Category Archives: Customer Service

People 101: The Unprofessional McDonald’s Employee

A lot of people around us are mean. Inconsiderate. Rude. They’re all around us. Since they are like that, well, then it’s fair game that I criticize them. Starting now – right here and right now.


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So, the other day (last Sunday at 7 p.m., in fact… according to the time stamp on the photo that I took), I visited the local McDonald’s. Not wanting to endure receiving poor service and/or dealing with unfriendly cashiers yet again (my experience has often been cashiers not smiling and/or not even bothering to greet the customer), I used the mobile app to order the meal and requested McDonald’s “table service.” It’s simple. You just enter the table #, and they’re supposed to bring it to your table.

Soon after I ordered through the app, a McDonald’s employee – a young lady – brought a tray out with items that looked like what I had ordered. She walked right past my table and took it to another table where two guys were seated. She said to them in a very cheerful voice, “Did you guys order this?”

I waved at her and said, “I did.” She brought the tray over and placed it at my table, and left without a word. No “Can I get you anything else?” or “Is that everything?” No, she put the tray down and walked away WITHOUT A WORD. And no, she didn’t re-join the kitchen or the counter, or wherever she was supposed to go. She went BACK to that table with the two guys and said something to them before leaving.

I was having my meal, sipping on the hot tea, and I would say about 25 minutes later, that same young lady came back into the customer area. She re-joined that same table and sat down with the two guys. Apparently, she was off-duty at that point, and they were discussing college classes, etc., and in their conversation they were – including she – using swear words. I was still in the middle of my hot tea, and that’s why I was still there. And since the area was pretty empty – but not without customers (such as myself) – I could hear their conversation. It wasn’t that I wanted to.

Her actions were highly unprofessional. I have a contact at the head office, so I discussed this incident with that person. I didn’t mention the swear words, though. I stuck to the lack of service with this so-called “table service.” What that lady does in her free time – swearing at her place of work – is none of my business. But being unprofessional while still on duty… when I’m the customer… well, it’s definitely my business. The tables have numbers on there, and I input my table number, yet this McDonald’s employee was unprofessional in carrying the tray to where her friends were sitting – sure, cater to your friends first, right? – instead of doing her job. The worst part was this dropping off the tray and not saying a word to me while returning to her friends. Unprofessional. Gutless.

 

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LA Trip 2018: Mission Bar & Grill at SFO

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During my brief LA trip on August 20 and 21, I had a brief stop at San Francisco International Airport.

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Feeling hungry, I stopped by Mission Bar & Grill inside the airport to have a late lunch before boarding my next flight home to Vancouver.

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I decided to have their Fried Calamari along with an orange juice. It was 2:30 pm at the time, and fairly busy – but I didn’t have to wait long for the food to arrive. (In fact, based on the time stamps on the photos I took, the calamari took less than 10 minutes to come to my table.)

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The calamari came with some excellent dipping sauce. I enjoyed it – it was awesome.

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The staff was friendly and professional – exactly what you would expect in an establishment at a busy international airport. Not a fancy meal, but I would say everything was great. Awesome experience.

Starbucks Gastown: Does anyone care? (Another Starbucks failure)

Okay, quite a few people have said, “Don’t go to Starbucks,” in the context of saving money by making your own coffee, etc.

I think this might be the way to go, moving forward.

No, it’s not about money. As a writer, I need to be in an environment that helps me focus and write. Being at places such as Starbucks has helped in the past. That’s why I keep going back.

After last weekend’s “incident,” however, followed by today’s situation, I might have to re-consider.

Today, I was sitting in the patio area of the Starbucks located in Gastown, in downtown Vancouver. Suddenly, this man was lurking around, looking at the metal rails, eyeballing the rails. It seemed like he had lost something.

I later realized he was some sort of handyman called over by the store. Later, I was rattled by somebody behind me – a guy in Starbucks uniform squatting down on the ground looking at the footing of the rails, apparently. He then got up and was soon joined by a Korean woman who wasn’t in uniform but whom I assumed was an employee. She was on the phone talking to somebody. I thought they – all three of them – had lost something and was looking for it.

But anyway, next thing I knew, the uniformed employee and the Korean woman disappeared, leaving the handyman. He started working on the rails, banging on it as he was working on screwing/unscrewing things. He worked around the entire railings, going from post to post.

Now, during this entire time, none of them had the courtesy or decency to say anything to me or other customers out on the patio, apologizing for (the shaking and the noise of) the rattling of the railings. That, to me, is 100% unacceptable.

If you’re going to be working on the railings and might be banging at stuff and disturbing the customers who are trying to enjoy their beverages or snack items in peace, SAY SOMETHING. Anything. Like, “Sorry for the noise, but we’re…”

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There’s Mr. Handyman fixing something on the left of the picture. (By the way, I usually call myself “Kevin” when asked for my name at Starbucks – so that is indeed my drink.)

Yet, none of the three people had the courtesy to say anything.

Does anyone not care about customer service anymore? Or even know what that entails?

Excuse me? What “table service” again? (McDonald’s)

(This was originally posted on one of my food blogs, LetsGrabABurger.Wordpress.com)

Over the past year, McDonald’s has installed self-service kiosks in their locations across Canada, and in the past few months has come up with “table service” – where they would bring the food to your table as you wait.

Today, I ordered a combo at their Surrey/Guildford location and requested “table service,” but guess what?

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I received an empty cup instead of the beverage I ordered when using the self-serve kiosk.

