Did you know that on average, Americans eat fast food between 2-3 times per week? A popular fast food chain serves 75 hamburgers a second worldwide. While it isn’t common to find a finger in your french fries or a battered chicken beak in your nuggets, there is a good chance you’ll find objection with a future fast food experience.
Most fast food consumers don’t expect gourmet meals or five star services, but a certain level of quality should be given to paying customers. It’s quite easy to find complaints about various restaurants with a little searching on the web. Disgruntled customers are happy to share their fast food flops online in hopes of a better burger tomorrow. Most commonly, diners complain about the cleanliness of a store, the food in general and poor customer service.
All commercial food establishments must follow certain local, state and federal food codes that have been created to protect customers from food-borne illnesses. These codes cover items such as employee hygiene to ensure all workers are well groomed and healthy enough to handle food. Local health codes instruct restaurants which cleaners and sanitizers are acceptable, as well as how often areas and equipment must be cleaned. Other codes describe equipment and supplies that must be available in the store. Several more codes describe how workers are to handle, store and prepare food. For instance, prepared food should never be touched by workers’ bare hands.
Throughout the year, several routine inspections should be made by the health department to check for any violations. This is one government service that actually benefits everyone, as none of us want to eat food that has been prepared on a dirty countertop by an employee who wasn’t properly trained on hand washing. If you have been the unfortunate victim of a dirty restaurant, do not feel an ounce of guilt hiring a lawyer and getting compensated.
Many people are disappointed in the food they regularly receive across the counter as it hardly resembles the picture of the mouthwatering item loaded with fresh toppings. A little disappointed, they walk to the table to eat it anyway. As soon as they take a seat and have a bite, they realize the bun is stale and the fries are cold. It’s frustrating when you don’t get what you paid for.
Aside from cold food or wondering how long your meal has been sitting under a heat lamp, when it comes to complaints about fast food, it’s common for orders to be filled incorrectly. This can be dangerous if someone is allergic to dairy and asks for no sour cream or cheese with their order. It can also be quite annoying to place an order at the drive through, and not realize you received the wrong order until you are 3 miles down the road.
Even if you noticed the problem before you left the parking lot, you must now get back in line at the drive-through to wait five more minutes or park your car and take your complaint inside. While the mix-up is disappointing and usually quite annoying, if you take your food back, most places will happily fix the problem. However, when restaurants lack good customer service, sometimes seeking an alternative dispute resolution is a viable and worthwhile secondary option.
The recipe for an unhappy fast food customer is likely a tray of poorly prepared food mixed with a rude employee. Fast food restaurants are often staffed with employees who are underpaid and overworked. They probably make in an hour the same amount you just paid for your combo meal. For many, thoughts of quitting loom daily.
Whether the problem is an overcharged credit card, incorrect order or something wrong with the food or atmosphere, sometimes rather than receiving an apology and a free treat for their troubles, customers get a roll of the eyes and suspicions that something else might be added to their meal.
As a paying customer, you deserve to get what you paid for or receive your money back. There are several online aids to help you do just that. If each of us held fast food restaurants accountable to government standards of cleanliness, their own advertising of how their food should look and taste and a decent level of customer service, the world of fast food would be a much more fulfilling place for everyone.
About the Author: Robert Cordray is a freelance writer and expert in business and finance. He has received many accolades for his work in teaching solid business practices and dispute resolution.