Digital Logic

Grinding My Gears: Fast Food Incompetency

by on Nov.25, 2009, under Gears

It’s odd that I should have two articles of this type in such a short time span, but I was recently enraged. For those of you who don’t know, I live in Ontario in a small city called Waterloo. Since I’m a student, I’m not exactly a stranger to the world of fast food. Occasionally I grab my friends and head to the nearest McDonalds for a deliciously unhealthy batch of food.

Recently I was in Niagara Falls hitting the poker tables with a few of my buddies. After we had finished we decided to head over to the Wendy’s on Clifton Hill for a bite to eat.

“Alright!” I say, thinking of the delicious warm food that is about to hit my taste buds. Upon passing through the doors to this ritzy establishment we are greeted with a line at least 30 people long waiting to order. We begrudgingly enter the line to wait. First thing I notice is that while they have THREE tills, only one is operational for some reason. Now, it was only around 11PM on a Saturday, in a place that commonly is very busy. This is just poor management.

So after a good 20 minute chunk of time, we get to the till and place our orders. Among items ordered were a Baconator, two Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers, and a few drinks. After a few minutes, the cashiers comes out from the kitchen and tells us that “we’re out of bacon.” It should be clarified that they were not actually out of bacon, they just didn’t have any prepared (it also apparently takes 15 minutes to prepare bacon).

Remember that we had already paid for our meals at this point. The cashier offers to make us an equivalent meal instead. We agree, and wait another 5 minutes for the food to actually arrive. Sitting down at the table, we now realize that “equivalent meal” in Wendy’s-speak translates roughly to “sandwiches without bacon”. Have you ever tried a Baconator without bacon? Ask my friend Dave, he’ll tell you all about it.

So Wendy’s failed. I probably won’t be back to any Wendy’s for a while as their “fresh, never frozen” hamburgers generally taste like chewing on ground cardboard. There is a reason they feel the need to load their burgers with cheese sauce, overly expensive bacon and half a pound of mayonnaise, you know.

On to case number two: the McDonald’s restaurant at Columbia and King in Waterloo. I have only one word that can possibly describe this restaurant: failure.

It seems that, no matter what time of day or what day of the week, every time I head to this McDonalds they seem to be able to reach new heights in the field of disappointment. Because this particular McDonalds is so close to home and my friends seem to enjoy Big Macs a bit too much, I have countless stories of poor service to rhyme off. For this reason, please accept this bulleted list of horrible things about the restaurant.

  • 4 registers, but only 1 is ever in use
  • 10-15 minute waits in general to get your food ordered
  • either cashiers or cooks are incompetent because they never seem to get my order right. Examples include: extra lettuce instead of extra pickles, and tomato every freaking time I tell them not to put it on. I even speak slowly to them in the hopes that one day they will understand.
  • drink orders frequently screwed up
  • managers serving employee orders and meals before customers (even though the customer ordered first)
  • managers accusing customers of throwing trays (I’m 100% serious, this did happen)
  • prices that are higher than the surrounding McDonalds, but yield the same amount of food.

I’m sure I could think of more, but frankly it’s not worth my time.

I don’t understand what happened to the concept of quality and customer satisfaction. I remember fast food places being considerably more reliable no more than a few years ago.

Step it up, guys.

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