Dear Brinkers International

May 12, 2007

My boyfriend and I are regular visitors to your Rancho Cucamonga On the Border location and nearly every single visit ends in disaster. Not only has the quality of the service dropped significantly in recent months, but so has the presentation and quality of our meals. This most recent visit ranks up among the worst, as both our in-house and To-Go orders ended up completely wrong.

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More often than not our simple (but specific) orders come back wrong, and very often there is something noticably wrong with the food itself. They give us the wrong kind of beef in our tacos, include ingredients we specifically didn’t ask for, or forget about portions of our orders altogether. These are not isolated incidents, and these same problems appear regardless of when we visit, or who is serving us. I had always assumed this is a fundamental problem with the restaurant’s management, and that assumption was proven correct on our msot recent visit.

It was 9:00 on a Thursday night and the restaurant itself was not busy. We had ordered a few tacos a la carte, our standard order, and after an especially long wait the food arrived. Not only were my chicken tacos cold, but there were large pieces of cabbage and carrots in my taco. Who puts carrots and cabbage in a taco? It was as if the restaurant had opened one of those pre-made salad packs at the grocery store and used it as the lettuce in our tacos.

I immediately complained, and our server was kind enough to bring up the manager. He apologized for the ‘lettuce,’ and claimed that they had just been hit by a ‘rush’ and ran out of lettuce. He claimed that the restaurant uses pre-made salad mixes, and that he had been using it all night long as lettuce in orders. I have worked in several restaurants through the years and never have I seen a restaurant use pre-made salad mixes. The manager tried to assure me that they made the salad mixes fresh on the restaurant, but if they had the fresh lettuce on site why couldn’t they just put fresh lettuce in the tacos instead of this mix?

Other Brinkers restaurants pride themselves on fresh ingredients: if they didn’t have fresh lettuce to put in the tacos they simply should have said something when I ordered. Our server was very sympathetic and found the manager’s excuse unacceptable. She even confided in us to us that his excuse for pre-made salad mixes was a blatant lie. While the manager made no attempt to relieve our concerns, she went the extra mile to bring us a complimentary dessert. However, it was the attitude of the manager that soured our experience at the restaurant for the last time.

My boyfriend, despite his concerns over the quality of the food, ordered four soft ground beef tacos to-go for lunch the next day. We didn’t bother to check the tacos when we received them, and quickly paid our bill and left the restaurant soon afterwards. The next I received a call from my boyfriend during his lunch hour: not only did his tacos have shredded beef, but they were hard shell and contained no lettuce, just cabbage and carrots. We’re unsure of whether or not this was a deliberate move on the part of the manager to get back at us, or just another mistake by an incompetent kitchen staff. This kind of service is unacceptable, and we will eating at any of your Brinker’s restaurants again.

– Josh Trujillo

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7 Responses to “Dear Brinkers International”

  1. Tony Says:

    I've never even heard of this place. There's an awful Wendy's down the street, though. I don't think they've ever gotten our order right.

  2. Charlie Says:

    How do you mess up tacos? I mean, really, tacos. C'mon now.

  3. Josh Says:

    You put carrots in them. That's how. Food service is (obviously) a huge pet peeve of mine. It just boggles my mind how a Mexican restaurant could mess up tacos.


  4. Patty would have eaten them!

  5. N Says:

    I'll join you in boycotting this place, Josh!
    Nevermind that I don't like tacos anyway.

  6. Kenneth Says:

    If I ever see this restaurant I'll cause some trouble for them just for you.

  7. Megs Says:

    I don't really like On The Border. There's one in Tallahassee and the food really isn't good at all. Great drinks though.


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