How Poor UX Can Hurt Your Restaurant’s Reputation

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Let’s face it, nothing sucks more than when you anticipate the arrival of your food, only to be disappointed. So when a restaurant’s website fails to make it easy for the customer to interact with a menu, mishaps are bound to happen.

My Experience With A Local Burger Joint Went Something Like This:

Slammed at work, I decided to order online and have my lunch delivered. But before I hit the “submit order” button, I had this gut feeling that I confused them about the sides, so I specifically left a note in the instructions: “Place extra sauces on the side and come to the 5th floor to deliver.” Done.

30-35 minutes later, the delivery guy calls..

“Hey Melisa I got your food here, I’m on the first floor.”

“Ok awesome, I’ll be right down.” (*Thinking*… I left a note saying come to 5th floor, but no big deal..I could use a walk). He then immediately changes his mind and says, “Hey tell ya what, I’ll just leave it down here at the security desk.”

“Uhmm..ok sure that’s fine.”

It’s not like I tipped him extra or anything (I did).

I go down the elevator, and there’s my order sitting on the security desk. Took a quick glance in the bag and noticed only one extra sauce–sigh.

There was nothing I could do now, so I headed back to my desk. That’s when things just went downhill pretty fast. I unwrapped the burger to discover a wealth of bacon I never asked for.

I tried to find a phone number to give them a call, but there was no contact information listed on the site. A quick google search solved that issue, and I got a hold of an employee. I kid you not, her response to my complaint was, “I’m sorry, but since we’re really busy, we don’t have time to pay attention to instructions on the order.”

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“Wait..what?”..”so you mean to tell me that you completely disregarded my instructions for food that I’m paying for?”

*silence*

She then tells me that she will have the order remade and delivered on the next route.

Me:”how long will that take?”

Her: “……probably another 30-40 minutes.”

Prretty sure my stomach was caving in at this point.

There was no way I was going to wait another 30 mins, so I politely told her that if I needed to come there and get my food, I won’t be paying for it. She hesitantly agreed and we hung up.

Once I arrived, everything started to make sense. The place was fairly packed and everyone in the kitchen looked swamped. Thankfully, my burger was waiting for me the moment I walked in. The manager took my information to process my refund–for some reason, they weren’t able to issue it right away.

Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to totally blame them for putting my sauces on the burger instead of on the side. Had I explored the menu a bit more, I would have seen the option to order extra sides. But bacon when I never asked for it? And you don’t pay attention to the instructions when you’re busy?  What if I had allergy notes on there? Would I be alive posting this right now?

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photo source: Journalistic Skepticism

 

 

 

I’ve worked in customer service for almost 15 years, so I understand how difficult it is to deal with complaints. However, I firmly believe that all complaints can be turned into opportunities. As for restaurants, following up is key to winning back your customers. Hint: A sincere apology and a free meal on your next visit ALWAYS works.

I might give them another try in 2-3 months when they get it together.

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