It's Bad Business



  • Hi. I'm a long-time reader, first-time poster. I'm a hobbiest programmer who doesn't take things too seriously, but I still know enough about things to understand most of the stuff on this site. Here's a story of something I experienced recently, which isn't exactly about anything technical, but demonstrates surprising ignorance (at least to me).

    Last night,  I was driving myself and 3 friends home from a performance (Video Games Live, great show), and we decided that we were hungry. We stopped at Jack In The Box. My friend told me that I should try the tacos there. So, we ordered 8 tacos for us all and continued down the road. But we got halfway to our destination when we realized something was wrong: There were only 4 tacos in the bag. We looked at the receipt to see if we had been charged for 8: Sure enough, we were. It was also clear what had happened to cause the screw-up: Tacos at this place come in orders of 2, so the receipt said "4 (2) Tacos"

    Well, we were too far down the road that we didn't want to go back, but my friend said that we were coming up on another Jack-In-The-Box. We all decided we were still hungry, so we stopped in there to get some more tacos, this time making sure we got everything we ordered.

    However, on the way there, my friend started asking "Hey, shouldn't they give us free tacos since the other place screwed up our order? It's the same place." Working in fast food myself, I explained to him how a franchise works: The different stores don't exactly make up the same corporate entity: each store has its seperate food costs and inventories to track and are essentially seperate stores which happen to sell the same things.

    He didn't listen. So, when we pull up and get our order, he rolls down his window from the back seat and shouts "Hey, this other Jack-in-the-box shortchanged us four tacos, can we get them here?" The girl working at the window proceeded to basically repeat what I had just tried to tell him. I cringed as he responded with "Can I see your manager, please?" She replied, "I am the manager." He responded with "Do you have a comment card I could fill out?" Before she could reply, I apologized to her and drove away. My friend kept muttering things like "That's bull. That's just bad business. They're gonna get a call from me."

    This surprised me since none of us were drunk and my friend was usually a very intelligent person. I find it hard to believe that a person like him couldn't grasp why that wouldn't work.

    Now, I have mental imgaes of him stuffing a Windows Vista disc down a toaster and yelling that it's bad business when it doesn't auto-install on his kitchen hardware. 



  • Heres a video of windows vista installations...

    Vista install in 2 minutes – 02:14
    — Anthony Cumia

    It never gets old!



  •  @dlikhten said:

    Heres a video of windows vista installations...

    Vista install in 2 minutes – 02:14
    — Anthony Cumia

    It never gets old!

    Wow thats amazing... I was just wondering if that friend of his was Dlikhten....

    Thanks for clearing that up.



  • It's sad, but true. People is that stupid. Not always, not all the time, but yeah, they are that stupid. After all, this is what this site is all about, isn't it?



  • I worked in fast food, and the company that I worked for would have given you guys the Tacos.  1.  They just lost business because your friend will probably avoid jack-in-the-box for at least a couple months.  2.  How fucking hard is it to put in a transfer for 4 tacos to another store?  If they don't have some way to do that then the company is too stupid to survive.  

    The real WTF is that you were to embarressed to let your friend argue his point.  You probably could have gotten the tacos if you tried. 



  • @tster said:

    I worked in fast food, and the company that I worked for would have given you guys the Tacos.  1.  They just lost business because your friend will probably avoid jack-in-the-box for at least a couple months.  2.  How fucking hard is it to put in a transfer for 4 tacos to another store?  If they don't have some way to do that then the company is too stupid to survive.  

    The real WTF is that you were to embarressed to let your friend argue his point.  You probably could have gotten the tacos if you tried. 

     

    Life is too short to argue over two tacos.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Life is too short to argue over two tacos.
    Four. It was four tacos.



  • @Lingerance said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:
    Life is too short to argue over two tacos.
    Four. It was four tacos.

    Like I said,... life is too short to argue over bad math.



  • @tster said:

    1.  They just lost business because your friend will probably avoid jack-in-the-box for at least a couple months. 

    Right, giving away free food always makes people like you better. I can think of about 500 other ways to please individual customers that are against company policy.

