandwiches drive me crazy. If I passed CFA on the way to work, I’d be a much fatter man.
  9. @FoodNetwork any taco without fish or shrimp in it…
  10. @kevinpollak Which one did you get? Cheese Steak, Cappacola, Corned Beef…?
  11. @Bathroom_Reader …are all the noses in the same place?
  12. @SSSUBWAY What do you think re #foodallergies, cross-contamination, & lack of good responses from your CS people? http://wp.me/pwqzc-gH
  13. What do you think re #foodallergies, cross-contamination, & lack of good responses from your CS people? http://wp.me/pwqzc-gH
  14. @FredSubwayCEO What do you think re #foodallergies, cross-contamination, & lack of good responses from your CS people? http://wp.me/pwqzc-gH
  15. )xxxxx[;;;;;;;;;>
  16. @subwaytechtweet @Subwaydeals What do you guys think about #foodallergies & cross-contamination? http://wp.me/pwqzc-gH #subway
  17. @TheRealSubman @springfieldsub What do you guys think about #foodallergies & cross-contamination? http://wp.me/pwqzc-gH #subway
  18. @JohnstownSubway What do you guys think about #foodallergies & cross-contamination? http://wp.me/pwqzc-gH #subway
  19. @SubwayEatFresh … so, do you Tweet at all, or what? http://wp.me/pwqzc-gH