Reader Brandon goes to Wendy’s about once a week and usually orders the double stack “plain” as in “without toppings, just meat and cheese.” This fairly straightforward request has never caused a problem… until now. Brandon says that he and some friends stopped in to Wendy’s to grab some food, but when he ordered his usual order, they refused to give it to him. Nothing Brandon could say convinced Wendy’s to give him a double stack with no toppings, so he and his friends eventually gave up and left empty handed.
I know a fast food restaurant is not a place that I should expect to receive excellent customer service, but when an employee treats me completely illogically, I just cannot ignore it. An employee at Wendy’s this past weekend refused to serve my double stack plain (with no toppings) and stated that it was their policy that they had to serve it the way it comes (with toppings) for that particular sandwich. The straw that broke the camel’s back was that she told me that the double stack was the only sandwich that had such rules for its preparation. A more detailed account is provided below in my letter to the Wendy’s feedback site:
“Let me first preface my experience by saying that prior to this experience, Wendy’s was hands down my favorite fast food restaurant. I likely visit Wendy’s once a week and have never had a bad experience until my most recent visit to this store in Baton Rouge, LA.
Three friends and I arrived at the restaurant around 1:00 to get some lunch. Ordering first, I asked for a double-stack plain. After the cashier entered my request into the computer, the lady next to her who prepares the sandwiches interrupted and said that the double stack does not come “plain” (meat and cheese only) as I had requested, to which the cashier agreed. I stood there befuddled and asked the employee if she could simply refrain from putting lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on my sandwich and serve it with meat and cheese only. She told me that she could not, as it was the policy that you have to get a double stack the way it comes (with toppings) and that it was the only sandwich on the menu with such rules. The double stack is my sandwich of choice and I order it every time I go to Wendy’s and have always been able to get it served “plain.” After a pointless discussion of a minute or so of trying to figure out why she could not make the sandwich plain, I left the store with my friends, all of us in a state of disbelief as to the sheer ridiculousness of the situation.
Aside from the fact that I have been successful countless times in ordering a double stack plain, it is actually more cost effective for the restaurant to serve it plain, retaining the cost of the toppings that I did not want. Such poor customer service not only was an insult to me as a customer, but gave the illusion that Wendy’s sandwiches are pre-packaged and not able to be changed according to the customer’s wishes. Hopefully this is an isolated incident of poor employee training at this one location, but I can assure you that it will forever tarnish my opinion of the Wendy’s franchise. Burger King’s “have it your way” campaign just became much more appealing.”
In hindsight I know I should have asked for the manager who I can only hope would have been more reasonable than this employee, but I was so confused and angry by the whole situation that I just left. Let’s be honest: after causing a small scene at a Wendy’s, chances become pretty good that my food will either be spit in or worse. I’d rather just go somewhere else. I normally don’t get very worked up about stuff like this, but this was just such a stupidly unnecessary situation that I’ve been telling everyone I know. Because I didn’t actually buy anything, I realize I should not expect Wendy’s to offer me anything, but I am very interested to see what their response is. They promised to contact me within two business days.
All we ever order at Wendy’s is that spicy chicken sandwich (yum), so we have no idea what the rules might be about burger toppings, but we can’t see any reason why “plain” wouldn’t be a valid way to eat your burger. What if you were allergic to pickles or onions or whatever?
We think Wendy’s should send you some free burger coupons or one of those weird red wigs from the commercials or something. The whole story is just bizarre. Kudos to you for not throwing a fit and telling the Wendy’s employee to hold the toppings between her knees.
(Photo: mbeldyk )