Sunday, May 29, 2011

Still more McDonald's

So, after the response from the General Manager of the local McDonald's, went back (not with my "free meal letter", rather as a regular customer) to see if anything has change.

After my experience, I replied to the GM with this:
Ms. General Manager,
I would like to let you know I revisited the 1305 Powers Ferry Rd McDonald's location again today by way of the drive through. My visit was in the heart of the "dinner service" at 6pm. There was no line in the drive through. Below are my reactions (as a continuation of my previous feedback through
- I ordered a Mickey D's Sweet Tea as my beverage with the hopes the "automated beverage machine" wouldn't underfill my beverage. Again, my beverage was underfilled -- almost 1/2" below the "fill line" inside the cup.
- The ice in my beverage was filled as if the Sweet Tea was freshly brewed. This made me feel more cheated out of my beverage as I was able to refill the cup full of ice with my 16.9oz bottle of water and it filled higher than when the cup of Mickey D's Sweet Tea was presented to me. So, I got less than half the amount than the advertised 32oz.
- My fries were cold and tasted stale (I live 1.4 miles / 4 minutes from the location. Not enough time for them to get stale OR cold)
- My quarter pounder with cheese was equally cold and stale tasting.

Please do not feel I'm singling out this McDonald's location in my complaint. I receive similar customer service at most McDonald's locations I visit. This is weird to me as Chick-Fil-A is my fast food restaurant of choice. They don't have automated machines to fill beverages. They don't have pre-cooked foods sitting in containers for who knows how long. They don't have "self-serve" machines for their beverages. Chick-Fil-A employees handle everything on the food/beverage side of the customer experience. I RARELY wait longer than 2-3 minutes after placing my order before my food is in hand. And the times I do, there's a restaurant full of people, so it's expected it could happen. And, no matter how slow the Chick-Fil-A location is, my food always makes it home HOT -- and I am more than twice as far away from the nearest Chick-Fil-A as I am from the Powers Ferry McDonald's.
Unfortunately, the McDonald's philosophy seems to be the opposite - get machines to greet you at the drive through; Get machines to dispense beverages (poorly); Let food set until it's cold and still serve it; Make the customer fill their own beverage when dining in; Have extended wait times when there shouldn't be. Taking the "service" part out of "Customer Service"
So, why is it I have 110% satisfaction at Chick-Fil-A, yet have a significantly lower satisfaction at a restaurant that has so many "efficiencies" in place? (And how are they "efficiencies" when I've seen Chick-Fil-A serve more customers per register during a busy lunch rush than McDonald's) There are many items on the McDonald's menu I enjoy, but am reluctant to enjoy them due to the experiences at McDonald's in general.
Seriously -- I know I love Jesus Chicken even though I'm supposedly not allowed to (I don't support the previous link), and I eat there WAY too much (a friend of mine says I'm there "more than any church-goer [he] knows"). But, the reason I go back is because their customer service ROCKS! And their food tastes AWESOME! You're not treated like another dollar that needs to be ensured via food cost. The problem is Jesus Chicken isn't open on Sundays (a philosophy I'm not completely against).

Why can't other places be like that?

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