2006-02-17

Wendy's is trying to take over the fast-food industry

I had my lunch at Wendy's today, during the lunch rush. there was a line, which I fully expected. I noticed that one of the people in the line was wearing a Wendy's uniform — I figured that she was in line to get her lunch. but then she moved back one person, and it was then that I noticed the pad in her hand.

turns out she was taking orders. then she handed the customer an order slip to give to the cashier. this makes good sense to me; one customer can give his order while another customer is paying. multitasking++.

another employee was floating around, checking on customers and seeing if they needed anything. this was the first time I'd ever seen anything like this at a fast-food restaurant.

when I gave my order to the employee with the pad, I neglected to mention that I wanted my baked potato plain (no chives nor sour cream). so when I got my baked potato, it had chives on it. I figured that I would just scrape them off. that didn't work too well — chives are apparently quite adhesive, to both the potato and the plastic knife.

it was only a few minutes before the floating employee came over and asked if I was having trouble. yes, I explained, I didn't want chives on it; I wanted mine plain. she offered to take the potato back and exchange it, and I accepted. “all you have to do is ask!” — perhaps a bit out of line, but I accept some of the responsibility as well, as there'd have been no harm in asking. and the offer to exchange it more than made up for it, IMO.

both employees (the floating one and the one with the pad) came around and checked on how the customers were doing, and the floating one came by later and asked if I needed a refill. I should have checked my level; I thought my cup was still nearly full, so I refused, but it was actually at half. oops.

I already liked Wendy's because they let you swap out the fries from a combo in exchange for a baked potato — choice is good. and now they have this. so, props to Wendy's for proving that price isn't the only way to win in the fast-food business.

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