19 September 2005

Fast-ish food

In Australia we were used to "Fast Food" being relatively instant. One orders the food, it is assembled into bags and given to you. But it is different here.
One places an order and then it is slowly assembled from core ingredients. You are given a cup/s to fill whilst waiting, get to drink and refill it whilst you wonder what is taking so long and then finally the food arrives.
Tonight we first went to Burger King. We never use the drive through as our accent combined with yelling into a poorly placed speaker guarantees a randomly generated order. The problem with going to the main counter is that drive through customers take priority. There was a lady in front of us, then Lana and I. After a couple of minutes of both of us being ignored I commented loudly, "It looks as though we aren't necessary here. Do you think we should reward poor service?" Lana dutifully replied, "No. They don't want customers, so we should do as they wish." So we left. As did the lady in front of us.
Across the street is McDonalds. At least they served us quickly and gave us the cup to fill. Around the corner the ceiling was dripping water with a sign "Caution. Cleaning in progress" No staff were actually cleaning and the floor was dangerously wet. Customers were expected to duck between drips to get to the drink machine. Lana went to the car to pass the drink around whilst I waited. The six or so staff did their very best to ignore me and any other customer not immediately threatening to order anything or ask a question.
So, what are some of the service rules broken between both establishments?
Burger King:
1. Allowing customers to come into the store and be ignored.
2. Letting customers escape and not even noticing.
3. Avoiding eye contact and not smiling when dealing with a customer.
4. Allowing a dangerous situation (wet floor) to exist with no action.
5. Standing around chatting between any direct customer contact.
6. Ignoring the customer whilst the orders are delayed, not informing him of the order status.
7. Announcing the completion of an order by looking at random customers and saying "Deluxe Grilled Chicken?" I suspect the answer of, "No. I usually go by the name David." wouldn't be understood.
8. Finally delivering a delayed order, avoiding eye contact or a smile, just handing over the bags.
All in all an important lesson for the children in how NOT to provide customer service.
I remember service at home was better than this. We'll let you know in a couple of weeks.

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