Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fast Food Insights

I've noticed a couple trends when it comes to service at fast food places. I'd like to compare 4 popular fast food businesses and the impressions I've recently come away with after visiting their Orem locations. I'm not addressing food quality with this post, but instead I'm focusing on the employees and the atmosphere of each establishment.

Burger King- Recently when I've gone to BK, their business has been nearly empty. For some reason on each of my last three visits, there have been people in line in front of me who work there but have come in to eat on their day off. It kind of bothers me when they are socializing and chatting up a storm with all the other employees while they are giving their order while I am waiting several minutes before anyone even recognizes me. It also didn't make for a very happy environment as the lady taking orders from the drive through was murmuring and complaining about the multiple customers she was helping in the drive through. FYI-The customers inside the store can hear you bashing the ones on the outside.

Taco Bell- Has some of the cheapest food choices so I will occasionally go there when I only have a couple bucks, but I wonder if they have a policy that requires that at least one worker always be on break by the dumpster smoking at all times. It's almost like they are taking turns with the Olympic torch. They are so vigilant at keeping the dumpster guarded that it makes me wonder what's in there. They used to have the most friendly and enthusiastic cashier at their drive through. You would have thought she was making $100,000 per year with her amazing attitude, but I haven't seen her there for a while. I'm guessing she got promoted to a different job.

McDonalds- Since McDonalds is the king of the mountain when it comes to fast food, they typically take a lot of flack from the public and critics. I'm not a huge fan of their food, but the system they use to deliver food is very efficient. There are always lots of people in McDonalds, but the service is also fast so it's not such a problem. They tend to be busier and don't have as much down time, so I don't see as many teenagers screwing around or gabbing like I do at some other fast food places.

Arbys- I don't know if Arbys has an only adult hiring policy, but it is one of the few fast food places where you seldom see teenagers. I can also say I've never noticed neck tattoos, facial piercing, or extreme hair there either. They definitely have a more professional image than most other fast food places and their menu is a little more unique than your average burger place. I enjoy ringing the bell to let them know when their service is good. My one hang up with Arbys is when I go through the drive through and order a small value shake and they ask if I want Ketchup or Arby Sauce with it. I guess some habits are hard to break.

I'm not trying to rip on these places or bash the fast food industry. I worked at Subway for several years when I was a teenager and understand how stressful long lines of hungry and rude customers can be so I am familiar with what employees deal with, but some fast food companies could really clean up their image and have a much more professional atmosphere if they asked some of their employees to actually smile or take a couple piercings out of their face when they come to work.