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The Villages
Sunday, January 16, 2022

Restaurants in The Villages need to learn lessons in age of Coronavirus

There was this nice full-page advertisement in The Villages Daily Sun newspaper – for delivery, pick-up or take-out, at Red Sauce, one of our favorite restaurants in Lake Sumter Landing for the past nine years we have lived here. 

A neighbor couple and ourselves decided on Saturday we would go online and place an order to be delivered.

Only to find out that the BOGO was only available for pick-up. (False advertising.) I only discovered that by calling Red Sauce continually from noon until about 12:45 p.m. until someone at the store answered, because the Red Sauce voice mail box to leave a message was full.

We decided to pay the extra cost and for convenience to have it delivered.

Thus that is done via GrubHub. So, we placed the order, paid the delivery fee, and the Red Sauce service fee and the tip to the driver, online at 12:54 p.m.to be delivered at 5:45 p.m.

Got a call from a Red Sauce personnel about 5:15 p.m. saying the Fettuccine Carbonara was not really fettuccine, and we had a choice of spaghetti or rigatoni. We chose spaghetti.

And that we could not request bread because Red Sauce wasn’t making bread, yet.

Two disappointments. Oh well.

About 5:30 p.m., I got a text from our GrubHub delivery person, when she arrived at Red Sauce, to pick up our delivery and pictures showed the amount of people waiting for pick-up and the non-social distancing that Red Sauce was not enforcing.

Villagers wait for to-go orders at Red Sauce at Lake Sumter Landing.
A crowd gathers outside Red Sauce in Lake Sumter Landing.

Our delivery person said:

• There were people that have been there since 2 p.m. to pick up their orders… it was now 5:30 p.m.

• She was told they would call the names of the order and she would have to walk through a crowded group of people to get it

• She was told it might be three hours before she could get our order.

Well, with all of the above we obviously finally canceled our order at about 6:15 p.m.

I am really sorry this has happened to Red Sauce, but I hope they learn from this horribly disappointing experience.

The next day, a Red Sauce manager called and offered us a gift card. He listened to my suggestions and was attentive.

We want our restaurants in The Villages to survive this ordeal, but they are going to have to learn from mistakes like these.

Jo Freese is a resident of The Villages and has operated her own small business for nearly 20 years.

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