We don’t often frequent fast food burger chains but after a long road trip and nothing in the refrigerator at home, we decided to swing by a drive-thru at a local burger chain. It was around 6pm and the parking lot was mostly empty. This should have alerted us that something might be amiss but it’s a chain, how bad could it be? We drove up to the speaker to order and was asked to wait a moment. Once we ordered our burgers and fries, the attendant asked for the order again because of some mishap in entering the order. We drove to the pay and pick-up window and was greeted by a less-than-enthusiastic associate. She barked our total, took our money and then oops, her cell phone rang and she took a call. She then handed us our change, and yelled to the back, “Angela, you need to answer your phone”. We waited a few minutes at the window and then were asked to pull around the parking lot and they would bring us our order. Really? At this point I was laughing in disbelief. Remember, the parking lot was almost empty. We waited for about 5 minutes and our food was brought to us by a nice young man who was apologetic for our wait. It was too little, too late.
The point of this blog is to highlight that even with a highly standardized product (burger chain), you can still bungle the transaction. There were so many opportunities to get the transaction right but unfortunately this restaurant got it wrong in almost every category. The total customer experience counts and with so many fast food places to choose from, most customers just won’t put up with poor service. And apparently for this restaurant that’s been proven by an empty parking lot.