From The Desk of Ian Bourne
Ms Kim Tudor; Nat’l Initiative for Service Excellence/
Ms Michelle Hustler-Small; Bds. Coalition of Service industries/
Editor; Daily Nation/
Editor; B’dos Advocate & Heat Magazine
Attn: New Year’s Resolution, viz. – Service
Most people at this time of year make a New Year’s resolution; more often than not it usually involves losing weight. My resolution also concerns food, but as it relates to service…
On Saturday 27th December I decided to have a Gourmet Burger at Chefette’s Barbecue Barn for a late lunch or early dinner – much to my regret; I ordered a small salad, burger-platter and a Pepsi.
Before the cashier rang up the sale, I made sure to add I wanted cheese and bacon with the burger and I paid the Chefette employee.
After having the salad my main course appeared and I collected it, while sitting at the table I looked at my meal, it seemed there was no cheese – I even looked at the bottom of the patty and it was dry bread underneath; naturally, I returned to the counter. I asked for an attendant and one who was not the cashier stepped up, so I explained what I thought was my shortcoming. Paraphrasing the rather appropriate Clement C. Moore for this time of year – what to my wondering ears … ?
She wrings up her face and says “LOOK, IT UP UNDER DEY!” hurled in either a snarling shout or shouting snarl (Translation – ‘Look, it’s up under there’ as in; the little bit of cheese was under the slice of bacon)
Still shocked, I went to sit back down at the table, I realised a senior-type Afro-American couple parallel to me were staring at me so I asked if they witnessed what happened; they not only confirmed what they saw but added they’re accustomed to it every time they visit the island and they try to ignore it – as I started to put on BBQ sauce on the burger I don’t know what happened, but I just had enough. I muttered to myself that enough is enough and this can’t happen anymore, then I marched back to the counter and demanded for the Manager On Duty; when she arrived I then proceeded to loudly demand for a refund on my meal as the service was not even what I expected at Nelson Street or Baxter’s Road.
I can safely state I did not use profanity, but I was not quiet, the entire fast-food establishment heard me, I was even asked what I wanted and I said I did not care it was Xmas or New Year’s that that woman did not deserve to be in a Chefette uniform and she should be sent home! To the Manager’s credit, she was quiet and apologised as well as giving me a full refund even though I ate the salad.
Chefette is not the only place to have poor service; there was October this year when Kentucky also failed in their bid to entice my patronage…
I see in the Saturday Sun that Kentucky Fried Chicken is returning their Famous Bowl offer, this is where you get mashed potato with gravy and corn with popcorn chicken and draped with 3 different grated cheeses and a Pepsi to drink for $14.99 Bds – what is cool is the bowl has a resealable lid and is microwavable and dishwasher-safe, so you can reuse the item for a long time after!
So I head over to KFC’s Hastings branch, but having had previous horrors with KFC, I made sure to ask WHEN will the Famous Bowls be ready? I was made to wait for a bit then learn they’re “on hold” until the corn arrives… Quite naturally I ask how long will this take and I am told when the corn arrives in a perfect rendition of Catch-22! I blurt “Typical!” then exit the queue and stalk out to my car.
This is the same KFC asking for people to join as staff and be so service oriented they want to dub them as customer maniacs? KFC needs an extra Menu sign – one where they can slide items as to which is IN or OUT like how you know when to ask for certain Insurance Agents or Media Houses by those kinda signs…
(So you mean to say Kentucky couldn’t alert all branches that between x-date and y-date a product promotion will be in effect and please send all requisitions in early to ascertain all necessary spices/ meats/ vegetables, etc. will be ready ahead of 1st day’s issue and please make sure at least 25 of said product are pre-cooked awaiting eager Public response?)
I have also received dismal treatment from both establishments even as long as 2005, here’s what happened from an e-mail I sent my friends when it occurred…
There needs to be something really done about Customer Service or the lack thereof at both KFC and Chefette, and until that time, no one should buy from them unless they develop manners and common-sense! On the night of Thursday the 24th Feb. ’05 I finished my late shift and my wife came to pick me up from work, both of us had a hard day and neither of us felt like cooking – so we decided to fast-food it… What a Big Mistake that turned out to be! Went to Cheftte Wildey, stopped at their Drive Thru and WAITED ages (3 to 5 minutes) before a response which was to hold on MORE (2 mins. further) then ask for a Dinner Mate, told that you gotta wait 15 mins. for chicken and decide to ask for all-beef rotis instead and learn that that’s outta stock also, only chicken rotis (they, along with Chefette’s chkn. sandwiches give me the runs, avoid ‘em like the plague) and so we decide to try KFC Collymore Rock… How dumb was that? They shut already at 11:30, “We shut!” was the terse reply snapped at us from the drive thru glass that remained shut during the whole encounter! As if we didn’t suffer enough, we sojourned to Chefette Rockley, and learned our Dinner Mate was 3 legs and a wing with no napkins nor ketchup after the fact… We only realised the legs bit at first and asked about it, and were told that that’s all that’s left! Good Lord! You couldn’t've told us beforehand? Wait ’til we done spend the money? Bare Foolishness! If we see the li’l man in the chef’s hat the rest of this year, it’ll be too damn soon, y’hear?? As if that wasn’t enough, we traipsed over to KFC Hastings and bumbled thru their drive-thru which although open was lacking in stock and manners… “We en’t got no corn at all!” ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ must be Russian insults for them, too!
Here it is, nearly 4 years later – but I am firm in my resolution from even before the New Year… If anyone catches me at Chefette or KFC between now and up to the end of 2009, then they have free reign to kick me in the shins or slap me on the back of the head!