Doing A Disservice To Food Service

, , , | Working | April 3, 2018

(I’m a shift manager for a fast food chain and have been in food service for two years. The store I work for is almost constantly understaffed during the afternoon. On this day, I am called in on a day off to give some assistance as crew rather than as a manager. Towards the end of my shift, the staff level drops to only one person taking orders, one on the grill, and another manager in the office preparing to leave, leaving me to mind the entire front area — counter, drive-thru, drinks, fries, and order prep. The drive-thru has now backed up considerably as I rush around to prepare the orders I need. As I’m at the window:)

Me: “Hello! You had the three [Sandwich #1] meals with a Coke and a shake?”

Customer #1: *giving me the stink eye* “No. I had the [Sandwich #2] meal.”

Me: *angry at the potential customer loss and the waste of a very large order, but not showing it* “Oh, I’m sorry. Give me a few seconds and I’ll get your food out to you.”

(I rather angrily push the bag to the side and start to prepare the next order. I’m unaware that the original customer has come inside.)

Customer #2: “I’m right here, man!”

Me: *trying not to give a “WTF?” look* “All right, just give me a couple seconds so I can take care of these orders.”

Customer #2: “I don’t have ‘a couple seconds.’”

(By this point my frustration has reached its peak, and I gesture to the empty stations that I am minding due to my store’s situation.)

Me: “Look. I’m sorry, but I am the only one up here right now. If you would like to help, please jump in, by all means!”

(I give the customer at the window their food and when I look back, [Customer #2] looks embarrassed.)

Customer #2: “Hey, man, I’m sorry. Do you have any applications?”

(I grabbed an application and handed it to him as I gave him his food. I apologized for my temper and he apologized as well. It was very refreshing to find someone who wasn’t exactly ignorant of what food service has to handle each day. Unfortunately, I have not seen his application returned.)

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