Church's Chicken / poor customer service; closed drive thru early

Santa Fe, TX, United States Review updated:
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Tonight, at 903 pm, on 8/17/2016, I went to Church's Chicken in Santa Fe, Texas to place a family order. I pulled up to the drive thru speaker waiting to place my order. I waited, and I waited, for approximately 7-10 minutes. I finally assumed that the drive thru speaker must not be working correctly again. (I had been there before once when the speaker did not work and noone bothered putting up a sign stating that the speaker was out, and another time when I was told that they were "out of chicken" until tomorrow!) I previously opted out of making any complaints whatsoever on these other, past incidents, however, tonight was beyond irritating. Therefore, I am now making a formal complaint in the hopes that this and any other such similar incidents are remedied. This is by far Customer Service at an all time low.

So, after sitting at the speaker awaiting to hear some voice, then assuming the speaker did not work, I pulled forward to the window and sat patiently for a few minutes. There was a girl inside sweeping, or perhaps mopping the restaurant section. She did not look up for a few minutes, then when she did, she returned her head down and continued cleaning up the floor. I then decided to honk my horn to get her attention, uncertain if there were any other workers present, as I did not see anyone else. I could hear music playing very loudly. I honked again and again. Finally the girl cleaning the floor said something to someone out of my view and someone finally came to the window. When the woman opened the window, I politely asked if the speaker was out again and explained that i had been sitting out there waiting on service for the past 10 or more minutes. Her response is what really set me off. She said, "Oh, I turned it off because we will be closing soon." I looked at the clock in the car that said 923pm, looked at the store hours sticker on the window that said they closed at 930pm, looked at the clock in the car again, and stated that it wasn't 930pm yet, and that I had been sitting there for a while already. I was not about to get into a verbal confrontation and/or argument over this, so I simply asked what food they still had remaining. She told me what they had, which was only legs, thighs, mashed potatoes, and mac-n-cheese. And with my order I would also get a 1/2 gallon of sweet tea. I said, "fine, plz just give me whatever you have left." I paid, got my food, and left.

Church's Chicken has always been one of my favorite chicken places to eat, however, this one in Santa Fe, Texas is rediculous when it comes to running a business. What sort of restaurant (specifically a chicken place) runs out of thier specialty food, in the middle of the day, mind you. I understand that sometimes food trucks and beverage companies get behind schedule as well, but shouldn't there be enough of a supply (frozen or otherwise) to run a business, to accommodate for such incidents?!? And if they do run out of thier ONLY meat, should they not go ahead and close for the day, with an apology on the doors and windows and drive thru speaker? What is the point of being open if there is no food to cook and serve? Would it be too difficult to take a piece of paper and tape it to the drive thru speaker simply stating that the speaker is temporarily out of service, please pull forward to the window to place your order. Is courtesy just asking too much these days?

Santa Fe is not a big town, and that particular day, amongst other issues/complaints from other people on other days, have been gossiped about in this town. Word of mouth in a small town is by far the best way to win or lose business. I have worked in the restaurant business for many years. I went from hostessing to becoming an executive administrator in a high class restaurant. I do understand that things happen that are beyond our control that inevitably delay business and/or cause problems. I remember I had this one boss that when the food delivery trucks didn't show up on time (due to flooding, which is noone's fault), he sent one of our cooks to the grocery store to purchase a list of supplies. He had me type up a sign at the door, apologizing for the inconvenience, and explaining the situation and that for the day, our customers would be limited to what they would be able to order. No offense taken if they felt the need to take their business elsewhere. That is good business etiquette. Tonights issues at Church's Chicken is just plain laziness and over zealousy to get the restaurant closed for the night. I am empathetic to those that work long hours and only make minimum wage, or slightly higher. It makes it very difficult to appreciate your job when you feel under appreciated and under valued. However, this is the job that these people have chosen to have and/or keep, and should therefore do their very best to be the best that they can. A restaurant, or any business for that matter, cannot and will not ever survive with poor customer service, a lack of product, and an insufficient amount of ethicity. I firmly believe that this particular business has been around all these years because it did/does have all these things. However, if more locations run business such as this one, Church's will not be around too much longer.

I do not know the names of the two females working there tonight, but as a long time successful business chain, I felt that I should address my problem with this evenings event. I am not so disappointed that I will never return to this particular location again, however, I am disappointed enough that it will be a good while. I hope that someone addresses this issue immediately. In no way do I believe these girls should be fired, however, some good customer service training and a reprimand should suffice. Thank you for taking the time to read this complaint, and thanks in advance for addressing and fixing this problem.

Aug 17, 2016
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  • Mi
      Aug 18, 2016

    Just a suggestion: if you have not already but do decide to send your letter to Corporate, you might want to revise it. It is way too long just to make the point they turned off the speaker/intercom so customers could not order. You have a lot of what I call "rambling" in your letter and details that add nothing to your complaint (ex: your backstory in the restaurant industry, your view on wages).

    +1 Votes
  •   Aug 18, 2016

    9:23, and they close at 9:30...what exactly do you think you were going to order? Why do people insist on going to food places right before closing then complain that they did not get what they wanted to eat?

    +1 Votes
  • Mi
      Aug 18, 2016

    I too have wondered that. People go right at close and expect the restaurant is still preparing fresh food. If the restaurant closes at 9:30, you can be sure by 9:15 latest, the employees were tearing down the kitchen and starting clean-up. That's not the time to expect good service and fresh food.

    0 Votes

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