Restaurant Rumblings Part 2

Now is as good of a time as any for “Restaurant Rumblings Part 2.”  I have another great story to share that happened to a friend at work.  We’ll call him Matthew as he has asked for me to mask his true identity.  Actually, his name really is Matthew and I am reaching new levels of silliness.

Matthew recently walked into a local sandwich shop craving their flat bread breakfast sandwich combo for $3.50 but upon ordering the sandwich was informed they were out of flat bread.  They informed Matthew that he could choose from another kind of bread that didn’t necessarily sound good for breakfast.  He asked what other breakfast sandwich options they had and the employee informed him that they had the less expensive equivalent of an Egg McMuffin however, that smaller sandwich was not available in a combo so he would have to pay more to get the included coffee.

Matthew politely asked if they could simply give him the McMuffin instead of the flatbread sandwich in the combo.  That seems like a reasonable request to me but apparently not to the employee.  His response was “Sorry, the computer isn’t set up to do that” and after numerous attempts to reason with the employee Matthew gave up.  Given that he was really, really hungry, he opted to pay extra for his McMuffin and leave the restaurant to go complain to management about the poor service he just received.  After filling out the complaint form, he immediately received a coupon for a free cookie.  I am here to testify that the free cookie coupon currently hangs on the wall of Matthew’s office reminding him and the 20-30 people he has told this story to never to visit this establishment ever again.

Let’s just think about this in a customer service context for a few moments.  Had this employee had some autonomy to make the situation right for an item that would have saved the company money, this situation would not have occurred in the first place.  Secondly, the compensation for the frustration caused to the customer cost the company more than getting it right the first time and ultimately cost the company a customer.

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