No service

All to often we encounter events that require us to make a choice, for or against an action. We reach that precipice and must take action or remain passive.

Would you consider lunch at what I call a fast food plus restaurant a location for such a quandary to occur?

Well it occurred there.

Yesterday I had a lunch meeting. One of the great things about being self employed is the ability to move from a central location, choice. The person I was meeting with made the choice of the fast food plus establishment. I say fast food plus, because at a fast food place there is no apologies for the decor, it is cheap and easy to clean and has the aesthetics of a protestant church. No distractions, just focus on the mass produced big agri business food you are consuming and be on your way. As a derivative of the fast food establishment there is what I call fast food plus dining. Fast food plus is still a place to get food in a relatively short amount of time, but now, you have 3d-marketing to assist you in your dining experience.

Fast food places had marketing too, but typically that revolved around a central brand, a character. That character drove the story that filled the space in which you ate the big agri food.

Now in fast food plus, or FF+, there is this element in the space that does not focus on a central figure or character, but rather fills the space with what many call ‘flair’. Flair, is nothing more than distractive techniques to catch the target’s eye and attention away from the main task at hand, ordering something to eat and then paying for that service. Flair is thought by many to be ‘fun’. Who doesn’t want to have fun? Right? Flair is fun, damn it!! I can hear all the marketing executives saying that. Flair is like the baby mobile, it just keeps the short attention span of the target. I have many issues with flair, and could go on for pages and pages about the subject, instead will remain on topic here at the FF+ shop in Solon, OH that my business colleague chose for our meeting.

What I experienced aside from all the flair was absolutely shitty service. Have you ever experienced the point of human interaction when you meet and must communicate with the human that is in charge of constructing the edible object which you will consume? Food service is not for everyone, just will make that statement up front, it is a unique sector and has its specific character requirements for those employed within this sector, many people are great in the food service sector and they enhance the customer experience 10 fold. But what I experienced at this establishment in Solon, OH was the classic lethargic complacency that is often found in urban fast food outlets, fast food culture in USA. The factors in play to make this statement are the following: 1. unclear or mumbled speech 2.demanding kurt tone in orders to obtain information (which would be questions in the flair marketing model hand out that probably employees are to read prior to starting) 3.overall disgustingly sad physical looking figure.

These factors made an impact on my experience at this FF+ establishment. I took a step back and looked at all the flair and thought is this sandwich really worth 7.99? The sandwich taste was average at best, it was a sub sandwich. Of course it has to be that price, aside from the global food price increase, the marketing, the flair, has to be covered. But again, that could be written about for days, so I will stop there. Just to conclude people who accept this non quality service and repeat business with this establishment are those that are allowing the society to fall into economic and social disparity. Big statement, yes, but if you get at the core of the human interaction process and think about what is really transpiring in that transaction, it actually makes me sick to my stomach, not for the quality of the food, but for the quality of the transaction and the lethargic complacency on both sides of the commercial transaction. The food maker building the sandwich sucked, and so did the line of customers that seemed to be the regular corporate lunch crowd stopping in to ‘grab a bite to eat’.


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