Denny’s, 101 Wintergreen Drive, Lumberton, NC

We stopped for a late night (around 10pm) dinner at Denny’s in Lumberton on Saturday, July 23. We were seated quickly, and had our menus and drinks almost right away. Three of our four-member party ordered the new and improved buttermilk pancakes, while I opted for the biscuits and gravy (which, for some odd reason, is NOT on the menu).

Our food was delivered a bit later, and dropped off quickly. The waiter who brought it (not our original server) handed out the plates and left so fast we didn’t even have time to mention that we had no silverware, there was no butter for the pancakes, and our drinks needed refilling. No one stopped by to see if everything was acceptable, and when we were finally able to flag someone down, we received the silverware, drinks (without ice) and NO butter. By the time we were able to find someone to bring butter for the one person who really wanted it, everyone else was almost done eating. The pancake eaters said that the advertised-as-fluffier buttermilk pancakes were good, and possibly a bit “fluffier” than the original version. I thought that the biscuits and gravy entree was quite tasty, as always.

Despite the poor service, we took a chance and ordered dessert…BIG mistake. The child in our party wanted the special milkshake advertised on the children’s menu,  but was told that they were using old menus (apparently from the Christmas season) and that some of the items were no longer available (including, of course, what he wanted to order). He chose something else instead, but was very disappointed. We also ordered the family-sized sundae, which was billed as four scoops of ice cream with caramel sauce, nuts, and whipped cream, on a bed of hot fudge. The sundae was delivered without any hot fudge at all. Once again, we had to track down a server for help. Eventually, once we were half-finished with the dessert, someone brought us a small dish of regular chocolate syrup. This is NOT in any way the same as a sundae served on a bed of hot fudge. I was quite surprised that the manager did not intervene and offer to make it right by bringing us a new, properly-prepared sundae. By that point, however, we were too tired to bother.

At no point in our visit did anyone actually apologize for the poor service. Our primary server mentioned that they were “swamped”, although the restaurant did not look very crowded. Of course, perhaps even that small a number of diners was more than is typical for 10pm on a Saturday. Still, swamped or not, the service should have been better. Knowing that there was an issue of too many customers/too few staff, a manager should have been making the rounds to insure that everyone was satisfied, and taken steps to make things right whenever possible. I left with the impression that nobody at the location actually cared about the poor service. Obviously nobody cared that the staff was forced to use outdated menus with offerings that were no longer available. Overall, very disappointing.

So, in spite of some pretty good food, I am forced to give Denny’s #7330 of Lumberton only 2.5 out of 5 cheesy singles.



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