Newest Review: ... brought over, the server placed them down and went. We then waited another ten minutes until we got fed up and stopped a member of staff a... more
They need Frankie and Benny to help out with serving!
Frankie & Benny's
Member Name: scooch12
Frankie & Benny's
Advantages: Food was delicious on this occasion, nice touch with balloons for kids, enough highchairs available
Disadvantages: Service not great, prices are very high considering the portions served, can be hit and miss
We recently visited Frankie and Benny's after receiving a voucher in the post - it's a restaurant that we've visited many times before but hadn't actually been recently. My review will be based on our visit to the Frankie and Benny's in Warrington, Cheshire which is a fairly new branch based at the Gemini retail park.
We visited on a Saturday afternoon and the restaurant was around two thirds full, with a few tables still spare. For those that haven't visited before, Frankie and Benny's is an American/Italian style restaurant whose décor represents an American diner with an Italian twist. They play classic 1950's style big band classics in the background most of the time.
We were seated straight away and the staff member brought over a highchair as requested for my daughter. First impressions were good. Then it all started to go slightly wrong. We had been asked what we wanted to drink at the time of receiving the menus to look at (a little annoying given that I'd ideally like to see the menu first to see which drinks are on offer!) and we then proceeded to look over the food menu. The drinks seemed to take an age to reach our table. It also got a little annoying that we could see our drinks sat on the bar for ages with several staff just walking past them or standing over them while having a chat to colleagues.
When they were finally brought over, the server placed them down and went. We then waited another ten minutes until we got fed up and stopped a member of staff and asked if we could put our order in. At first we considered that they were just busy but it was clear that one or two members of staff weren't doing all that much while others were run ragged.
I had a chicken burger that cost £11.95 and my husband ordered a chicken and ribs combination for £15.95. That is one of the most expensive things on the menu, but saying that my burger is one of the cheaper things on the menu. Most main meals seem to fall within those prices. A lighter option menu is available, as is a breakfast menu and a set menu. There is quite a large selection including pastas, pizzas, burgers, steaks and fish dishes. Both of our meals were served with chips and a small pot of coleslaw as the menu stated. My husband's came with corn on the cob too.
We waited around 25 minutes for our meal which I thought wasn't too bad given that my husband's meal required to be cooked well done. When it arrived, the order was also correct although I will note that one time (at another location) they got my order wrong and I was served blue cheese on a burger when I was pregnant which I was very upset about as I had no idea before I'd eaten a mouthful and it was something I'd tried so hard to avoid. I had ordered another burger from the menu instead.
The food was also hot on this occasion, although I do find this to be very hit and miss at Frankie and Benny's in general and a couple of times in the past I have had to send my meal back as the chips have been cold and inedible. That said, I've never had to do that at this particular location. I'm not the type that complains unless it's absolutely necessary.
We were left alone to our meal - no one checked to see if the meals were ok but I can't remember whether that's standard in Frankie and Benny's or not. When we finished the dishes were left on the table - they weren't collected at all which is a bit annoying when we want to finish our drinks before paying up. We also had to stop them when passing to ask for the bill so we didn't feel that we received great service while we were there on the whole. They accepted the voucher via my phone and we paid up - the meal came to around £28 in total with the discount applied. I would advise to try and get hold of a voucher before visiting any Frankie and Benny's because it can be costly. I will also point out that the staff member made a point of grabbing a balloon for my daughter at this point which I thought was a nice touch.
I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and I can say the same for my husband - we both said that it was delicious. It was cooked to perfection and went down very well. That said, I cannot justify the prices they charge - although I suppose the menu is on view before entering the restaurant so the cost is known before entering. I feel that we could have had a more enjoyable time at a pub restaurant location for a lower price. The atmosphere within the Frankie and Benny's chain is more of a burger bar / diner feel than a proper restaurant in my view and that's something that I feel is key in my view of the prices being high. The food served is no bigger than in a pub restaurant either most of the time and the general feel to the place is more fast food than restaurant too so the prices to me are not justified.
One final thing - Frankie and Benny's make a thing of birthdays if requested. They turn the lights out while they bring your birthday cake out singing happy birthday if you ask them to. The whole restaurant sometimes claps - something that some kids love (although some look very embaraased!) They'll do it for adults too! They play several small songs such as 'congratulations' as well.
I've rated our visit, and my thoughts on Frankie and Benny's in general, 3 stars in total. The food is lovely and I do enjoy my visits but the service needs to be better, perhaps by employing more people. I also think it is very expensive for the food portions and for that reason it is only a place we visit now rarely rather than regularly. Having said that, I did thoroughly enjoy our meal on this occasion although I have known it to be hit and miss a lot.
Thanks for reading :o)
Summary: Service and price let it down