     

    @tster said:

    2.  How fucking hard is
    it to put in a transfer for 4 tacos to another store?

    It's impossible to verify whether the customer in question is lying without making a phone call to the other store. Meaning, the complainer will have to wait a long time before they get their food. If it's during a rush, they may never get it, or other customers in line might become dissatisfied that their food is taking longer. Either way you look at it, it's not a standard practice.

     

    Oh, and we eventually wound up getting our tacos. We had to drive back the other way eventually. 


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Lingerance said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:
    Life is too short to argue over two tacos.
    Four. It was four tacos.
    Like he said, life's too short to argue over two tacos.



  • I've worked in a lot of restaurants and had customers ask this a couple of times. As far as I know, no store is equipped to reimburse another for individual items, although they do trade cases once in a while. But that's a pretty mild customer WTF and they probably should have just eaten the cost.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @tster said:

    2.  How fucking hard is it to put in a transfer for 4 tacos to another store?  If they don't have some way to do that then the company is too stupid to survive.  
    More difficult than you might imagine.

    My experience (albeit over 10 years old, but I don't suppose much has changed) from McDonalds in the UK :

    Store inventory systems allow for the transfer of 'raw stock' - a box of meat patties for example, or a 5 ltr bottle of ketchup or a tray (usually 60 IIRC) of buns - between stores. But nothing smaller.

    Store inventory systems, when they are connected to the POS[1] sytem also have 'recipies' for items sold (hamburger = 1 bun + 1 patty + 1/30 floz mustard, 1/3 floz ketchup, 1/2 oz onions, 1 pickle, or whatever) and every time an item is sold it is effectively 'deducted' from the in-stock inventory. (Not all systems were this anal, but you get the point.)

    Unfortunatly there was no way of inputting "transfer 4 hamburgers to store XXX," though I suppose it could be fudged by one store 'ringing though' 4 burgers and another over-ringing 4 burgers.

    That said, if a customer was given 4 burgers, the most likely thing to happen IRL is the store that fucked up would be 'up 4 burgers,' the 'refunding store' would put 4 burgers down as waste/promo, and the shift manager of the 2nd store would ring up the first asking WTF is going on.

     

    [1] Either expansion of this is usually correct. 



  • @tster said:

    I worked in fast food, and the company that I worked for would have given you guys the Tacos.  1.  They just lost business because your friend will probably avoid jack-in-the-box for at least a couple months.  2.  How fucking hard is it to put in a transfer for 4 tacos to another store?  If they don't have some way to do that then the company is too stupid to survive.  
     

    Agreed that they should have just given the tacos and your point 1. However, I'd be willing to bet good money that the cost to each franchise of trying to transfer 4 tacos from one store to another would exceed the value of 4 tacos by at least an order of magnitude.

     

     



  • One issue not considered yet it that of theft. Having been a fast food store manager myself in the past, I constantly had to deal with those that loved to try to rip the store off with ploy's similar to this. So, if I had a few young men drive up to my restaurant and say another store forgot to give them some items, I would immediately become skeptical. Fast Food profit margins are very thin, verging on 2 - 3%, so every dollar counts. If you let too many 'free items' flow out the door, you risk your bottom line.

    Now, with that said, would I have given the men the taco's? Probably yes. I've never heard that particular line before and seems plausible, so I would have given up the less than $1 in food costs to save the company image.



  • I have three rules about fast food: 

    1. Fast food should only be used as a last resort
    2. Never use the drive-through
    3. Always check the order before you leave.

    The reason for #1 will be obvious.

    The reason for #2 and #3 is that where my wife and I are involved, there is a 100% chance that one (if not both) of our orders will come out wrong.  Using the drive through means that, to fix it, you end up walking into the store with it anyway (because that takes less time than going through the drive through again).  



  • I wouldn't have been surprised if it had actually worked. I've seen plenty of times when fast food places give in to demands from customers when they don't have to. (Customer orders the wrong thing, gets what he orders then complains that it's not what he wants. Customer spills food on floor, Manager replaces it.) I agree with not asking for it, it's not the second store's responsibility to fix the other one's mistake, but sometimes they do that sort of thing just to keep general customer good will.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @SuperousOxide said:

    I've seen plenty of times when fast food places give in to demands from customers when they don't have to. (Customer orders the wrong thing, gets what he orders then complains that it's not what he wants.)
     

