Friday, November 05, 2010

Where's the Beef!?!

I recently received coupons from Old Country Buffet by email. They were to introduce me to their new feature - seasoned steaks and steak classics. The email title very specifically stated "Come enjoy our new steak classics tonight" and the coupon was good to November fourth. I said to myself, hmm - OCB has not had steak on most nights in a long time. This new steak feature is something to try out.

We went to the "good" OCB a few days after receiving the coupon. It was a Sunday night. I purposely made the drive all the way out to make sure that if there was steak to be found, I actually would find it. Needless to say - no steak. To borrow from that old commercial that probably few will remember but created quite a media stir a long time ago - I said - WHERE'S THE BEEF?

It was the usual Sunday night buffet offerings - nothing to complain about (at least there at the "good" OCB) but no steaks. Perhaps I did not remember the coupon correctly - maybe it said steaks only on some nights? The did accept the coupon when we paid at the cashier- it was nice to get the $3 off per meal - with the purchase of the beverage bar with each meal - so all in all we got the drinks and saved one dollar each. But it was the steak that I was after. And never having had steak at the "good" OCB I wanted to see how they cooked it and if it was left out to turn from medium rare to well, well done in a warming tray at the carving station - as happens at the "not good" OCB. When I got home I pulled the coupon email up on my computer screen - I remembered it exactly right - "come tonight... steak!"

I then checked the OCB website to see what was said about the feature. There I found no feature. They were pushing some television commercial that I have never seen on television. So was this the feature that does not exist. Send a coupon to lure you in for the same old, same old? Apparently so.

While we were there my wife, who could not care less for steak, was looking at the advertising card that is placed on every table. There was a photo of a plate with two very appetizing chicken breasts that were covered in some type of marinade. She asked me, "How come they never have that chicken?" Good question. Another photo ad on the same card showed an appealing dish of macaroni and whole pieces of tomatoes - not a sauce but more like a salad. This ad beckoned one to come for lunch. I have never seen that dish served as well.

Since this meal, we went back during the week - just to see if we would find this steak feature. It was on a Wednesday night this time - and still no steak. It was no surprise - I really did not expect to find steak.

So what is the story Old Country Buffet- and Buffets, Inc.? Where are the steaks you lured me in for? "Steak classics" -" seasoned steak in a variety of flavors" - all stated on the ad that accompanied the coupon... So WHERE'S THE BEEF?


Cecilia said...

We live on Long Island, and have recently discovered King China Buffet in Scarsdale (Westchester). Believe it or not, it is only about 35 or 40 minutes away on a weekend without traffic. The dinner menu is slightly different than the lunch menu, so things vary depending on the time of day. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights they have all you can eat King Crab legs; a favorite of mine. Also the stuffed clams are good (according to my wife) and the Sesame Chicken is usually spot on. General Tso's comes in close and at times, when they have chicken with Orange sauce, that's good too. The Chinese chicken wings are passable, as are the ribs.

Overall, there's something for everyone, the food is changed out regularly (nothing is stale; the place is busy enough that the turnover keeps the food fresh), and the service is attentive (if not a tad overbearing). Honestly, what more do you want for $13 a person?


Paul M. said...

I've been up there in Scarsdale also. There had soft serve ice cream at the time, very good. I would consider this place a good value, not too fancy though. Worth the trip.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you ask an employee of the buffet why there was no steak?

Robert A said...

There are several reasons I did not ask- first, one should not have to ask - a feature is a feature; second - most of the employees barely speak English (if at all) at the two OCBs here; and third - like everything else I have asked about at OCB, the answer would have been "No steak."

Anonymous said...

Steak is only Friday and Sat nights for dinner

Robert A said...

Had the email said this - which I knew - Steak is Friday and Saturday nights - I would not have expected anything else. HOWEVER - the email from OCB and then sent again from Buffets, Inc. clearly said - "Come tonight" for this special steak - several flavors too - also not found on the Friday I was there recently - no "flavors" at all - just steak. The email did not say come Friday and Saturday night for this steak. And the email was sent mid-week.

The point is if a company advertises something it should deliver on that offer.

When I get an email from Golden Corral - now OCB's largest competitor - and it says "Come for the XYZ feature" - that feature will be there when one goes to the restaurant. Simply this was what I expected from OCB.

Anonymous said...

Yes i agree with you its very misleading