D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Worst Subway Experience Ev-AR!

Friday, August 15, 2008 10:09 AM
Ok, normally I don't complain about negative service experiences. I spent 7 years in the restaurant industry, and I know that sometimes you have bad days.

But this...

So I walk down to my local Subway this morning to grab a quick breakfast sandwhich. There's one other guy in line ahead of me, and an elderly woman (late 50's, early 60's) is manning the counter. She has those glasses with the neck string so that she can always have them handy...she's friendly...not rude or snobby.

But then she starts making the order for the guy in front of me...

Guy: I'll have a 6 inch mega omellete please, toasted.
SWE (Sub Way Employee): Ok (gets bread).
SWE: Was that a 6" or 12"?
Guy: Uh, 6"
SWE: I have to microwave the sausage, its still frozen.
SWE - <goes to get a tortilla shell.>
SWE - <realizes tortilla shell is not egg>
SWE - It's one of those days!
SWE - <assembles the sandwhich and puts it i the toaster>
SWE - <pulls sandwhich from the toaster...toaster keeps beeping because its not closed>
SWE - <looks between bread oven and toaster and microwave, trying to figure out where the beeping is coming>
Me - I think its the toaster
SWE - How did you know that?
SWE - I just need to get the bread out of the oven before it burns <guy's sandwhich is getting cold on counter>
SWE - Now what type did you have?
Me - You can finish that guy's sandwhich before it gets cold
SWE - Oh, ok...so you're not in a rush then.
Me - (in my head) Well actually yes, but let's try and not get you frazzled any more.

She finishes the guy's sandwhich, tries to do the math for his change, and off he goes. NOW its my turn for a sandwhich.

SWE - Places the 6" bread out, then on a seperate sheet preps the egg, ham, and cheese.
SWE - Begins to place egg, ham, and cheese into the toaster. Bread is still on the counter
Me - Um, you might want to put that on the bread before you toast it.
SWE - Oh my...*laughs*...they need more than one person on in the mornings.

The rest of the process went without a hitch, but I've been in that restaurant with the regular staff and it never took 15 minutes to get a sandwhich with one person ahead of me in line before.

Now, I'm not slaggin' on this lady. I mean, sure she showed that she's a bit of...well, imagine your parents working in a restaurant and I think you see where I'm going.

However, the issue is a deeper one: How much training did this woman get? Was she hired when maybe her skills weren't vetted enough? Is there any accountability set up to enable coaching, feedback, and skill improvement? Was she even properly trained to begin with? There was a supervisor in the building, but she never came on line except to check on another batch of bread and to walk through the lobby to go for a smoke.

Now, everyone needs to be stretched and challenged, but at the same time the "sink or swim" mentality doesn't help anyone: the business, the employee, or the customer. Management needs to ensure that they've prepared their people well and have proper supports in place before placing them in a given situation.

Ok...rant is over.



# re: Worst Subway Experience Ev-AR!

It is Wpg so maybe she wasn't sober yet? 8/15/2008 10:36 AM | Donald

# re: Worst Subway Experience Ev-AR!

Unfortunately, I think we're going to see more an more of this as our population ages and seniors realize that Canada Pension kind of sucks.

8/15/2008 10:44 AM | Ryan

# re: Worst Subway Experience Ev-AR!

I haven't eaten at a Subway since 1998. I got incredibly bad customer service. I asked the manager if she realized that I was the conversation in the relationship and she didn't care. I explained that I would never spend another cent at Subway and I would encourage others to do the same. She didn't care. Something is very wrong in that organization if the employees have that attitude.

Besides, you should just eat at Chipotle instead!

++Alan 8/15/2008 1:54 PM | Alan Stevens

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