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Someone Shared A Hilariously Sad Plate Of Food From Applebee's, And Chili's Threw Polite Shade

"We were just happy to be able to jump in and let people know that we're here to make sure people have a great experience in our restaurants."

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Earlier this week, 27-year-old Richmond, Virginia, resident Cordell Hayes shared an image of what he claimed he received from his local Applebee's after ordering the Southwestern Steak Salad.

So I ordered the Southwestern Steak Salad at @Applebees tonight and this was the outcome. I understand that food is… https://t.co/VCbr0uAe6J

Hayes told BuzzFeed News that he dined at the South Laburnum Applebee's on Tuesday night.

His photo shows a plate of a measly portion of an overcooked steak and, like, 12 pieces of lettuce. His tweet has since gone viral.

Hayes said he was hesitant at first, but after comparing his meal to the image of the dish on their menu, he decided to send the food back.

Cordell Hayes

According to Hayes, his waiter apologized and told him the chef "made it wrong."

But after the salad came back, Hayes said it looked virtually the same as before.

"It looked almost unchanged except for the addition of a single purple lettuce leaf. On top of that, my previously pink steak was now brown, so I assume it was simply reheated and then replated."

He ultimately had the order compensated, he said.

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This is what Applebee's advertises on its website and on its menus for the Southwestern Steak Salad. The dish is priced as high as $21.69 in some Applebee's restaurants (pricing varies by region; Hayes said the the salad in Richmond was priced at $12).

applebees.com

"Mixed greens, USDA Choice top sirloin with chimichurri, corn & black bean salsa, cheddar and crispy tortilla strips with a creamy house-made cilantro ranch dressing," its description reads.

People online had about a unanimous response to the plate of food @lilgautama received: "Wow. That's sad."

@lilgautama @Applebees Wow. That's sad.

Yo real tears coming out my eyes 😂 https://t.co/2LgpwharpC

Some quickly joked that the customer's mistake was going to Applebee's in the first place.

First of all, ya went to Applebee’s. https://t.co/jTlfTkOGKe

so your first mistake was going to applebees https://t.co/ugh4qCpBVy

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People began tagging @Applebees multiple times in the comments to demand answers, but the company remained mum. They also began tagging casual restaurant chain competitor Chili's to make a point.

@lilgautama @YaBoiLAJ @Applebees Playa mistake #1: u went to @Applebee’s instead of @Chilis lol

"Should have went to @Chilis."

@superstrong @lilgautama @Aye_jaah @Applebees should have went to @Chilis 🙃

"This is why you've gotta go to @Chilis."

@SportsGamersOn @lilgautama @Applebees This is why you've gotta go to @Chilis 👌🏽

Enter: Chili's, which began responding to the tweets and politely agreeing. Their professionalism wouldn't allow them to say it outright, but the tone toward the Applebee's versus Chili's discussion was "I told y'all."

A representative for Chili's told BuzzFeed News in a not-at-all-shady manner: "We were just happy to be able to jump in and let people know that we're here to make sure people have a great experience in our restaurants. And, if they don't, we do our best to make things right with them."

On Thursday, a spokesperson for Applebee's finally responded, telling BuzzFeed News that "the photo does not meet Applebee’s quality standard," and that they have reached out to the customer.

"We are dedicated to offering each guest an abundance of quality food and drinks at a great value with genuine, neighborly service with every visit. We have reached out directly to the guest to improve upon this experience," they said.

The company has also responded to the tweet and asked the user to give their HQ a call.

Meanwhile, even people claiming to be Applebee's employees got a good laugh over it.

Lmaoo showed this to all my applebees coworkers and we were dying https://t.co/iH0c16i00v

UPDATE

This post has been updated to reflect the fact that the price for the Southwestern Steak Salad varies by region, and to clarify that Hayes was not required to pay for his order.

Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.

Contact Tanya Chen at tanya.chen@buzzfeed.com.

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