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OPINION - My fast-food experience

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU)   I may be eating too much fast food. This weekend I had two fast-food meals, mostly because of a hectic schedule. Both of my experiences were poor. And I can't help but think that the employees who provided this poor service want their pay doubled.

Saturday afternoon at Burger King customers were four deep at the counter, but they had only one person taking orders. Two workers were assigned to the drive through, which had no cars waiting in line. Could one person take off their drive-through headset and help customers waiting in the restaurant? No. They stood around watching the line.

When there's a long line to put orders in, there's bound to be a long wait for the food to be delivered. There was. My wait was even longer because they accidentally gave my order to someone else. Once the other customer touches the tray, under health code rules the food can't be given to someone else. I waited even longer while my order was re-made.

Later in the weekend I had a late-night visit to a Taco Bell drive-thru. (Taco Bell got my business by default. They were the only place open late.)

At first, they forgot my drink. I asked for it, and it was delivered. After I drove off, I realized they also forgot my nachos. I was too far away to go back.

Burger King and Taco Bell both invite their customers to give on-line feedback about good and bad experiences at their restaurants. I logged on and took the surveys. Both asked the question 'was there a sense of urgency?' Obviously this is something employees are trained on. The answer is an overwhelming 'no'.

The bigger question for the fast food industry is this: will these workers suddenly become better if they're paid $15-an-hour. It seems unlikely to me.