When The Menu Changes, So Does Everyone’s Mood

, , , , | | Right | August 13, 2019

(I work at a “Mexican-Inspired Fast Food” chain. This is the day after they cycled from one Limited-Time Offer that was featured in four different ways — $1 side, $2.50 platter, $3.50 platter, and a $5 meal — to another featured in three different ways — $1 burrito, $1 nachos, and $5 burrito meal. All of the signage from the previous one has been pulled and replaced with signs promoting the new one. In addition, the manager has replaced all of the menu boards, inside and out, to show the new items. I am working in the drive-thru when a customer pulls up to the speaker box. In addition to the main LTO item changing, a popular $5 meal has had one of its items replaced for another.)

Me: “Hello! Welcome to [Restaurant]. What can I get started for you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’d like three orders of the [old $1 LTO] and an [old $3.50 LTO].”

Me: “I do apologize, but the [old LTO] has been discontinued and will be brought back some time in the summer. However, if you would like, you can try the [new LTO]; it has [ingredients].”

Customer: “What?! I just got some yesterday!”

Me: “We changed our specials today. Instead of the [old LTO], we have the [new LTO].”

Customer: “Well… that’s all I wanted. Are you sure you can’t make the [old LTO] right now?”

Me: “Yes, we don’t have the old LTO in stock anymore; we sold out of it last night.”

Customer: *exaggerated sigh* “Well, then, can I get a [popular $5 meal], instead?”

Me: “Sure, but just to let you know, it now has [new item in meal] as opposed to the [old item in meal].”

Customer: “Well, f*** this, then!”

(The customer pulls away from the menu, zooming past the windows. I shrug to my coworkers on the line before another car approaches the speaker box.)

Me: “Hello! Welcome to [Restaurant]. What can I get started for you?”

Customer #2: “Yes, I would like the [old LTO] and a—”

Me: “I am sorry, but we are no longer doing the [old LTO], and instead we have the [new LTO].”

Customer #2: “Oh, that’s all I wanted. Thanks, anyway.”

(The second car backs out of the drive-thru, leaving a “phantom car” on our timer and running it up until my manager clears it out just as a third car pulls up. This time, I try to catch the customer before they order anything.)

Me: “Hello! Welcome to [Restaurant]. Just to let you know, our specials have changed; we are no longer doing [old LTO] and are promoting our [new LTO], instead.”

Customer #3: “I was wondering what was different about the menu, but it’s no biggie. However, I’d like a [popular $5 meal], but I see it has an [new meal item]; what’s in it?”

Me: “The [new meal item] has [ingredients] and is pretty good.”

Customer #3: “All right, I’ll have that with a large [slush drink].”

Me: “Not a problem. That’ll be [total] at the second window.”

([Customer #3] pulls up to the window and pays. Since my coworkers on the line are having to wait on something, I decide to have a conversation with the customer.)

Me: “So, how are you doing today?”

Customer #3: “Not too bad. Why did they change the menu?”

Me: “I’m not su—”

(Just then, a customer in the lobby begins to shout at a new Hispanic coworker working at the counter.)


Counter Cashier: *voice shaking* “Sir, please don’t raise your voice or curse; there are chi—”


(Everyone in the kitchen and the lobby is looking at the man raising a fuss over the menu changing when the manager comes to the counter. At this point, my customer’s food is ready; I try to hand it out while the manager and lobby customer start to have an argument. My customer shakes her head and pulls off only, much to my shock, to walk into the lobby about 30 seconds later.)

Customer #3: “Hasn’t anybody ever taught you manners and that the world doesn’t revolve around you? I cannot believe that I could hear you all the way out in the drive-thru! You should be ashamed of yourself; everywhere has menus that change every once in a while, and besides, I’m sure they will bring back the [old LTO] sometime soon. Besides if you want them so badly, maybe you should have gotten them when you first supposedly saw them on the TV two weeks ago! Now, why don’t you apologize not only to the workers but also to everyone else here?!”

Lobby Customer: “OH, YEAH?! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO F***–“

(Just then, [Customer #3] pulls out her wallet and shows something to the lobby customer, who meekly apologizes and leaves.)

Manager: “What did you show him?”

([Customer #3] showed the manager her ID and I caught a glimpse of it; she was the wife of the county sheriff.)

An App-allingly Inefficient Way To Purchase

, , , , , , | | Right | August 13, 2019

(It’s the morning shift of a stocking day, so I usually have to put away the contents of a truck while simultaneously attending to any customers my coworkers are too busy to help. My coworkers at this time of day usually include only my manager, maybe one additional crew member, and a cook. As the early morning turns to a few hours until noon, we start getting more and more customers all at once, forcing my manager and additional crew member to call for my help to handle them all. I head to the front of the store to take out a few orders. Before I deliver to this one woman, my manager tells me that she wants to pay with her credit card. I can see more customers coming in and I know my coworkers are going to need my help with them, too, so I don’t really give it much thought. I just take it out.)

Me: *places her order on her table* “Here we are, ma’am. That’ll be $8.78.”

Woman: “I wanted to pay with my card, but it wouldn’t work. Something’s wrong with your machine. I have money on my card.”

(Our booths are installed with a card scanner that allows customers to pay for their orders before they arrive, but because we prioritize speed at our restaurant, we often stop the clock on orders before they’re ready, which causes the machine to think the order is on its way to the customer before it actually is.)

Me: “If I had to guess, the machine probably didn’t have a chance to actually do anything with your card. Let’s try again.”

(I enter in a code that lets me pull up her order and allow it to be paid for — assuming it wasn’t already paid for — and then attempt to run the card.)

Machine: *declines card*

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but your card is being declined.”

Woman: “I know I have money on it; it must be the machine.”