    Obligatory (bash.org) 



  • TRWTF is asking for this kind of service from the drive through window instead of going inside:



    "Can I see your manager, please?"



    "Do you have a comment card I could fill out?"



  • The best part, for those who aren't totally clear about this:  These are 50 cent tacos.  Two for a dollar.  So the total value in question here is $2.00, retail.  Which translates to maybe 40 cents worth of ingredients, if that.

    So it's really something of a WTF on both sides.



  • There are... four... lights! er... tacos!

    Oh, and I have yet to see Video Games Live.

    Quite sad, I know. Ctrl-Alt-Destroy has beat me to seeing it. :(



  • @Critter said:

    Never use the drive-through

    I've never understood why some people are fascinated with the drive-through. At Taco Bell we'd frequently get 10-15 cars waiting in line and absolutely no one in the lobby. What's worse is the people who wait through all that and only order a drink.



  •  I like the drive thru becuase I have a dog, and he loves the car, but I don't like to leave him unattended even when the weather is nice.  And I have found that they put the best/fastest person on drive thru duty, and give the drive thru priority on orders, so even if there are a few cars in line it is faster than going inside.



  • Hobby

    Hobbier

    Hobbiest 



  • @Lingerance said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:
    Life is too short to argue over two tacos.
    Four. It was four tacos.
    Like he said, life's too short to argue over two tacos.

    best reply ever :P



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    @Critter said:
    Never use the drive-through
    I've never understood why some people are fascinated with the drive-through. At Taco Bell we'd frequently get 10-15 cars waiting in line and absolutely no one in the lobby. What's worse is the people who wait through all that and only order a drink.

    I used to stop at a local Arby's and I could easily save 10 minutes by going inside rather than waiting in line.  One time I walked in past a guy in a truck that was just pulling into line, and when I came out with my food he'd only moved forward about two car lengths.  (He was about 8 cars back from the speaker, and probably another 6-7 cars to the window)  When he saw me come back out, he immediately pulled out of line and went inside himself.



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    @Critter said:
    Never use the drive-through

    I've never understood why some people are fascinated with the drive-through. At Taco Bell we'd frequently get 10-15 cars waiting in line and absolutely no one in the lobby. What's worse is the people who wait through all that and only order a drink.

     

    Too damn lazy to get off their arse, is what they are. If you gave them a sofa on wheels, they'd forget how to walk.



  • @GalacticCowboy said:

    @Cap'n Steve said:

    I've never understood why some people are fascinated with the drive-through. At Taco Bell we'd frequently get 10-15 cars waiting in line and absolutely no one in the lobby. What's worse is the people who wait through all that and only order a drink.

    I used to stop at a local Arby's and I could easily save 10 minutes by going inside rather than waiting in line.  One time I walked in past a guy in a truck that was just pulling into line, and when I came out with my food he'd only moved forward about two car lengths.  (He was about 8 cars back from the speaker, and probably another 6-7 cars to the window)  When he saw me come back out, he immediately pulled out of line and went inside himself.

    Reminds me of the _fun_ times I spent working a Tim Hortons, now generally the rule is drive though times are supposed to be 180 seconds (all times are IIRC), so you should only be waiting 3 minutes total in the DT line. In reality every third car is either a family who orders an order that would actually be faster (and less likely to be screwed up) if they ordered a front counter. Now every one of those extra orders actually take three minutes themselves due to the physical speed which humans are naturally capable of moving is slightly slower than what management in CO thinks it is. Of course you all know what I mean by slightly. Whatever, shortly before I quit management okayed my proposal to suggest politely that large orders are faster if ordered through front counter. This was met with great resistance from the masses. Thankfully due to a policy if a customer swears at an employee they are no longer welcome at the store, and my plan worked quite well.


  • I once bought a six pack of beer but one of the bottles was empty. The next time I was at the store that sold it to me I suggested they give me a discount on the six pack I was purchasing to make up for it. They refused, blamed the brewery.

    So I wrote the brewery. They sent me a t-shirt.

    Never did get my beer though.  


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