A few weeks back there was a long thread about fast food franchises and the lack of service therefrom. Mrs. Goofy went away for almost two weeks to help a friend move to Florida (why? No idea.)
Anyway I cooked a few meals, but took the opportunity to hit some of the ff places and take in Chic-Fil-A, as JLC had recommended.
Nothing has really changed at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or Burger King. Slow service, and employees who are just trading hours for dollars. Understaffing is endemic, but on a brighter note, the “self-order kiosks” at Wendy’s have been removed. Unfortunately they haven’t replaced it with a human being, so you have to get the attention of the person handling the window if you want to order something.
Taco Bell has reopened the dining room, both visits I was the only person in it. Also no counter help, but at least the window guy could see me as I entered and came over to help. In fairness, there weren’t any cars in line, so he had nothing else to do anyway.
I went to one less-branded place where the food was simply inedible. Lucky for me I don’t remember the name but I’ll not bother learning it either.
Ah, but Chick-Fil-A. Yes, the difference is quite amazing. All the eager young people scurrying around at the counter and behind the scenes, they look like clean-cut Mormons, mostly blond haired and blue eyed. They don’t say “No problem”, they say “My pleasure” to every request. The food comes out well made, with the lettuce and tomato neatly atop the meat, not sliding down the side or worse, elsewhere. The prices are reasonable compared to others, although since it’s chicken and not beef I suspect that’s where their margin is. Places clean and bright. And doing a great business. Two drive thru lanes, both staffed with young people (humans!) taking orders on tablets and relaying to the kitchen. Wait times are reasonable, not fast; I assume the food is prepared as ordered, not stacked up in a corner somewhere.
I do like. I just wish they didn’t wish for me to die in agonizing hell, but I guess you can’t have everything.
Chick-Fil-A is privately held, so there’s no investing in it. Having read some I find that their initial franchise fee is among the lowest in the industry which might help explain how they are expanding so rapidly. With them on the hunt, and the public tastes moving away from beef, I’d be wary of the long term implications for the “burger chains.”
Places that were on my list that I didn’t get to: Arby’s, DQ, Chipotle, Moe’s, and others. Skipped the sub sandwich shops; I eat there all too often.
I see Subway has just changed owners; they revamped their offerings about 6 months ago, and their new big thing is “we slice the meats in front of you.” Well, OK then. That was never a concern of mine before, but in marketing you must dream up a problem to be solved if there isn’t one, I guess.