UPDATE: Backyard Burger Wayyyy Too Friendly

It’s not just bilious Vincent who can’t stand the grins at Backyard Burger. Jacob writes that the Stepford Wives syndrome seems to be company policy.

“We watched as one employee went to each table and asked in a slow, methodical, creepy manner with a huge smile:

    Employee: “How was your meal today?”

    Customer: “Everything is great”

    ….long awkward pause….

    Employee: “That is wonderful…………..pause…….If you need anything else……pause…….please let me know”

    Customer: “Ok, thanks!”

    …..long awkward pause…..big grin

    Employee: “Have a terrific day”

    …..long pause before he walks away….

“My wife and I got the giggles watching him circle the room. I noticed the other tables felt similar by their expressions. “

Jacob says he’s, “not complaining.” The food “was superb.” The staff “honestly” tries to be “very friendly.” One time his daughter dropped a hotdog on the floor and they gave her a new one and refused to put the new dog on the bill. Jacob merely suggests they, “make it genuine, not creepy. It was like being served by Eddie Haskel.”

Got it? Friendly, not freaky. And if you can’t manage that, a hummer and ribs will do just as nicely.


Jacob C. writes:

“Consumerist,

First off, just found your site about 2 months ago and now read it religiously. Good site. I wanted to comment on the Backyard Burger post. I laughed out loud when I saw the title of the article. My wife and I went to a new BYB in our area. We had never eaten at one before nor had we heard of them. After we ordered our food and sat down, we watched as one employee went to each table and asked in a slow, methodical, creepy manner with a huge smile:

Employee: “How was your meal today?”
Customer: “Everything is great”
….long awkward pause….
Employee: “That is wonderful…………..pause…….If you need anything else……pause…….please let me know”
Customer: “Ok, thanks!”
…..long awkward pause…..big grin
Employee: “Have a terrific day”
…..long pause before he walks away….

My wife and I got the giggles watching him circle the room. I noticed the other tables felt similar by their expressions. Later after we thought about it more, we realized maybe he was mentally challenged and then we felt terrible for reacting to his demeanor is such a way. Now, I don’t have to feel bad. It was a really unusual dinning experience. The best way I can explain how it felt was to point to a Family Guy episode where Meg makes friends with that weird, overly friendly girl at school and it turns out she is in a cult. They all wear those blue jumpsuits and at the end they drink the punch that kills them. How those kids acted is how a lot of the staff acted.

I do want to point out that not ALL the staff acted like this and I am not complaining about the friendliness of the staff. I am just commenting on the fact that someone felt exactly the same way about their experience at a totally different location in a different area of the country. The food was superb and when my wife went back a second time, my 2 year old dropped his hotdog on the floor. Someone on staff noticed and brought her a new one. When she offered to pay for it, they refused to accept it.

I think if BYB happens to notice your article, they should walk away from it knowing that they do make great food and do honestly strive to be very friendly to their customers. I would just suggest they make it genuine, not creepy. It was like being served by Eddie Haskel. Their staff was just doing what was asked of them. You can’t fault a company for going way beyond what anyone would expect from a fast food experience.

Thanks,

Jacob C”

Comments

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  1. Marcus says:

    I desperately want to go to one of these places now… anyone know of one near Atlanta?

  2. etinterrapax says:

    The Eddie Haskell remark really made me laugh…I am now outed as a genuine LITB fan, but really. No one does obsequiousness like Eddie Haskell.

    I do think, as a Yankee, that there is something to the notion that so much attentiveness with the service is unsettling to us. It isn’t that we’re inherently unfriendly or impolite people. We–and you have to understand that it is very difficult for me to articulate this–we’re just more reserved about making connections with strangers, and beyond a certain degree of pleasantry, it just feels intrusive. The server talks a lot, and we have to answer, and our food’s getting cold while we listen…

  3. Lesley says:

    Just for you, Marcus:
    http://www.backyardburgers.com/ourlocations/proximity/sear

    Be sure to get the waffle fries. And if you ever see that there’s strawberry cobbler, do not hesitate to order it. Delicious!

  4. Yozzie says:

    Shit – screw the friendly service, I’ll take the hummer and the ribs, thanks.

  5. Morton Fox says:

    Okay, now I want to go to a Backyard Burger.