Me: “Well, let’s try another one, then.”

(I take the card to another machine, enter the code, and swipe the card on her order, only to get the same message.)

Me: “I’m… sorry, ma’am. While I won’t claim to know what the problem is, I can say with relative certainty that it’s not an issue with our scanners. These machines have been working on the vast majority of cards perfectly fine since yesterday.”

Woman: *accepts her card back and pulls out her phone* “Fine. I don’t carry cash on me, so I’ll pay with the app.”

Me: “Let me just get the app payment code for your order.”

(I go just behind the see-through employees-only door to pull up the information on a system-tablet. I return and gives her the number.)

Woman: “What do I do with that?”

Me: *comes to the conclusion this is her first time using the app* “You enter it into the app and the order gets paid for.”

(She spends several minutes fiddling with her phone. All the while, I can see customers pouring in. Likewise, I set up the tablet on the other side of the see-through door with the screen showing that the order hasn’t been paid yet.)

Me: “Is there a problem, ma’am?”

Woman: “My phone’s just taking a few minutes to download the app.”

(I was flabbergasted. The app pays by means of prepaid amounts put into a personal account. I was going to have to wait here while she downloaded the app, set up an account, and put $10 on said account before she could pay; all the while, my coworkers were scrambling, trying to juggle the influx of new customers without me. I couldn’t just leave, lest I be held responsible for anything that happened. She took twelve minutes. Anyone who works in the fast food industry knows how long twelve minutes is to coworkers and waiting customers!)

Unfiltered Story #160090

, , , | | Unfiltered | August 12, 2019

I was standing in line at a fast-food place. The line next to the one I was in was being handled by a trainee and her supervisor. It was apparent that it was the trainee’s first day on the job and she was understandably nervous.

The people in the line were patient and pleasant and more than willing to cut the trainee some slack while she learned to use the order screen. Until an older man stepped up to the counter, barked his order, and then decided to berate the trainee for “not smiling.” The poor girl was close to tears and her supervisor had a comforting hand on her shoulder, when the jerk turned to me. I guess because I’m an older woman he thought he’d have a sympathetic audience. “These kids never heard of service with a smile!”

As it happens, I’ve stood behind my share of counters in my life. So I said, loud and clear, “Who do you think you are, Dale Carnegie? You leave her alone!” It was very satisfying to see Mr. Smiley turn bright red and slink away.

The supervisor offered to comp my meal, but I declined. The satisfaction of getting to tell off a jackass customer with no fear of retribution was its own reward.

Unfiltered Story #160086

, | | Unfiltered | August 11, 2019

(Whilst I am bringing out some food to a customer, I overhear this conversation between a woman and her husband, while their kids are (politely) sitting at another table.)

Wife (very seriously): “I just don’t know how we’ll fix this. How did we get into this?”

Husband (equally serious): “I don’t know.”

Wife (suddenly bangs fist against the table and raises her voice in triumph): “I KNOW! You can divorce me and marry my sister! Then everyone’s happy!”

Husband (wide-eyed): “That’s perfect! You’re brilliant!”

(They then proceed to give each other a quick kiss, and the children didn’t even blink. I assume (hope!) they were joking, but I had to quickly walk to the back to keep from bursting into laughter right in front of them.)

His Hot Head Is Adding To The Heat  

, , | | Right | August 10, 2019

(Our thermostat is not controlled in our store. A computer system in a different state is where the controls are located to prevent employees from messing with it. The only thing we can turn on and off are the ceiling fans. One day it is ridiculously cold both outside and inside the store.)

Angry Customer: “This is ridiculous! You must not want to be here this morning if you’re turning on the cold air when it’s forty degrees outside!”

Me: “I know it’s pretty cold out there, but unfortunately, we can’t do anything about the air inside right now. My manager already made a call in to get the heat turned on, but it could take several hours for it to get switched over since the controls are in a different state.”

Angry Customer: “That’s bulls***! I install air conditioning and you can’t install the system controls in a different state. You’re just a stupid little nobody so you make things up so you won’t get yelled at.”

Me: “If you’d like to file a complaint, sir, my manager is on the register to my left.”

(My manager goes over the same thing with the angry customer but he only gets more pissed off.)

Angry Customer: “You all must be stupid, then! I can’t believe they made someone as incompetent as you a manager if you don’t know how to work a f****** thermostat! I’ll just come back there and fix it myself!”

Manager: “Sir, if you attempt to get behind this counter I will have to call the police on you, and I’d like to remind you that they are just across the street so it won’t take long for them to get here. I’m sorry about the cold, but there is nothing more I can do at this time, and you do have a nice, thick jacket on that should be keeping you very warm.”

Angry Customer: “How dare you threaten me?! I want the number for your corporate office!”

(My manager writes a number down on a piece of paper and hands it to the angry man, who stands right in front of her and dials. That’s when I hear our store phone ringing.)

Manager: *to me* “Sorry, let me go back to the office and answer that.”

(She walks back to the office and from where I am standing, I can hear both sides of the conversation as the angry man yells at my manager and she proceeds to tell him the same thing we already told him twice. After a few minutes he hangs up and grumbles.)

Angry Customer: “I can’t believe this s***! That is the stupidest thing I ever heard!”

Manager: “Sorry, sir, I had a customer on the line. Did corporate resolve your issue?”

(The angry customer leaves, cursing under his breath.)

Me: “That… Did that just happen?”

Manager: “That was awesome! I knew he would fall for it!”

Me: “Are you allowed to do that?”

Manager: “Are you kidding? Corporate doesn’t have time to deal with grouchy guys screaming at them because of something that can’t be immediately fixed.”

(Just then, our cold air shut off and the heater kicked in.)