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I was there for more than half an hour, and I looked around at other tables when the staff brought over those customers’ orders. Yup. It seemed like others were receiving their beverages instead of empty cups!

So, chalk this one up as “inconsistent service.” Or, as I call it, “half-table service.”

Interestingly, a week earlier when I was at the Kingsway/Victoria location in Vancouver, there wasn’t even an option provided on the kiosk window to have table service! They had those medallion things for table service at the kiosks, though!

Again, inconsistency… Yikes… Can McDonald’s get anything right?

McDonald’s “Build Your Own Burger” (#CreateYourTaste)

Note: This post was first published on Let’s Eat Out Once A Week but also appears on other blogs in my network as I have a couple of other food blogs plus a personal blog.

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I was invited to the McDonald’s Restaurant location at 20037 84th Avenue in Langley this week for a walk-through of the next chapter of McDonald’s Canada, as they were promoting their “Create Your Taste,” “McCafe Bakery,” and table delivery service as part of their innovative, personalized guest experience. It was all part of McDonald’s Canada’s brand transformation as they look to target new and past customers back to McDonald’s.

Now, this Langley location I was at, was a newer location as they had just opened in November of 2014, and they were among the first in Metro Vancouver to have the “Create Your Taste” (Build Your Own Burger) feature for their burgers – something you can only get through their order kiosk. (From what I understand, one Toronto location launched it two weeks earlier, and one in Edmonton followed suit a week later. Two other locations in Vancouver – I think, if I heard correctly – launched the “Create Your Taste” at the same time as this Langley restaurant.)

I’d seen the order kiosks before at the location behind the downtown Vancouver Public Library and also the one on Grandview Highway – but had never used them.

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Here at this Langley location I was invited to play around on it and order through one of the four kiosks they had in the store. And like I said, this was among the first location in Metro Vancouver with “Create Your Taste” – where you get to build your own custom burger! Pretty neat!

I didn’t take a picture or video of the ordering process, but as you’re building your burger, a list (or summary points, if you will) of your toppings/ingredients, etc. appears on the left side of the screen reminding you what you’ve selected so far for your custom burger.

This is best summarized in five steps – 1. Choose your bun; 2. Select the cheese; 3. Select the sauce; 4. Choose the toppings; 5. Add bacon if you wish.

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Among the choices for the bun were the Black & White Sesame Seed Brioche-Style Bun, the Artisan-Style Bakery Roll, or the Lettuce Wrap. I went with the first option. For cheeses, there were five options and I went with Crumbled Blue Cheese. For the sauces, I remember you could get as many as you wish – and again, whatever you’ve chosen appears on the left of the screen to remind you – and they even had Sriracha Sauce, Garlic Aioli, Chipotle Aioli, among others. I was told you can choose those only when you order through the kiosk, so that’s not bad!

For the toppings, I believe I had the caramelized onions, red onion rings, and grilled mushrooms, but of course you can go with other traditional tings like tomato, lettuce, and others.

So, after all that, you pay with your debit/credit card and pick up a wooden number plate, and choose a table and wait! They will bring your food out to you when it’s ready. And that’s it!

As far as I know, what happens in the kitchen next is they will prepare your items fresh once the order has gone through, ie. they prepare your bun and cook your beef patties fresh, etc. and put everything together. I even got a chance to take a look behind the scenes as well:

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On this visit, the guys that served me – I believe their names were Brittaney and Megan – were wonderful as they brought the food over and also came back to check on me to see if there was anything else I needed. It was definitely a different kind of McDonald’s experience as they’re adding this table service to a new niche. (Of course, if customers prefer to order through drive-thru or just the regular counter service or to-go, that’s fine too. They can still do that.) Oh yeah, the burger was served on this wooden cutting board and a plastic fork and knife were included. I was talking to two executives who showed me around, and they were talking about potentially each location hiring between 10-15 new staff to work this innovative table service feature (once the other locations are ready for this). Wow! Talk about job creation across the country! They were also eager to give their staff advanced training on various skills needed for the job.

That’s not all.

McDonald’s also has this McCafe Bakery with new pastry items (I didn’t take notes as to what they have but I would guess it will be on their website).

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Overall, a pleasant visit and definitely 10-out-of-10 service on this night! (If you’ve read other posts on this blog, you’ll know that I don’t give those types of scores easily. I’m not particularly picky but I also pay close attention to service – even if I don’t complain to restaurant staff when there are problems. On this visit, there were no issues whatsoever.) Also, to have a chance to listen to the franchise’s vision and future plans from two of their executives was insightful as well. I felt welcomed as a guest indeed, like they appreciated having me come in and try out their burger.

Oh yeah! Almost forgot… the burger was delicious! Also almost forgot… for the meal you could have fries, poutine, or salad. I got a salad. But if you noticed from the picture above, if you got fries, they served them in this little metal tray. Kind of like other food places that do this too. Another thing is because of the sauces I picked, it could be a messy meal – so I definitely appreciated how I was given enough napkins and also the fork and knife.

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As for other notable things about this particular Langley location, there was a flatscreen visible to me where I was sitting – and this was the day the (annoying) Blue Jays won their playoff series against Texas (boo!) and the post-game was shown on the flatscreen. Also, there were outlets for plugs by my seat so I could have used them to plug in my laptop or phone if I wanted to (I didn’t on this visit). A great, neat location indeed! I certainly applaud – and congratulate – them for being among the first in Metro Vancouver with the “Create Your Taste” and for running it so smoothly!

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