I’ve gone to fast-food places for many years. Some things change, and other things stay the same. Some of the changes are good, but there seems to be a changing trend that is not so good……..accuracy.
Now one would think as technology improves, then things should get easier, right? Well, one would love to be so optimistic, but sadly, this does not always translate well from theory to reality. The sad truth is, more often than not, what you order is not going to be what you end up with. There was always a margin of error with the speaker at the drive-thru if it was muffled or broken, but that was understandable, and more often than not, can be corrected. Where I find the problem in this mix is……….now they have these screens where you can read everything the cashier types in, see what is being made, and can visually verify that the order is right. You think that everything is copacetic and all should be good with the world………right?
Again……..if only we could push that optimistic thought into reality. Sadly, you still end up with a copious amount of errors in orders, ranging from things not being made right to things completely missing from your order, even though you verified it on the screen and is shows up on your receipt. Naturally, a degree of frustration goes into this when you find out. If it was once in a while, I could understand it, but when you have to make it a force of habit to pull over right after you get out of the drive-thru, go through your stuff, and verify yourself that everything is correct, I think there is a huge quality-control problem.
It’s not really limited to one chain, either. I’ve had this happen at multiple locations from different franchises, and these days, if I have the time, I would rather go inside and dine than spin the roulette wheel and take my chances on if what I get through the drive-thru is going to be what I actually ordered. Some places have gotten better though! There are a few favorites of mine where I never have to give it a second thought that it’s going to be right because every time I check it, it’s spot-on, but everywhere else, I pull over and go through the bags, taking the extra time to make sure that the runner and cashier did their job.
It should not have to be a common practice to have to do this. You should be able to go through a drive-thru line – especially when you don’t have a lot of extra time, be able to place an order, and when you get to where you’re going, not have to worry about if they left off the mayo or not when you had them check it on the screen for you. I’m sure the managers at these places are not having a holiday about it either – especially when they get multiple complaints every day about orders not being done right. They have a pretty hefty burden on their shoulders, training employees, making sure they are following proper procedure, and making sure that things are done as the company expects them to. Once you get trained on how to do things, it should not be rocket science.
You have a screen for the cashier, which also displays in the lane. You have a screen in the kitchen for the cooks, who can read off of it what is to go in said order. You have another screen for the runners to make sure they are grabbing the right stuff – how do all of these errors slip through at least three different checkpoints before even getting to you? Well, at that point, I chalk it up to apathy and laziness – the people doing these jobs simply do not care about getting the order right. I get it. It’s a stressful job that doesn’t catch up money-wise with all the bills one has to pay, and you end up dealing with people yelling at you from time to time that something is messed up, and sometimes the people above you don’t really help with managing said stress (and of course, they are under stress themselves), but sometimes you just have to take those extra few seconds to make sure what you are putting in the order is what the person waiting patiently in their vehicle had ordered.
Now I’m not going to say there is some magic formula to fix this ongoing issue, and no, upping the pay to $15/hour like so many are ranting about is not going to solve the underlying problem. I think that if you don’t have enough passion for what you are doing in order to make sure the job is done right, then in my opinion, it’s not worth getting paid $15/hour to do. So yes….I will take extra time out of my schedule just to make sure I can pull over and examine my order to make sure it’s right, because it’s far better than driving all the way home (no matter how close or far that is) to make sure the people inside of the establishment did their job in making sure the order I paid my good, hard-earned money for is going to be accurate and correct.
Of course………I could just stay home and cook, but that would take effort. I’m kidding on that. I actually do know how to cook, but sometimes eating out is something nice and enjoyable………..now if they could just make sure it’s right. Now that….would put a smile on my face.