Post #534 #Bad Wendy’s

June 27, 2017 at 9:53 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

We don’t usually eat any of the fast food fare that goes on these days.  We prefer to have more control over what we eat, and we prefer not to pay high prices for junk.  But the other day we were out running errands in between rain storms and it was slightly after noon and we were both feeling a little hungry.  As we discussed logistics of getting something while we were out and about or waiting until we got home, we happened to be passing a group of fast food places.  I suggested going to one that was several minutes out of the way for what we were doing.  Neither of us felt like spending the extra time, plus with Partner/Spouse’s diabetes, we needed to get him some food pretty quickly.  Since all I was after was a quick burger (and yes , there are places to get a quick, high quality, inexpensive burger accompanied by a boatload of fresh made fries), we compromised by choosing one that didn’t have a reputation for being terribly bad for you.  We pulled into Wendy’s.

Neither of us had been to a Wendy’s in probably decades.  Back in my home town, it was big news when a Wendy’s opened.  At that time, they had an all-you-can-eat salad bar, and I at the hell out of that salad bar.  I knew that salad bar no longer existed, but wasn’t prepared for what Wendy’s had become.  At one time, you went in and ordered the burger and told them what toppings you wanted on it.  Not anymore.  We walked in and no one was waiting in line, although the restaurant itself was moderately full.  About what you’d expect at this time of day on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  We perused the menu and both ordered the same thing:  a single burger combo, one with cheese and one without.  The girl at the counter looked unenthusiastic, but I didn’t think too much of it.  She was probably tired and nearing the end of her shift.  The kitchen crew looked busy scuttling around to get food prepped and drinks made for the drive through.

We took our drink cups, but as we turned to go to the soda fountain, another customer walking towards us said, “Forget it, it’s broken.”  Another customer was right behind him heading to the counter.  We all turned back to the one girl at the counter who chose that moment to provide backup to the drive thru.  A moment later, a young guy who couldn’t be much past 18 if he was that old was sent out to fix the soda machine.  He worked diligently but to no success.

Eventually, there were six people standing at the counter waiting for the drink machine to get fixed, or for the girl at the counter to take our cups and fill them with our choice of drink.  She ignored us.  And she ignored the poor kid trying to fix the soda fountain.  He finally went around the counter to ask her directly.  She told him what to do; he replied it wasn’t working; she instructed him to do it again because that’s what fixes it.  He sighed and went back to the soda fountain.

The first gentleman got his food and asked for his drink.  Her shoulders slumped in defeat and she filled it for him.  The second customer insisted on his drink before she got his order ready.  By the time she called our name, she was resigned to getting our drink orders — wrong.  She had to dump them and redo them.  I mean really, how hard is it to get one small regular soda, and one medium diet soda?  Apparently pretty hard since she had to refill our cups.  I hope she used new ones, but it’s hard to say.  Mine didn’t taste like diet so I guess that was a plus.  I noticed during our time standing around waiting for something to drink that while everyone “busy” it didn’t seem like a team.  There was one older man in a different uniform who appeared to be the manager who was pointedly ignoring what was going on at the counter while he made fries in full view of that counter and the growing number of discontented people waiting for drinks, much less food.

We sat down at a table with Partner/Spouse facing the counter, and near the soda fountain which the young guy had finally given up on.  It finally registered on me just how rundown this place was.  When I got the napkins and straws, that area wasn’t dirty but it was neglected.  It looked like it hadn’t been wiped down since they opened that morning.  Partner/Spouse commented on how beat-down everyone behind the counter looked.  We couldn’t tell if it was the heat of grills or lack of morale.  I started noticing the rug wasn’t clean and was coming up at all the seams and edges.  Every booth had large chunks torn out with exposed craters of particle board.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a Wendy’s,” I said.  “I may try one more before making up my mind, but this may be the last time.”

He nodded.  “All they had to say was the soda machine wasn’t working and ask what we wanted to drink.  It’s like they’re not being trained to think about the customer.”

The food was good.  It was fresh.  It was well made.  The tomatoes weren’t as ripe as I’d like but that’s more due to a seasonal thing.  The fries were hot and crisp.  It was worth the price we paid.  I mean, we went to a fast food place so our expectations on food quality weren’t the same as thought we’d gone to a high end sit down restaurant.  So we got what we paid for as far as the food was concerned.  No complaints there at all.  But the rest of the experience was sadly lacking.

Just before we left, we both checked our sodas, debating whether we wanted to go back to the counter for a refill.

“I’ve got a bottle of water in the car, ” I said.

“There’s still plenty left in this cup,” he said.

We got up to leave and he said, “This is going into the blog, isn’t it?”

I had to laugh as I nodded.  “I was just thinking about how I was going to write it up.”

We’ll probably stay away from fast food for a while.

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2 Comments »

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  1. I avoid them, unless I’m on a road trip and have no choice.

    • Ordinarily, we do too. Except fried chicken cuz that’s a world of its own. That day, it was a special case. 🙂


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