Today I was horrified and disgusted at the bad customer service at a national fast food chain. I was midway through a long car trip and pulled off at an exit for food and gas. I pulled into the busy parking lot of (no name given) fast food chain and was grossed out by the overflowing trash can to the left of the front door. People had been piling trash next to the can for awhile. It looked like a city scene when the trash collectors went on strike! As I entered the (no name given) fast food restaurant, I noticed trash all over the place! When I went into the ladies room, more trash on the floor! And in the stall area it was a real nightmare! A huge pile of toilet tissue, paper toilet seat covers, and a few used diapers, not to mention some items I won’t mention, littered the floor! It was a shocking scene! I ran out of there! I hoped I wouldn’t throw up! It was THAT BAD! Wow! How’s that for amazingly bad customer service! I cut in front of everyone in line and asked quietly to speak to the manager. She was busy filling orders, but she did eventually come over and talk to me. I told her quietly what I had seen, I figured she didn’t know about it or it wouldn’t be like that. She said she knew, and that it was being taken care of. I didn’t see a single employee on the restaurant floor or in the parking lot, (where, incidentally, ALL of the trash cans were overflowing), I didn’t see any signs of trash collection, floor sweeping, mopping, or any cleaning person whatsoever! I only saw 3 employees in the restaurant, including the manager, and they were only making a dent in the huge crowd waiting to be served! What a nightmare on all levels of customer service! A filthy restaurant, understaffed, indifference to customer service! Needless to say, I left without using the restroom or buying anything!
I went down the block, and searched out a small local restaurant, and was glad I did! For about the same price I enjoyed some really nice food in a pleasant atmosphere. They were also crowded, but they were staffed for it, and it wasn’t a problem. They were also super clean, and the restroom was working and clean. (Not a lovely sight, but functional and clean…)
I couldn’t get the horror out of my mind, like watching a bad car wreck, I went back to (no name given) to see if the situation was fixed. Although this was one hour later, I was shocked to see that the mess in the parking lot was still there! I was trying to figure out what had caused the problem in the restroom, and was thinking it was one of those restrooms that doesn’t use paper towels, so they don’t have a trash can. (Bad idea in a restroom – you ALWAYS need a trash can!) But no, that wasn’t the case – they had 2 small trash cans that should have been ok had they been serviced frequently. So really no clue why all the toilet paper was on the floor. I’ve seen that before, and never have understood it! (Toilet paper goes in the toilet – right?) Anyway, this time things were better, the floor was swept up and the trash cans emptied. I ran into a lady with a large trash can that was cleaning the restaurant and told her quietly that there was also a huge trash problem in the parking lot. She didn’t understand english, but I was able to tell her (hopefully!) hay mucho basura y es muy malo – lot’s of trash – very bad – and I pointed to the parking lot and made a yucky face. I’m pretty sure she got the message and thanked me for the info. (You can’t help picking up a bit of handy spanish in southern California! Basura is the bilingual label on every trash can!)
On my way out I snapped a couple of pictures of the amazingly bad customer service example at the front door. Nothing says bad customer service like a filthy restroom and overflowing trash cans! I’m not posting the picture because you can clearly tell which fast food restaurant I’m talking about by the branded overflowing trash can! Hint Hint Hint – when you brand yourself try to do it in a good way! Rest assured that the picture will be forwarded to the health dept and the corporate office for the chain – there’s no excuse for filth!
What do YOU think about this example of bad customer service? Has something like this happened to you? Would you like to do business with a company that treats you so badly? What’s more important to you – clean environment and wait 1 extra minute – or wallow in filth and get out quickly? Do you make any assumptions about the cleanliness of a restaurant kitchen based on the parking lot and the bathroom? After all – those are the parts that WE CAN SEE! What about the parts we CAN’T SEE??? Please dive into the discussion – and don’t forget to wash your hands after reading this filthy post!!!
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