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May 15, 2009 02:24 PM

Horrible service and management at Popeye in Milltown, NJ


Just had lunch at Popeye's Chicken in Milltown, on Main Street, New Jersey. When asked by the owner if I wanted it for here or to go, I said plainly, casually, "HERE". When I looked over at the counter, the girl/lady was putting my order in a bag. I checked my receipt and it was marked "TO GO". I nicely told the lady, and she came over to me when I mentioned it, that it was for HERE.

She continued to stuff the bag with the contents and turned and gave it to me. Don't these idiots know (or care) basic American words...'HERE' doesn't mean to put the food in a bag and hand it to me. I then told her..." I told YOU AND the Manager it's for HERE. HERE means HERE! Of course, the boss defended her as if she was right and to hell with the customer.

Of course, now I'm the enemy because they have absolutely no interest in letting the customer know his business means anything.

Well blow me down!

  1. Do you honestly think that getting food in a bag rather than a tray qualifies as 'Horrible Service'?? Most people would be happy with a correctly fulfilled order.

    I agree that if you ask for 'here', it shouldn't be too difficult to put your order on a tray, but it really doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

    I'm guessing that you are now being referred too as that 'crazy customer who freaked out over the bag."

    1. I've had that happen to me to, but I handled it differently. I calmly took the bag to a table, sat down, took the food out, and ate it. Most people take the food off the tray and set it aside, I really don't see why it should be such a big deal. The girl made a mistake, and from reading the post, it appears more than a little abuse was directed toward her. I would have defended her too. I'd hate to think what would have happened had they got the order wrong or forgot the ketchup.

      10 Replies
      1. re: James Cristinian

        I disagree. It's damn annoying, especially when these people always ask, "here or to go?". They even have here marked on the slip. And when I order Chicken nuggets at a fast food place, I always specify what sauce I want. When they get my order ready, not only do they put it in a bag, but they never include the sauce even though I request it and make sure they hear me.

        It's not a hard job, and if the people working there can't put forth a minimum of effort which includes paying attention, they deserve any verbal displeasure directed at them. Where I work, there are 3 fast food places literally on top of one another. Two right next door, the other across the street from the two. Last time I made it a point to tell the manager about the subpar service that happens most of the time. I then informed him that his next door neighbor would be getting my business from now on. He wasn't too happy. I told him he should speak to his employees about their attitude and laziness. If one person complains about it, there are probably 10 others who remain silent.

        This didn't happen much more than 10 years ago. Remember, you don't have to be a door mat. Mistakes happen, but not this frequently. Some of us are tired of being doormats.

        1. re: hotdoglover

          I haven't eaten fast food in well over a year, but when I did I made an assumption that they'd screw it up and didn't get too upset when they did. Always check the bag before you leave, and yelling at these people when they make mistakes does no good, they take enough abuse even when things go right. I work in a service indusrtry, not food, and there is a percentage of the population that's going to jump on your ass no matter what.

          1. re: James Cristinian

            I would say that my "to go" and "here" orders get mixed up about 20% of the time. If I need it to go and they give it to me on a tray, I just tell them it was supposed to be to go and get a bag. If it is supposed to be for "here" and they bag it, I just take the bag, sit down and eat it. What's the big deal? No need to turn into Charles Bronson over it.

            1. re: James Cristinian

              Believe me, I'm not one to yell at people, especially at fast food places where nowadays the employees can barely speak or understand English. I'm used to getting my order screwed up. All my life I've ordered hamburgers, subs, whatever without onions. So many times it comes with them. While at work or on the road, I often eat at fast food places. It is no big deal to bring a bag to a table, open it and eat. What bothers me is that the first thing I'm asked is "here or to go" and at this particular place they get it wrong 80% of the time because they are not paying attention and/or are indifferent. Why even ask the question? I understand mistakes, but I hate laziness and indifference.

              Another thing that is irritating is a certain supermarket in my area would have the checkout people ask "Did you get everything you wanted?". Sometimes the answer would be no. And it would be the item I came specifically to get. When I answer no, there is no response. Once I asked the girl why she even bothered asking the question since she didn't follow up and inquire as to what I couldn't get, nor did she seem to even care. I was told "because we are required to ask"

              1. re: hotdoglover

                I wonder if paying a livable wage would make a difference in attitude. It is not enough to live on and has many ramifications.

                1. re: Passadumkeg

                  That's not enough reason to provide lazy and indifferrent service. When I was in high school working at these jobs, I made minimum wage which was around $2 and change. And kids were happy to have these jobs. We actually had to calculate change rather than look at a computer screen. And if you came up short, you didn't have a job.

                  These jobs should be for kids and maybe retirees. If someone is looking for a "livable wage" they should look elsewhere. If the fast food places paid their employees more, you would be paying a couple of dollars for a mediocre burger.

                  1. re: hotdoglover

                    So cheap junk chow by exploitation? You are educated enough to have choices. I find the major food corps. at fault. Big profits there and it ain't staying in Milltown, which by the way is where my grandfather died in the 20's working for Michelin.
                    In this country there is no excuse for not paying livable wages. We are not at the top tier of the third world.

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      How much money should one make for flipping burgers and continually getting orders wrong?

                      1. re: hotdoglover

                        More gregious is corporate pay; instead of flipping burgers, flipping economies and continually getting greed over common good.
                        There is no excuse for unlivable wages in this great country. It is one of the reasons I never frequent chains; the other being culinary.
                        Go eat a good Jersey Italian dog for me will ya?!

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          Sure will. But many people who own Italian hot dog joints (not chains) are having it tough as well. Still no excuse for indifferent service

        2. I've been to this Popeye's location, never really had a problem, but honestly never even really noticed whether the service is good, bad, or indifferent. It's a fast food joint.

          I don't know...I guess I would be annoyed if my order got _really_ screwed up, but then again, I don't really expect a whole lot from service in a fast food place. Or food for that's a last resort convenience thing for me.
          I'll have to agree that this doesn't qualify as "horrible" service. Incompetent, maybe. Then again, basic communication skills are not a prerequisite for hiring at these places so I honestly don't go in with any expectations at all.
          I think I would have just unbagged the stuff and eaten it.
          Life's just too short to sweat the small stuff. :-)

          8 Replies
          1. re: The Professor

            MoxieBoy also has a post decrying the "horrible service" at a Chinese place because they forgot the plastic ware on two occassions. Fortunately, fast food workers aren't brain surgeons for a reason. I keep my expectations low.

            1. re: James Cristinian

              MoxieBoy also has a post decrying the "horrible service" at a Chinese place because they forgot the plastic ware on two occassions.

              I recall reading that post and thinking how petty the OP was to be so angered......and just as perturbed now to find a similar reaction to receive his food in a bag, rather than a tray. Whether it was a simple mistake or downright ignorance...really, why get so worked up?

              As for the missing plastic utensils, I cannot recall any pizzeria ever including any with any dinner dishes I have ordered. Instead of having the attitude they forgot to include the plastic ware with his order.....maybe he should really believe he forgot to request them to be added to his order is more appropriate.......

              1. re: fourunder

                I think many of you overstate the reaction. Simply showing a little displeasure over laziness and indifference is not yelling or getting worked up.

                1. re: hotdoglover

                  Don't these idiots know (or care) basic American words...'HERE' doesn't mean to put the food in a bag and hand it to me. I then told her..." I told YOU AND the Manager it's for HERE. HERE means HERE!


                  Sorry to disagree with you on this one, but the comments above suggest to me there isn't anything simple about his reaction. MoxieBoy also admits to yelling at the staff by virtue of his CAPS.

                  btw....isn't it basic English words? ;-)

                  In this time of food establishments trying to prosper or survive in this economy, ranting about his experiences mentioned seem very silly to me. If he really feels so strongly about the slights.....he should no longer frequent either place in my opinion.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    Locally owned restaurants depend on good service to survive. Support capitalism at it's best; eat local.
                    The one thing I miss from NJ is the diversity of great small ethnic and junk food restaurants and carts.

                    1. re: fourunder

                      I think a minimum amount of attentiveness, service, and consideration should be required of fast food restaurant employees. When I am slighted, I mention it, and if it continues, I go elsewhere.

                      1. re: hotdoglover

                        In my opinion, your expectations are reasonable and correct.....and I am of like mind myself.

                        1. re: fourunder

                          I can't speak for Moxie Boy (maybe he did yell), but I would definitely consider yelling over something like this to be overreacting. But I do find it annoying when it seems that it is happenning all the time. Guess impatience over these things comes with age.

              1. If you were in California, you'd pay tax on a 'for here' order and no tax on a "to go" order. Even the Starbucks inside the local grocery store has to adhere to that law. I would have thought they were doing me a favor if I were visiting NJ ... and stopped at that Popeye's...for some reason...

                There is no need to be condescending to anyone who is trying to make a living.