Tuesday, April 8, 2008

September's Restaurant in Hendersonville

ADDED 10/10/08: if you are reading this for the first time, please keep in mind that this was written in April of 2008. You can find more current reviews on this blog by using the keyword Septembers and searching. THANKS!

Anyone local to our area now knows about the beautiful new shopping center called The Streets of Indian Lake. One of my great friends, Beckie, is the manager at the new Gymboree there and I have heard nothing but wonderful remarks about her store and her team of workers. I got this email today from a friend and thought I would post it for two reasons. 1. There is a good chance I would have ate there as I have previously ate at the old location and loved the food even though I thought it was a tad bit pricey AND 2. I have had friends that were servers at restaurants that told me that servers will change your tip but I never believed it. Now I do...

Again, I urge each of you to form your own opinion, but this should remind each of us to not only keep a copy of your receipt that you signed but also to check your account later to make sure that they charged the right amount. Luckily, my hubby balances our checkbook daily so I don't have to worry about it, but if it was left up to me...well, let's just say, we would probably be living in a shack.

Septembers in Hendersonville from a friend:
We ate there on Saturday night. What a fiasco. Right from the beginning, the hostesses "forgot" to put our names down on the wait list. After about a half hour, we went to enquire about our status because they were seating parties that came in after us right away. They forgot us, even though we were the only people just sitting in the waiting area. We finally got a table (for four, not some huge party). Ordered drinks and appetizers. Appetizers came. Ate those. Still no drinks. Ordered entrees and asked about drinks- the waiter told us that the bar was backed up. I would guess we'd been seated for about 30 minutes at this point. Entrees came. We decided to go get our own drinks from the bar. My husband went to the bar and the waiter shows up with two glasses of white wine. He then proceeds to argue with me that Fess Parker Shiraz *is* a white wine. Um, ok. My husband comes back from the bar with the correct drinks, waiter takes wrong drinks away. We eat and pay, and My husband tips like five dollars on the seventy one dollar check, because the service was so rude and bad. He remarks on more than one occasion that that is the worst tip he's ever given, it was that bad. We talk to the manager on duty, who calls the waiter over. The waiter argues with him and us about our drink situation. The manager tries to get us to take a 9.00 coupon as compensation for the mess. Our wine costs almost 9.00 a glass, we refuse the coupon and tell the manager we just want him to be aware of the situation. This morning my husband checks our bank account. Our waiter has added TEN dollars to his tip, to give himself a nice 15.00. Called them today, and they agreed to refund the money because they found the receipt and it had been altered. Asked to speak to September, and she pretty much blew me off and said "big deal, these things happen, we're new". Nice. So with our new, nice local restaurant you get: bad service, bad management, and robbed.



Destry said...

I have been three times...and I won't go back.

(1) with my friend Amy for lunch. Everything went well, and I was excited about a new place close to eat that had some character.

(2) with my husband. Our waiter didn't know anything about the menu or the wine. He couldn't answer any of our questions, forgot to order one of our sides, and recommended the wrong cooking temperature for tuna steaks. The food was cold and the tuna over cooked...and I don't mean a little over cooked, it was inedible.

It was the servers first night on the floor, and it was late (8:30) when we got there, so we thought we would give it another try sometime.

(3) with a friend for lunch. It was a really nice day so we sat on the patio. It took us over 30 minutes to get our drinks...at lunch.

Then, one of the umbrellas flies out of it's post and lands right next to our table. It kept rocking up and we were afrad that it was going to flip over onto us.

Since waiters kept passing by it and ignoring it, my friend and I picked it up, put it in it's post and rolled it up.

Then, with the next gust of wind, our umbrella jumped out of it's holder. Luckily, it didn't land on us.

When we told the manager, she acted like it was no big deal...she didn't offer to comp our drinks for being soooo late, nor did she offer to do anything after we were attacked by umbrellas.

So...no more September's for us either.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I absolutely, but sadly, agree with these comments. We had so hoped that there would be a semi-upscale restaurant in Hendersonville so that we wouldn't have to go downtown so often. We were sadly disappointed. We went to Septembers a couple of weeks after they opened. The service was very slow; we were patient as we figured they were going through the pains of just opening up and figuring out how to efficiently run their restaurant. In addition to taking a long to receive our meals, we were quite frankly disappointed in the food. My husband ordered the prime rib and it was nothing like traditional prime rib -- appeared to have been grilled -- and the menu did not seem to allude to the fact that this was September's take on prime rib (i.e. not your usual prime rib). My entree was cold. We did enjoy our dessert. However, we definitely did not feel like we got our money's worth when the check arrived.

