Ok, let’s be honest, McDonalds isn’t synonymous with top Michellin Star restaurants of London in terms of customer service, but on the whole it’s not too bad. Generally when you go to a fast food restaurant you expect to be served relatively quickly (queue and time dependant of course) and be given your food also relatively quickly. This of course is under the assumption that you keep faff to a minimum by not ordering customised items (no mayo for one). Generally speaking this is the same for drive-throughs.
As a mystery shopper myself, I’d definately say that Leeds has one of the best McDonalds I’ve been to as far as customer service is concerned. The staff at the St John’s Centre branch are normally polite and I have at times had a couple of good conversations with staff members without holding up the queue. In fact one time I entered the restaurant in a foul mood and left with a smile on my face.
Donnington in Telford on the other hand is a bit of a different case however, at least today anyway. On the way back from shopping we decided to pop through the drive through to get some food. There was already a bit of a queue when we got there, and soon other cars also joined the queue behind us. The first problem came to be at Window 1 (this McDonalds drive-through having 3 windows). On arrival the window was closed and the only staff member visible seemed to be chatting to someone at Window 2. As we had to wait there in the queue for sometime anyway, we presumed the reason they hadn’t opened the window and served us was because service would begin at Window 2. Unfortunately the same thing happened at Window 2, and as I looked back to see the car behind being served at Window 1 I knew that we’d end up having to order at Window 3.
Normally the only action to take place at Window 3 is the collection of food, so when we arrived at the window I had to explain that the food laid out for collection wasn’t for us and that we still needed to place our order. A member of staff (seeming to wear a more senior member uniform) came over and asked if we were paying by cash or card, and that if we wanted to pay by card we’d either have to come in the store, or drive all the way around and rejoin the queue.
After agreeing to pay in cash he then proceeded to take our order … in his own special way. I can appreciate that there was a queue behind us getting longer, but making us rush with your face right next to the car window won’t make us speed up at all. And yes we told him that. This (possibly) senior member of staff had one of the worst attitudes I’d ever seen when dealing with customers, especially considering there was a young child in the car. We told him what we wanted and he tried to memorise it. I’m presuming here that he would have to ring the order in at another till. He recited our order back, but seemed to add menu items. For example, part of the order was a hamburger, medium fries and a small chocolate shake. He referred to this as a “burger meal”. When I asked what a burger meal was, he said it was like a Big Mac meal, but with a burger instead of a Big Mac. We then asked if they actually did a burger meal, to which he said “no”.
Eventually, he took the money over to the till and came back with our change, at which I asked his name. This member of (possibly) senior staff didn’t even wear a name badge, though claimed his name was “James”. I also asked what this particular branch number was, as I knew I’d want to take this further. Rather than give me this, he did say I could speak directly with the manager (though he didn’t make it apparent if this was the branch manager or duty manager, I doubt it would have been the franchisee).
The manager by contrast to “James” was completely sensitive to what was going on and listened to exactly what had happened and appologised. She said she would send me an email to let know the outcome of the situation, so I’ll let you know how that goes by when I get it.
To be honest, this experience hasn’t put me off McDonalds totally (especially as I’m going to head back to Leeds soon), but I know this has put me off the Donnington branch. Though I wouldn’t say the training at that branch needs more focus on customer service (because I’ve not worked there and don’t know how the training is done), if the same experience we had was also experienced by other customers, this could have a much more negative effect to the branch.
Still have no idea why we weren’t served at Window 1 though, if we had this could have never happened.