Sunday, June 30, 2013

Eldersburg Royal Farm - Customer Service Fail

I have been to the Eldersburg Royal Farms three times now.  You would expect service to have a few hitches when a new establishment opens.  Unfortunately for Royal Farms, the service is getting worse.

I took my kids there a couple of weeks ago as we had a few "free" coupons.  We got a free Icee, a free soda, and a free small order of western fries.  Let me tell you, those western fries were fantastic!  My kids instantly determined that Royal Farms was their favorite place to get food.

We went there a second time to get some more fries as a treat after fishing at Piney Run Park.  I placed the order, then waited.  There was another man in front of me and we stood knowingly near the counter.  We waited.  Then we waited some more.  I started to take note of the actions of the kids working behind the counter.  The girl making subs took time to check her cellphone and text someone.  Another person was moving large pans from one area to another.  A girl and a guy were talking and flirting and laughing.  Lots of talking and laughing.  They were certainly enjoying each other's company.  I looked around and everyone else in the store seemed to be busy.  Maybe they were waiting for the food to finish cooking.  But wait, there were fries in the pan in the heating tray.

The girl eventually put some food in a box and placed it on the counter.   Not for the customer to have, but just behind the glass.  Then she put another box back there.  She wrote 215 on it.  I then checked my receipt and it is also 215.  She didn't call my name.  Nor did she scoot the box forward so that I could take it myself.

The girl went about flirting some more and moving some pans from here to there, oblivious to the customers.  Finally the man in front of me reached across the counter and grabbed the box, opened it and realized it was his order and took it.  The kids made no effort to assist, nor took notice.  I gave up, boosted myself up to make a long reach across the counter and grabbed my western fries.  I mentioned to the cashier that there needed to be less goofing off and more customer service back there.  She acknowledged my concern and went to tell the manager.

Today, we returned to Royal Farms and it was fairly crowded.  I placed my order, and then moved about to waste some time.  After about 10 minutes I wondered back to the front and started to actively take notice of what was going on.  An order was assembled, and when that was complete, the employee called out the number, then began working on the next order.  And so on and so on.  The problem is that some of the orders required more food to be cooked or prepared, so the assembler would stand and wait for the food to be finish.

I haven't worked in the food industry in 20 years since back when I was a shift supervisor at the Bel Air Burger King.  The Royal Farms employees were completing the orders consecutively.  There is no drive-thru.  There is no need to complete the orders consecutively.  They can be done concurrently.  If one order is missing an item and it is cooking, then start making the next order!

I stood there for 20 minutes (I checked my phone and compared it to the timestamp on the receipt when we got the fries).

To make matters worse, look at this.  As chicken and fries were completed, they sat on a tray that was not under the heating counter.  Meanwhile, the trays in the heating station are nearly empty.  And if you've worked in the food industry, you'll know that this much mess in the pan is from several hours of rotation.  These need to be cleaned.  This is unacceptable.  To make matters worse, the pants of one of the girls was falling down exposing her extra-large sized thong.  Who wants to look at that?  Tuck in your damn shirt!

It's obvious that the talent at Royal Farms is still young and inexperienced and that the processes are either unknown or not followed.  This place is not yet ready for the big-time fast-paced world of the bustling town of Eldersburg.  I think I will give Royal Farms a few more months before I go back.  Perhaps they'll figure out how to get it right by the end of the summer.  Because they certainly don't know how to do it correctly right now.

Here is a tray of chicken and fries atop of other empty trays.  They are not in the heating station.  Just sitting there on top of each other.


sevin said...

Proper training of their employees and the insistence of good customer service.

If these two things were done with the Royal Farms workers BEFORE they were unleashed on the unsuspecting public I think the store would be a rousing success.

I was in the store yesterday, (Sunday), to get gassed up and pick up a cheeseburger sub to go.
After waiting 15 minutes the clerk calls my number and I see something the size of tennis ball wrapped in paper sitting on the counter. I state, "I ordered a sub..this is NOT a sub."

The clerk looked at the item on the counter...checked my order from the P.O.S. system and handed the item back to the girl that made my sandwich.

After a short discussion with her co-worker, the girl opened the item and seeing that she made a sandwich instead of a sub, proceeded to walk over to the bread section of her sandwich counter and started to look for sub rolls.

Unsuccessful in her search for sub rolls she stood there looking perplexed....her co-worker recommended she go in the back to look for sub rolls.

This is when I went up to the front and told the girl behind the register to cancel my order and to give me my money back...."I'm going to Wendys.", I said.

Let me tell you...that double with cheese tasted GREAT!!

Kent Allard said...

Sorry, but I have to question who's worse here....the boneheads that work at Royal Farms or people who go to one somehow expecting anything good, customer service or otherwise. Seriously, what do you expect from a place that tends to employ a lot slacker teens and stoners?

sevin said...

Hey!! Now there's a positive view on our future generation.

I would have to argue that "slacker teens and stoners" do not typically go out and find jobs.

In fact I find just the opposite type of kid goes out looking for work.

The kids working in these places are blank slates...they are doing what they are taught / told.

So, I would once again blame the establishment for insufficient training / bad customer service. NOT the "slacker teens and stoners".

Twinkie Beyond said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kent Allard said...

Sevin, actually, when I was in high school the slackers and stoners DID in fact look for jobs, and they all liked to work at the local Royal Farms stores. It was pretty much a given. Not sure why, just the way it was. That's where and when I formed a poor opinion of RF. Any time I have to go into one its pretty much the same, no matter where it is and I have very low expectations.

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