Last night my wife stopped at a well known fast food joint to pick up dinner. I’m not naming names, but there was a red-haired, yellow-suited clown and some arches involved… I’m sure you can figure it out.
Anyway, she went through the drive through, ordered, and got our food. They almost forgot one entire meal, but she caught that before pulling away from the pickup window. In her rush to get home, she handed off the bags to our 15 year old and asked him to check the order. Ooops, bad call.
Once she got home, we realized that three of the sandwiches were wrong (cheese on what should have been hamburgers, etc.) and that we were missing an entire order of large fries. Annoyed, I picked up the phone to call the number on the receipt.
After a few rings, the manager answered and proceeded to be completely unhelpful. I was presented with two choices: drive back up to pick up the food they had screwed up, or drive back up for a refund for the items that they had screwed up.
It’s a 10 mile round trip, so I had no interest in driving back for a few burgers or a few bucks. But… Really?
You screw up a customer’s order, mess up their dinner, and the best you can do is to offer to have the customer go out of their way to get things back to how they should’ve been in the first place.
I very reasonably (to me, anyway) asked them to re-make the messed up part of our order and also provide a refund for the affected items — not the entire meal, just those items. Their answer? Nope.
At a “real” restaurant, the common solution to a kitchen mistake is to deliver the correct order and comp the affected portion of the meal. This is just good business, as the food itself — especially at a fast food restaurant — hardly costs a thing to make. The cost is certainly far less than the value of a satisfied customer.
Annoyed by the response, I decided to cut my losses and excuse myself from the call. I did, however, ping their national hotline. Sadly, they weren’t any better. They basically dodged responsibility by saying that they can’t control their franchisees and then offered to pass my complaint on to the owner.
Oh well. At least I dodged a rather unhealthy meal. Perhaps I should be thanking them instead of complaining…
Side note to business owners: When dealing with a screwup that is clearly your fault, do more than just the absolute bare minimum to make things right.