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After not visiting this particular chain of Restaurants in a while, I suddenly felt the urge for what used to be one of my favourite places to eat. The Blackpool branch is located on the Festival Park Retail Park opposite the Odeon Cinema on Rigby Road.
We entered the Restaurant at around 4pm on a Tuesday expecting to beat the tea time rush. As expected there were only around 5/6 tables in. We were greeted immediately with a smile by a pleasant staff member who seated us in a booth amongst the other tables already seated. Straight away we were asked if we would like a drink and upon ordering a coke and a diet coke, were informed that neither of these were available and we would have to have bottled drinks. This wouldnt have been a major problem for me if ten minutes later another couple were seated directly on the booth behind me and then served diet cokes, draught.
A different staff member brought over our bottles of Sprite and proceeded to take our food order. We ordered the "Large" bbq chicken wings to share and a garlic bread with cheese to start. After ordering the New York Chicken (chicken breast smothered with bbq sauce, bacon and cheese) for our main, we were then informed that there were no chicken breasts. So instead I chose the New Yorker Calzone Pizza and my friend ordered the Quarter Chicken and Ribs.
Our starters arrived within 8 minutes. 5 chicken wings on a starter advertised as for 2 people to share is a very strange conception to me. Although slightly overdone, they were delicious as was the garlic pizza bread with cheese.
Our mains then took a further 30 minutes to arrive despite the level of trade decreasing even further which I found disappointing. When it arrived, the chicken on my the chicken and ribs was extremely overdone and very chewy as it had been friend to within an inch of it's life. My Calzone pizza was cooked nicely however there was hardly any filling and the filling that was present was only in the centre.
The staff member did check that everything was ok during the meal and once we'd finished our plates were promptly cleared away. After spotting us eyeing up the dessert member, we were asked if we would like anything else. We decided to order the Cinnamon Waffle Crunch and true to form for this particular visit, there were no waffles available. We ended up choosing the 3 scoop ice cream in Mint choc chip, vanilla and chocolate which came nicely presented in a tall sundae glass with a wafer.
After dessert, our bill was presented and our payment was handle quickly and efficiently. As we left the staff member thanked us and said goodbye.
Over all I was very disappointed with my visit to Frankie & Benny's on this occasion. The staff members were very friendly and polite and seemed to take a genuine interest, however for a quiet time of day such as this, I would have expected top notch customer service with more attention to detail. If at 4pm the restaurant has ran out of most of the more popular menu choices such as coke, chicken breast and waffles as they had on this day, it wouldn't have held much hope for the evening service. The staff could have redeemed themselves here slightly by informing potential customers of any unavailable items before allowing them to order.
The average price of starters, unless taking advantage of the meal deals, here is £4-£6 a main is approximately £11-14 and desserts £3-5. For the quality of food, I would say this a little on the high side.
The lunch menu is served between 11am and 5pm. This includes £5.95 for 1 course, £8.25 for 2 courses or £9.25 for 3 courses. Although we didn't order this, I do think this is an attractive offer and would consider it next time I visited.