I can’t say that I have a favorite fast food restaurant. For me, they are all subpar at best. No real standouts or preferences; I can usually order something to eat from any one of them. However, over the years a few places have deservedly wound up on my “I’m Never Going There Again” hit list. I am pleased to announce, due to its horrible customer service, Steak ‘n Shake has been officially been added.
I was never a huge fan to begin with so there is definitely no love lost. I always thought the food was overpriced, but I guess that’s the cost of having a meal made-to-order.
Now you’re probably wondering what in the hell happen. What could have been so horrible that it would cause me to swear off an entire restaurant chain? It’s quite simple. There are way too many players in the game and I’ll be damned if I continue to give my money to anyone who employs one or many who think it’s perfectly fine to argue with a customer. Just like most consumers, I can probably possibly tolerate a slight degree of aloofness, a bit of rudeness and incompetence, but a war of words with a front-line employee who lacks the authority to handle a complaint or make a decision –
Hell To The Naw!
So here’s the back story.
It was the last day of winter break and I promised my daughter that I would treat her to a milkshake to commence the 2013 school year. Personally, I would have rather gone to an ice cream parlor, but she and my husband decided on Steak ‘n Shake, to me that made about as much sense as ordering a pizza from Subway, but anyway. Steak ‘n Shake it is. For those of you not familiar with Steak ‘n Shake, it’s a diner-style restaurant “Famous for Steakburgers”. Think 1950s malt shop without the jukebox and dancing.
We arrived around 7pm. There were quite a few cars in drive-thru so I decided to go inside to place my order – thinking that it might be a tad faster. The only waitress working attempts to seat us. I explain to her that it would not be necessary as my order is for carry out. She informs me that I can place my order at the counter and that someone would be with me shortly.
About 5 minutes later, she returns and asks if anyone has helped me yet. They hadn’t. She apologizes and goes in the back of the restaurant. Several minutes later a manager comes to the counter area. He apologizes for the wait and proceeds to tell me how there was a huge order in drive-thru ($65 – I don’t care.) Like a good consumer, I tell him that’s ok and 20 minutes later, I place my order: Turtle Sundae (me), Heath Shake (he) and Cookies & Cream Shake (she). ($10.39 – Evidently the cost of the order determines the speed. Remember the $65 order in drive-thru?)
Now the real wait begins. I don’t mind, because I had promised my daughter. If it had been just for me, I would have left 15 minutes ago. Many minutes later, another manager or hostess (a non-uniformed employee) asked if I had been taken care of. I reply, “Yes.” At this point, I tell myself if my order isn’t ready within the next 5 minutes I’m asking for a refund. I prepare a bitching text to send to my husband, but before I can touch send my order is ready. An employee hands me my order and hands another customer their order while saying that she is sorry for their wait. I then ask her if she is sorry for my wait. I had been there approximately 10 minutes prior to customer #2’s arrival.
She’s friggin’ perplexed and asks if I want to speak to a manager.
I say to myself – Hell Yeah!
The manager returns and again tells me about the $65 order in drive-thru. I don’t care about another customer’s order. I explain to him that I waited 20 minutes to place my order and had to wait over 20 minutes to receive 2 shakes and a sundae. I saw full meals coming out of the kitchen. I asked if this was typical for a Sunday he said no, once again telling me about the friggin’ drive-thru order. I DON’T CARE ABOUT ANOTHER CUSTOMER’S ORDER! He offers me a credit for my next visit – Turtle Sundae, Heath Shake and Cookies & Cream Shake (literally).
As I was leaving, the waitress who greeted me earlier said to me that the restaurant was really busy. She proceeds to tell me that her table has been waiting 15 minutes for their order. Do they really think I care about another customer’s food? I responded. I told her I understood, said it wasn’t her fault, but to wait 40 minutes for 2 shakes and a sundae was absolutely ridiculous. “It doesn’t matter how busy you are, it’s unacceptable.” She replies, “You need to understand that the person who makes the shakes for the drive-thru also makes them for the dining area.”
Ok – don’t care. My son works at a Steak ‘n Shake and is the official “shake master” at his restaurant so I do understand the process. She began to tell me that all restaurants are different. They might not be as busy blah blah blah. Believe it or not, I had to ask Rhonda, the waitress, if she really wanted to argue with a customer.
Rhonda – What?
Me – Rhonda, Do you really want to argue with a customer? Is that what you want to do?
Rhonda – No. Have a nice day.
I have no intention on redeeming my free shakes and sundae credit. Did I mention I have to ask for it by name? Yeah… There will be no “special” orders coming my way.
I’m Just Sayin’…(Damn!)