Monday, September 16, 2013

Do restaurant owners like compliments?

While I was on a three-week, 3,300-mile motorcycle trip in August to Virginia, South Carolina and central Florida, I stopped in a number of fast-food restaurants with those names that are familiar to all. Usually, you can count on the quality of the food and an acceptable level of service.

Not so on this trip.

I'd say "Sell your McDonald's stock", if restaurant food and service in Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carlina is any measure of what's ahead for McDonald's. I walked out of at least two of them, when service was so slow that I thought I'd have to cross the road and spend the night in a motel. In others, the food just was not very tasty. But I ate it, anyway, and got back on the road.

Then there was a Steak 'n Shake somewhere, and I pulled in on a very hot afternoon and sat at the counter, where I thought service might be faster than at a table. I finally got the attention of a young female employee and asked for a glass of water. After several minutes, I asked again and she said, "I thought you wanted it with your meal." I mean, there I sat, perspiring from the heat, and she thought I didn't want it right away? Then she never came back for my order, and I walked out.

Then I stopped in a Dunkin' Donuts in Port Wentworth, Georgia, and the donut was fresh and the coffee was good. An added plus was a great conversation with a man on a BMW motorcycle. Our conversation quickly got around to concealed-carry, and he mentioned that his pistol was in his pack on his bike. I warned him about Illinois, just in case he intended to head this way in the future.

And then I ate in a McDonald's in Haines City, Fla. Now there was definitely something "wrong" with that restaurant. It was clean; the staff was friendly; the food was hot. Imagine that. So I called the McDonald's customer service line and gave them an earful. A couple of days later, I received a nice phone call from the manager and, when I got home, there was a nice letter from the franchisee in Orlando.

So, when you get good service somewhere, speak up. Take care to not only thank them in the restaurant, but also to call the hotline and "report" the great service!

No comments: