Don’t you just hate it when you’re anticipating a great meal and are delivered your order late or completely different from what you had asked for? Instep looks into the top five guffaws restaurants make when delivering food.
While sitting at a restaurant, bad customer service or order delays can be quite a drag but are still manageable, for everything is right in front of you to deal with. However, imagine sitting inside your office cubicle or at home post a hectic day, with a stomach grumbling recklessly, waiting in anticipation of your dream meal. When the delivery guy arrives 30 to 40 minutes later and you take a look inside the plastic container, you face your biggest foodie fear – it is NOT what, or how, you ordered.
Indeed, nothing beats a disappointing meal for which you have not only invested your money but also your precious time. Such a careless attitude on the part of any restaurant will considerably shorten its shelf life. We see so many of them fade away from the industry just as quickly as they pop up in every nook and corner. Bad reviews, debates over food blogs and boycotts have become a norm as customers’ demands and expectations increase and yet the restaurant industry fails to look on the inside. It’s well past the time we point out why eateries are creating a terrible reputation for themselves when it comes to food delivery. Here are five common disasters that one is bound to experience during a lifetime of ordering in:
1. Wrong and incomplete orders
Leave it to fast food chains to be an expert at delivering food that you never really ordered and Subway seems to be the master of order disasters. We don’t understand if the phone lines at Subway’s call centers are faulty or the people deliberately play pranks designed to tick you off. Examples: Untoasted often arrives toasted to an inedible ‘cardboard’ crunch, extra meat is perhaps even less than the original amount and unless you tell them you are allergic to tomatoes or pickles, just a simple no to any of the veggie options will result in that particular item being served as generously as a charitable donation. Our top pick: no sauces somehow equal all sauces!
But Subway isn’t the sole culprit. Local burger and pizza joints as well as online food portals like Foodpanda and Urbanite, that aim to extend a helping hand to customers, often leave the hungry far more distressed and unsatisfied with their blunders. How many times have you ordered potato skins for starters and received cheese sticks instead or ordered a jalapeno burger but was given a mushroom grilled one? We assume countless!
2. Late Arrivals
We understand that the traffic situation in Karachi is getting worse every day and most of us professionals are indeed victims of it but a) rush hours are usually between 5pm to 7pm and b) even in the suffocating congestion, normal bike riders are more than often spotted making a way out. Then exactly how does an order, promised to be delivered within 30 to sometimes 60 minutes, arrive after a painful two hours or more? Even if the restaurant is actually experiencing some technical issues, the riders conveniently blame it on traffic.
McDonald’s is usually very punctual with their delivery timings but dare you call them on a day they have installed a new app at the call center and you are probably going to spend the rest of the day craving for your cheeseburger. Just recently a fellow blogger mentioned how she placed an order for a Happy Meal around 1pm the day they had revamped their computer systems and after inquiring numerous times about the order only to be told that the rider was on his way, the food arrived at 3:45pm. Real problem: their call center team forgot to place the order at the right branch and made note of that at 3pm!
3. Leaking Packages
Have you ever received a fountain fresh glass of coke without some of it spilled around the insides of the plastic bag? We doubt it! You may pay for a full glass of drink or an extra sauce but chances are that you will only receive half of it in a container worth eating from since the rest will be dripping around the edges.
Eatfit in particular has been pretty much at the helm of this mistake. The food, although well-packaged and wrapped to maintain its freshness, usually comes with the most important component missing – the dipping sauce. It is not that they forget to place it alongside the rest of the food, it just turns upside down and leaks all over the brown bag and while that lessens your intake by 70 calories, it also means the taste of that wrap is reduced by almost 70 percent.
4. Unpleasant Taste
After scouring through a gazillion options on online food websites and social media you finally decide a grilled fish or a burger is bound to suffice your insatiable cravings and make your day. But when you open the container you realise you have been fooled – the burger is soggy and the fries have gone limp without a hint of salt.
There is a ten per cent chance that whatever is served at the restaurant will be peculiarly sub-standard for delivery as if customer service is not a requirement for home-delivery customers. Espresso, one of the most popular local restaurants that has maintained a benchmark of good quality for years, suffers from the bad taste syndrome in its deliveries – your piping hot mozzarella sticks are likely to be bland, chewy and tasteless and the herb grilled fish will be doused with spices enough to set your palate on fire! This only casts a doubt on the restaurant’s efficiency and the promises they had been making in their advertisements. We bet a scrumptious, giant, picture-perfect Chipotle burger on the OPTP billboard has never looked the same in real life…
5. Missing Cutlery
For many, this may seem to be a trivial issue but those who work and often order in during lunch breaks will agree with us. Some restaurants have acknowledged the importance of plastic cutlery and places like EatFit and Chairman Mao, pretty regular in providing them, but a lot of others have simply excused themselves from this service because well, it’s the customer’s headache – find yourself a fork or eat it with your hands, we don’t care!
Biryani places and Chinese restaurants like Ginsoy and Golden Dragon are the most consistent in not sending plastic cutlery. When asked if they can send some the next time around, mind you, you are in for a snappy response – ‘we don’t keep those!’ While some of us who can manage getting our hands dirty and going desi over a plate of biryani might still let it go, when it comes to a Chowmein or Manchurian with Rice even they are left more than a little perplexed over how to eat it.
DISCLAIMER: The examples given are based on real-life experiences and may vary from person to person. Write in if you disagree!