Last night I received a phone call from Charlie, the Owner of the Melting Pot in Atlantic City. He apologized for taking so long to contact me. He said that he read the letter that I sent, and he told the General Manager (who received my email first) that every single thing in my email was true. I was relieved, because I didn’t want it to seem like I was over exaggerating anything. He said I was right on the money with everything.
He said that he was approached by the Food Network/Harrah’s about this prospective event, and he figured it would be a great marketing opportunity. The Melting Pot didn’t receive ANY money at all for this event, and they had no input at all in how things went. They donated ALL of the food. He said that things kept changing up until the event actually happened. The event was supposed to take place at the pool, then it was moved to another area of the pool, then it was moved to the balcony. At the last minute he was informed that he couldn’t use his servers at the event. There was a big deal about Union/Non Union, etc so it was Union workers that were serving the food, NOT Melting Pot employees. So right before the event, they had to learn the whole fondue thing and what to do. Obviously the union workers didn’t really care. Charlie said that he almost pulled out of it because he didn’t like how it was being handled.
He said that there was a very long line outside of the pool area to get in. At 4:01pm they let people in, so there were 200 people that pretty much stormed up the steps to the balcony. No wonder they were running out of food. You should never let in that many people at once and expect it to go smoothly. Plus, at first people were serving themselves, so they were taking huge portions, leaving the rest of us with two shrimp and an attitude from the servers.
Charlie was told that Ingrid and Duff would be walking around, mingling, putting together some fondue, etc. That wasn’t the case. They were pretty much roped off, and there was a line to meet them/get your picture taken with them. Here’s the kicker. I hope everyone is sitting down for this. Duff and Ingrid were only there for TWO HOURS! When I heard that I almost fell over. We only stayed there until about 5:15pm (and then left to go home and we stopped at McDonald’s on the way home since we were hungry!). But the event was supposed to run from 4pm – 8pm. But they were only there for 2 hours. Apparently someone didn’t arrive until after 6pm, and by that time Duff and Ingrid were gone.
So needless to say, this event wasn’t what Charlie expected. He thought it would be a good marketing opportunity (who wouldn’t think that?), but that’s not exactly how it turned out. There are some people that had never been to the restaurant and they were happy to be able to taste the fondue. But there were others like myself who were very disappointed. He said he didn’t know about the seat numbers on the ticket. He told me to contact Ticketmaster and see if I can get a refund. He said if he was in my shoes he would definitely be contacting them. So I am going to try that. We’ll see how it turns out. I’m not expecting much.
Charlie said he won’t do an event like this again – unless it’s in his restaurant. But he said they’d have to pay him since he’s not closing down his restaurant for something like that. I really sympathized with him because he gave so much, only to have the Melting Pot’s reputation on the line. I told him that we go to the Melting Pot often, and we’ve NEVER had a bad experience there. That’s why I was surprised about the servers there, until I found out that they weren’t Melting Pot employees — so then it all made sense.
He invited Carlos and I down to the Melting Pot in Atlantic City for the Big Night Out and a few glasses of wine on him. I really appreciate the fact that he took the time to talk to me and explain everything about the event, as well as inviting us to the restaurant.
Next up – Contact Ticketmaster!