O'Charley's

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Be careful how you pay...

Nov 28, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Food-decent, Selection-poor (especially if you don't eat beef)

Cons:POOR service, POOR company resolution of major criminal problems!

The Bottom Line: Buyer beware...if you have a problem, the company will assure you beyond doubt that they simply don't care. Pay with cash if you go.


I used to eat at a local O'Charley's restaurant often and had been to several others. However, after my horrible experience and the company's lack of interest in righting a pretty big problem involving credit card fraud, I won't go back. Below is the letter I sent to O'Charley's corporate offices. After over a month of my calling and sending the letter, I finally was able to talk to a district manager, who was somewhat apologetic and sent me a coupon for a free entree...tax and gratuity not included! My family won't be back...and I'm certainly wary of using my credit cards in restaurants now...read on...

Gregory L. Burns, CEO
O’Charley’s, Inc.
3038 Sidco Drive
Nashville, TN 37204

October 14, 2001

Dear Mr. Burns,

My sister-in-law and I recently had dinner with her four children at an O’Charley’s restaurant. We eat there frequently (often more than once a week), and have always felt comfortable in any O’Charley’s. This night, however, we had a particularly unpleasant experience and a terrible waitress. Neither of us can remember a time when we have chosen not to leave a tip for a server, but on this occasion we both felt she did not deserve one. We chose, instead, to leave her a note explaining why she did not receive a tip from us, simply so she would not be inclined to think it was the fault of the kitchen or our stinginess. Since we had both ordered the same meal and each had two children on our tabs, my total and my sister’s-in-law were identical. (Both of our totals were $16.63). We both charged our meals on our bank checkcards, making sure to fill in the tip (none) and total ($16.63) blanks on our receipts. We left them on the table together with our note. Although we had intentions of following up with management about the horrible waitress, we had ultimately decided to give her a break. A few days later, I went to my online banking to find out my cleared transactions for my checking account. I noticed that my total from O’Charley’s that night was $21.63, exactly $5.00 more than what I paid. I immediately found my receipt and called the restaurant. I spoke to the manager and told him of the discrepancy; he said he would check his computer records and get back to me that afternoon. In the meantime, I called my sister-in-law and left a message, telling her to check with the bank about her total. She called me back a little while later; her checking account, too, had been debited $21.63 instead of $16.63. We knew we had been victims of fraud, so she too called the manager, explaining the situation with our waitress. He suggested she talk to me about what we thought should be done and said he would call me back. After not hearing from him at an hour before he had said he was to leave, I called back and again talked to the manager. He assured me that what our waitress had done was grounds for termination, and that he would talk to her. He told me he could not let us know for certain when she was fired because of employee confidentiality. Although the manager had been nice to both my sister-in-law and me, he now seemed not to have the time to talk to me and clearly wanted to get off the phone. We are now unsure that we will ever go back to any O’Charley’s restaurant, since we cannot be assured that the company does not tolerate such behavior in its employees. Additionally, this was more than just an employee breaking her company’s rules; this was a criminal act that she could have done to many other people and could continue to do. We have contacted our bank and have every intention of filing charges against her. However, O’Charley’s is ultimately responsible for the actions of its employees, and we are appalled that the manager took no more care in assuring us that our bankcards are secure from theft by their employees. To date, we have had no further contact with that manager or restaurant location. We felt, given the seriousness of the situation, that O’Charley’s corporate offices should be aware this type of theft is occurring within its stores. Additionally, we would like to know your corporate policy on such employee misbehavior and what you intend to do to remedy this situation. We need you also to make us aware of what your corporate action will be to ensure that such theft does not happen again to anyone else in any O’Charley’s location. If we are not satisfactorily convinced that such fraud will never again occur to anyone in any O’Charley’s restaurant, we will seek action as we see fit to inform the public that they, too, may be potential victims of theft. This is both a criminal and legal issue, and it is something we are taking very seriously. It has not to do with the amount of money stolen from us, but the fact that we were victims of a crime in a place where we once felt secure and that it has happened or could happen to others. We anticipate your swift and sufficient response. Thank you in advance for your consideration in this very serious matter.


This is where I signed my name...and we never got the "swift and sufficient response" we demanded...

PS- My lawyer told me they "don't have a very good record" for this sort of thing (i.e., taking care of illegal goings-on in their facilities). He won a substantial lawsuit against the company in a case where a minor client of his was served in an O'Charley's restaurant. My sister-in-law and I filed police reports in our case.


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