I haven't been back to Outback Steakhouse after they sat me at the bar because I was alone. I ended up taking up a huge amount of the bar with my salad and steak and baked potato all on different plates, and my drink and the bread. Not a great dining experience. (The bartender was great but I wasn't drinking so he probably wasn't enjoying having me there either.)
At least the bar was better than my experience with an Outback Steakhouse a few years ago. I was deliberately put in an entire empty section, behind a pillar. I had to get up to find the server to:
- get a menu
- give my order
- remind them after 1/2 hour that I was, indeed, still waiting for my order, or at least some bread
- get my bill
- have the server take my bill.
When leaving, I mentioned to the hostess that I wasn't pleased at being, essentially, abandoned to my own devices. She raised a Spock-like eyebrow and sniffed, "Well of COURSE you weren't getting served. You were sitting in a closed section!" The implication appeared to be that I had bullied myself into that particular section, rather than meekly going where I was put.
The hostility I got that night was totally baffling, far beyond what I'd expect even for places hostile to the single female diner. I can only surmise that they had mistaken me for someone who had treated them very, very badly in the past (I had never been to that restaurant before, so there wasn't a likelihood I'd done something unintentionally rude myself).
Every other OBS I've ever eaten at has been extremely friendly, so it's no reflection on the chain.