Archive | October, 2012

Zaxby’s Must be Boycotted

30 Oct

Those who know me well will be shocked by this blog post. I have long been a fan of Zaxby’s. I’ve been known to skip a meal (I know, shocking) just so I can be ready for a full meal and a half of their tasty awesomeness. Their Chicken Fingers are still exceedingly tasty, which is really the only time a boycott matters or makes sense. I mean, I’ve been “boycotting” creamed spinach since before I had teeth. See, not really a boycott, but rather just discerning taste buds.

Now, in order to tell this story fully, a back-story is demanded. I live at least a half hour from the nearest Zaxby’s, so I need to go out of my way to go there with any regularity. I go every time I can fit a meal around going to Sea World. I go every time I visit my sister in Tallahassee. I even try to go every time I visit my father-in-law in Deltona. I have long been infatuated with their delicious chicken. My friend, David Poston, and I try to go at least once every year when we are at Bible Quiz tournaments.

Therefore, almost every experience I have had with them has been with a new store. So, I will guess that it is possible that there is a local store in your area that is the exception to this rule, but unfortunately, the 17 different stores I have been to in the last year (according to my saved receipts that is the number) all suffer from the same condition—their service is terrible.

Now terrible service is acceptable. As recently as ten years ago, I was running a McDonald’s and while we prided ourselves on 90-second Drive-Thru experience on average, I know there must have been a customer or two that received statistical outlier service of over 3-4 minutes. And there were even days where, for whatever reason, we were understaffed and gave poor service to many on that day. I can accept that. But one thing, in my opinion, that a manager must understand is that when you are giving poor service, you need to own it. My pattern was to Admit it, apologize, and do my best to correct what I could.

Now, a manager who does not do that could just be having a bad day. He may just not want to admit, for whatever reason, that he didn’t accomplish top level service. I get that. What I don’t understand is why every Zaxby’s manager I’ve ever spoken to has been rude. Not just defensive of their job, but downright unconcerned about keeping the customer happy. While I am not a “regular” at any of these stores, I do (er, did) consider myself a “regular” of the franchise in general, as I ate there over an average of once a week so far this year.

Now, my frustration began shortly after I wrote a blog post about Chick-Fil-A. Someone joked with me about meeting a rude employee of the chain. As I thought back, I realized that I had never experienced that. I’m sure it happens, but that is certainly not the norm. I would guess that if I told you that there was a bad customer service experience at Chick-Fil-A, you would be surprised. It’s part of their culture to give good customer service. Whether you have connections or not, if you give them the impression in the interview that screams poor customer service, they just won’t hire you. My McDonald’s was like that, though chain-wide they aren’t, I do find that in general, McDonald’s is pretty good also.

As I thought about it, I realized the only quick service restaurant I have been to that is defined by their bad service was Zaxby’s. Nevertheless, I have been several times since then, and my experiences have just gotten worse. The last two were similar, yet in different states. When I went with my kids on the way to Sea World, I asked for a large water, as I was thirsty, and I drink water. The guy told me that I had to pay full price for a large water. I told him that I did not feel like paying for water, as I was going to be headed into Sea World in five minutes and [unlike CFA] their cups don’t insulate the ice well at all. So I said to just give me a couple free waters. Now I ordered over $20 worth of food and paid for a drink for each of my kids. Yet I noticed later that they charged me for BOTH of the small waters (which was more than the total for the large water).

So, I called the manager and said they should at least tell me they are going to charge me, especially since I mentioned that I did not want to pay. The manager said that was policy. I said that while I think the Florida Restaurant department may require free water, I wasn’t even upset at the policy at this time, just the fact that I was not warned. He said, “There’s nothing I can do for you now” and hung up on me. I was so furious that I spent the first ten minutes in Sea World explaining my beef to their 1-800 complaint line. I was assured that this was an isolated instance.

About a week later I went to a Zaxby’s in Georgia. The scenario played out similarly, except I was alone. I ordered $15 worth of chicken fingers (yeah, I like them and I’m phat—deal with it). I ordered a large water. They informed me that they would have to charge me, so I asked if I could have two free waters. She said yes and put them on the order. I very quickly realized that I was charged a quarter for each water. This time I didn’t harp on the not telling me, but rather on the policy itself. The manager told me, “Here’s your food; Kiss off.” I was so irritated that I spent the next hours of my trip in the car, on my cell phone, reporting to the Georgia authorities, whom I found from the 1-800-GEORGIA line, where I was transferred at least a dozen times. Needless to say that restaurant will begin offering free water or close its doors.

All that to say that what troubles me is not the charging for water. I’m a big boy, and I can pay for it. It isn’t really that they don’t say anything when they charge you, which, by the way, I’ve never had done at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Subway, Chick-Fil-A, Arby’s, or any other quick service restaurant I’ve been to (and I go often and almost always order water). What bothers me is that Zaxby’s has a propensity for hiring clowns who care so little about pleasing the customer that they are willing to be rude over relatively paltry sums.

For that reason, I will not be eating at Zaxby’s for the next several months. There’s only one problem—I’m jonesing for their Chicken Fingers.

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If You Miss the Phat Man…

1 Oct

After 11 months of blogging essentially every other day, I am taking some time off to determine how often I should blog into the future. I know that I will return around Reformation Day. But if you need a fix, here is a link to my blogs at my church’s website that are not otherwise connected to this blog. Feel free to comment there, and check back on Reformation Day for my return!

Operation World Impacts OGC on March 16, 2012

Being a Better Friendship Champion on March 30, 2012

Do We Dare Look Back? on May 4, 2012

Should we Honor our Mothers? on May 11, 2012

God is Building Orlando Grace on May 25, 2012

Let me tell you where I was on Sunday! on June 10, 2012

A Tale of One Church on June 22, 2012

A Measurable Challenge on June 29, 2012

Can we Celebrate Our Independence Day? on July 6, 2012

How are We Good? on July 20, 2012

New Identity and New Potential on August 24, 2012

Comfort in Sovereignty on September 14, 2012

Does God have a Permissive Will? on September 28, 2012

The Sabbath on October 5, 2012

Living for God in our Golden Years on October 12, 2012

What is Parking Cars Really Like? on October 19, 2012