One of the most interesting things for a restaurant critic is having a pleasant experience and suddenly something unexpected happens. After traveling the United States and Canada for about 5 years, I noticed that the service in some of the most respected restaurant chains was quite uneven.
Which means that not only was quality control at one end or the other or customer service hot or cold, but that consistency varied quite a bit from store to store or point of sale to another. Sometimes the service was great, sometimes boring, and rarely awful. Let me tell you about some theories I developed after taking Restaurant News, Franchising Times, and C-Store News for years, while traveling and seeing it all for myself.
The theories of retail food and the realities of what happens are light years away from Ray Kroc’s motto for his first stores. First of all, one of the biggest problems is a lack of employee training, local store management, and secret shopper programs as a gimmick. Another problem is with employees who don’t care or are simply oblivious to what they are doing.
One of my recent experiences that will be discussed throughout the topic of; The worst-case scenario for restaurant critics occurred at a Mexican food chain. The semi-fast food joint was one hour from closing on a slow weeknight. Taking a leap in cleaning the store, I suppose, was the reason.
An employee walked up to the garbage area, a short distance from where we were sitting and started pumping ammonia cleaner into the garbage can area and she had the open garbage can between us and her, which smelled quite a lot. He then doused the trash can with the toxic fumes and left them there to soak up. Or for time spent to help clean up.
He then proceeded to spray the area or soak the inside of the box where the trash can goes. This was getting pretty hard to breathe. Then, seeing that in the trash can the cleaner had dried, he put more to loosen it and then he wiped it with a cloth, then he hung the cloth on the back of the seat closest to us?
Should I continue? This is just a problem we have, people just don’t get it. I certainly hope that this article is of interest and that it has prompted reflection. The goal is simple; to assist you in your quest to be the best in 2007. Thank you for reading my many articles on various topics that interest you.