We decided to give it another try, in hopes that they had ironed out some of the wrinkles in their operation. Again, we were disappointed by the service and food. Our serve was not at all knowledgable about the menu. She could not even tell us how an entree was prepared -- she said "it comes with that stuff that starts with a p that's like grits" -- we assumed she meant polenta. We waited over 30 minutes for our food. The manager did come by and said he was sorry for the wait but that everything was prepared fresh, made to order, I suppose to explain the wait. I ordered the mahi-mahi, which was an interesting combination of flavors that did not appear to my palate. The main issue was that the fish was very undercooked -- I almost always order a fish entree when I eat out and I know when fish is raw! I am not a complainer so I just nibbled on the edges that seemed more cooked. My husband ordered a steak that was overcooked and our out of town guest also ordered a steak lacking in flavor. All in all, the food was not very good and the service was subpar. Our ticket for three entrees, no appetizers, two desserts, and no cocktails/alcohol was $120 -- definitely not worth the money.

As sad as I am to say this, I don't think we'll be going back there unless we hear that it undergoes some changes. It truly is sad as this could have been a wonderful opportunity for September. Perhaps it would have been better for an established chain, like PF Changs or Cheesecake Factory, to have been in this location.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brea!

Wow! Talk about bad service! You know, it seems like it happens more and more these days. Craig and I went to a local restaurant last week with some friends and our waitress got 3 entree's wrong, charged my friend the wrong amount twice and proceeded to argue with her that what she was charged for and what she actually ordered were the same price. They were, in fact, $2.00 different in price. The worst part is that so many of them don't seem to care if they did something wrong!! You can bet we'll be checking our account for "upgraded" tips from now on as well!

By-the-way....isn't changing the tip on a customers receipt...ummm....illegal? Hmmm....

kman said...

You should take a moment and read your comments. So mean spirited directed at a couple of good people trying to improve the community and taking a risk. I quess you are perfect and live in a glass house. Septembers is a great establishment and has only improved from the date they opened. Every restaurant has issues with staff and weeds out the bad ones. unfortunatly sometimes that waiter waits on you and you have a bad experience. The woman with the added tip should tell the whole story the waiter was fired and her entire bill was credited. September is a hard working woman and is always looking for ways to improve service and food. They have made several changes for the positive based on comments from the customers. I think you should give them another chance. They are a working family just like you, so take a moment to relax and take a deep breath before you start to throw rocks.

Brea said...

You know, since this post was so old, I ASSUMED it was dead in the water. Obviously not. I wanted to post a follow up comment to shed some light on this whole topic:

1. I don't think I in any way told people to not go to September's. It could have been any restaurant where a server added money to a tip, it just so happened that it was September's.

2. I do think that it should be noted AND addressed that so many people have had negative experiences at September's. I hope (and plan to find out) that those issues have been addressed but I find it pretty amazing with the number of people that read this blog that the first positive comment I got about this restaurant was yesterday and from her husband.

3. I thought Kirk (September's husband) was very thoughtful in his email to me, but the comment posted on here was a little harsh. I don't think anyone here meant to completely trash the restaurant, they are just giving an honest review.

4. I personally know Destry AND Beckie, both of whom have posted comments on here and they would both state the HONEST facts. If service, etc. had been great, I feel confident both ladies would have said so. Heck, Destry said so in point #1.

5. I completely agree that EVERYONE should try out September's again. Every new business has growing pains but I think that had these pains been handled appropriately, you would have never seen the original email. I wonder how long it took this restaurant to fire the employee and refund the bill?

plittles4 said...

Hi Brea, I felt compelled to add a comment since we felt so disappointed in September's Cafe. We went there for our 13th anniversary. Hub's fillet was ok, but not worth $34. I ordered the pepperjack pasta, and it was so bad, I couldn't eat it! They obviously used recycled chicken from their rotisserie chicken entree that they serve. It tasted like it was 2 weeks old. Hubs agreed that it was awful. I mean, for what they charge, they should have used fresh grilled chicken. The menu did not specify what kind of chicken it was. Also it didn't come with a side salad, for which they charge a hefty price. Oh, and one more thing, there is no bread available to anyone! You get these bland crackers. Call me crazy, but when I pay almost $100 for 2 people, I deserve some bread!! We should have gone to Kabuto where it is awesome every time.

