I rarely go to fast food or restaurants anymore. Not only is it not as healthy as I would like, but most of all they just don’t train employees on customer service like they used to. I worked in the customer service business for at least half of my adult life waiting tables, my first customer service job was at McDonalds when I was 17. After that it was a slew of restaurants waiting tables till probably my mid 30s. I remember my first job waiting was at a TGIFridays. I loved that job.
Well, I remember training at McDonalds and the training was harsh. They timed you from the time you got the order till the time it took you to get the order to the person. They always told you, “if you are in a bad mood or having a bad day, you better leave that at home and put on a happy face.” Customer service was top priority and don’t forget “THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.” Now you go to a fast food place and they are frowning, angry, rude, act like you are bothering them. The orders are usually messed up or mixed up (Taco Bell here tonight, we basically ate each others food because it was all wrapped wrong and everything looked the same). You feel like you are bothering them, perhaps interrupting their conversation on Facebook messenger or playing an ap.
TGIF was even harder training (took two weeks to train just learning the menu front and back, we used to joke around about naming off the different burgers and ingredients as they had one for each day of the week). Like McD, they also used stopwatches. The one I worked at was right at a business park so the lunch crowd was really high paced. You got the drink order, brought the drinks, then you got the order, came right back with salads, and they should have their food within what seemed like 5 mins. Also there was no standing around. If you did not have a table or nothing to do, you ran food, helped make drinks, bus tables (not just your own tables), you had each others backs. There was always something to be doing if you were not busy. Also, I was trained to treat my whole station as if it were one big table. If I asked one table if they needed anything, I asked them all. They even taught you how to look around your tables from across the room and tell if they needed something without even asking.
Now it seems as if they are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. They will ask one table if they need anything, then go back to the kitchen, then the next table, etc etc. It takes forever to get anything you ask for or they forget to grab it altogether. They rarely clear the table while your sitting there. We were always taught to take something back each trip to the kitchen, the tables were to be almost completely cleared by the time the customer left only needing to be wiped down.
I just don’t understand why they do not put as much emphasis on training customer service. The only fast food places that I know of that give great customer service are Chick-fil-A and Martins, even the Varsity is a great place to go. You come first to them, they are always polite, always smiling, and the food is most of the time correct and delivered fast. It has been a long time since I have gone to a restaurant or fast food place that puts you first and get your food or drink in a jiffy and smile while they do it. I think it’s time for me to stop eating out until they get kiosk to take the orders, at this point I would rather deal with a robot anyway.