Steak 'n Shake Enterprises — timing of drive thru. ethics of leadership and team.
I'd like to start by saying I am disheartened that I actually felt compelled to search for the corporate email and select the button ‘submit a complaint'. We have always loved steak and shake in our home town and for the most part, have had excellent customer service and a wonderful dining experience. When we utilize the drive thru, our food has always been correct and fresh. Not tonight. Not even close.
My family and I pulled up to the drive thru in Marion, Indiana behind another car. No biggie, we wait in line all the time. We ordered our food and proceeded forward to the bend of the drive thru lane. There were 2 cars in front of us. It took just shy of 30 minutes for us to reach the window.
Now the disappointment begins. Because I was already frustrated with the wait, I challenged myself to be overly smiley and polite. I have been in the middle of a bad evening in food service in my past life and the last thing you need is the customers rubbing it in your face when you are doing everything you can to work hard and help. That was not the case for larger part of this group. The younger woman at the window slowly shuffled back and forth, watching her coworkers making the food as quickly as possible. The couple I could see at least. She pulled her phone out, shuffled back over to the screen to take another order and actually put her hand up to her face to block eye contact with me. We had been at the window now for almost 5 minutes. My girls were staring at their Shakes, made on the counter, just melting. She walked back over to the line to chat for another minutes or so and then finally came to take my card. I smiled, trying not to show my frustration until she handed me my card back and went to close the window. I stopped her and asked for our shakes. She happily gave them to me. A few minutes later and she handed us our bag. I checked it as I alway do and we were missing or large fry. I sat for maybe 30 seconds waiting on her to look back at us but she was leaning on the counter, facing away from us, with her phone in her hand. My husband told me to honk, which I hate to do, but I did. 3 times! Still nothing. I unbuckled my seatbelt, leaned out the window and knocked on it. She came back over and I told her what the problem was. She closed the window and I thought she was going to go grab the fries, maybe to help her coworkers. Nope. Leaning on the counter, again. I waited. 5 more minutes...
Without my fries, now almost 45 minutes from hitting your drive thru speaker, I pulled around front into the parking lot and went in.
Bustling dining room, waitresses hustling and a couple line workers hustling. Then the couple just hanging out like they are not in a rush or interested in helping the team! This is so frustrating for me to see on this new generation of workers. I asked for the manager. Manager unavailable. Ok, who is running the shop then? A gentlemen by the name of Frankie, one I saw through the drive through window. Leaning on a fridge and being asked to move twice by a line worker, explained he had the keys and was who I needed. I unloaded on that young man. Pointed out everything that was wrong with the lack of will to work together and how long myself and many other cars in the driver theu had been waiting. If the service wasn't bad enough before the missing fries, why on God's earth did I need to wait another 5 minute for those fries when the girl in the drive thru was clearly capable of grabbing h fries and putting them in a bag. Frankie when to the back and shared my frustrations and they all stood there arguing about the situation, instead of getting..my..fries. Just grab the fries. I then began to get louder about the way the place seem to be running. Please get the manager I kept saying. I heard multiple employees on the line say statements such as "this is such bull****" "I'm not putting up with this anymore" "I'm going to get him". That last one was made by an employee who walked outside and said as he walked past me, "I'm getting the manager. He's in his car." He came back in and tore his necktie off and said he quit. He couldn't deal with this anymore.
I continued to wait. Frankie brought my fries, finally, and asked if he could take my name and number. I said absolutely not, I want contact information for the manager or owner. Frankie said hold on as he walked to the back again. The fella that tore his tie off went back out side and came back in saying he still wasn't coming in. I continue to wait as the mood amongst the workers grew worse and worse. They began cussing loudly, a couple line workers said "let's get this order done and then we are outta here" A gentlemen I know in town was leaving with his wife and approached me, asking if everything was ok. I stated I better calm down as he is a police officer. He said if it was any concelation, their food was terrible.
It became very evident to me that if someone tried to get the manager and he refused to come in with what was going on and the staff reacting and behaving the way they were, I wasn't going to get anywhere with him. Frankie never came back to the counter after her gave me the fries.
Let me be clear, we have always enjoyed Steak and Shake but the lack of motivation in most of those team members and obviously with the management has absolutely changed my mind. I have never, ever been through a drive thru experience with such a non-interested worker. Seeing her not even try to help and play on her phone was just plain Inexcusable. If they were that behind, cars waiting in line for 30 minutes, everyone that even knew anything about making food or bagging it up should have been doing that. No just leaning on walls, chatting and playing on their phone.
I cannot promise that we will ever return to this steak and shake. This was by far, the worst experience I have ever had at a drive thru. This was simply unbelieveable.