Anonymous said...

We ate at September's tonight. It was wonderful. This was my 2nd visit - my husband's 1st. We were both very happy. We were treated very well, the food was delicious and timely. I'm so happy to have this in Hendersonville!.

s. said...

Hi! I was really surprised to be linked to you blog, because this is my story. I am the person that had the server change my check.

I would like to comment on the reply from September's husband. I did go in and get our money back. I asked to speak to September, and her response was "these things happen". Not a bit of humility, no "we are so sorry". So I went home and called the police. I wasn't going to do that, but I figured if they cared so little about this, then it would be in my best interest to protect other people from getting scammed.

I am glad that other people have had good experiences with September's. That doesn't change the fact that we did not. When you provide good customer service, good food, and a good experience, there will be no reason for people to negatively review your establishment.

Anonymous said...

Okay ladies (and gentleman) I'm sure you can relate to this.... A few friends and I decided to have a girls night out starting with dinner at Septembers. I had been there on two other occasions and was not impressed with the food or service. But like others I decided to give them another try.... You know how hard it is to get the girls together. First whose watching the kids and finding a date everyone can agree on. After ironing out all details we couldn't wait to get out!!!!! We made a reservation for a Friday night. We were so excited and started the night off by ordering our drinks. The waiter delivered five of the six and then came out with a single glass of red wine on his tray. My sweet friend across from me had on a new white shirt and another friend next to her a cute new jacket. The next thing I know both are wearing my glass of red wine. I'm talking in the hair, on the face, all over the white shirt and jacket, not to mention the tray hitting my friend across the bridge of her nose (later on leaving a bruise). The room was packed and everyone gasped. The poor waiter ran and we sat there in shock. We immediately handed over any napkin we could find to clean them both. Still no sigh of our poor waiter. My friend with the white shirt ran to a nearby store to purchase a new shirt and my friend with the stained jacket and hurt nose decided to deal with it. Finally the waiter showed and was very apologetic. We all felt so bad for him. He moved us to a new table. My friend called from the store and ask us to order her meal. Not quite the night we had picture. Have I mentioned how hard it is to plan a girls night out? After the shock wore off we couldn't believe that a manager had not been by the table to check on us. He was too busy cleaning up the mess at our first table and upset that we were sitting at another table. He told the server to move us back once the table had been cleaned. I then informed him that we would not be moving. Finally after appetizers the manager showed up (a little defensive). My friend explain that she had to buy a new shirt and would like to be reimbursed. He offered a gift certificate to the restaurant. At first she agreed and then decided there would not be a second visit so he gave her the money for her shirt. He then proceeded to tell us how he once on had wine spilt on him?? No sympathy, no are you okay, no can I get you anything!!! Another friend suggested he buy dinner for our two friends. He said that they could only comp so many meals (blah, blah, blah). I've worked in the restaurant industry for years not to mention we are part owners in a restaurant..... Just tell the truth. I personally don't believe the customer is always right. But I do believe in taking care of people. Later on he did comp my appetizer so I paid for my friends meal. Will we ever go back? No way! Do we want them to fail? No way! But if you want to be successful, train your employees. That should be an on going process. Have your wine purveyors hold a seminar for you bartenders/servers. And last but not least treat your customers with respect by using a little common sense.

Anonymous said...

In response to the wine spill. I was in the same space as this group. But the facts are a little off. From what I saw the waiter had a full tray of drinks and some of the women started pulling drinks off the tray. If you have never waitressed before - this takes skill and especially balance. If customers start pulling their drinks/food off the tray before the server is ready - guess what - it will fall. I am sure your group was just trying to help. But you said the point of your evening was to go out with the girls - I can't believe you would let material things get in the way of you having a good time. Plus from what I can remember this event took place about 2 months ago - why now? Also could not hear the conversation but it looked like several of the people from the restaurant were involved and seemed to take care of things. My experience since September's has been open has been great everytime. So glad they came to Hendersonville and me and my family do not have to eat crappy chain food anymore.

Anonymous said...

In response to the last post. You must be mistaken. No one pulled drinks off the tray. We are grown up enough to know better. We came to be waited on not serve ourselves. The glass of wine was the only drink on the tray. Perhaps you were there on another night when someone else was drenched by a glass of wine. By the tone of your response you must be related to September. If this is your idea of a good restaurant might I suggest going into Nashville for a real dining experience.