Just a short few blocks from my house you will find a large number of fast food joints. McDonald’s, Burger King, Jack in the Box, & Taco Bell all a stones throw from each other. This closeness has resulted in what I refer to as “The Happy Wars.” Since fast food is fast food and it is all bad for you and cheap, there is only one thing that can drive a customer from one location to another and that is customer service. These folks know that and are ready to throw down!
I rarely eat fast food and when I do drive a few more blocks to Subway where, sadly, the employees are seconds away from being totally incompetent and customer service to them means simply screaming “WELCOME TO SUBWAY” as quickly as possible and in unison the second you walk through the door. (All right that was a bit of a lie. I also enjoy Taco Bell but usually go to the one further away as it is “in my path”) BUT I am a frequent consumer of the medium diet coke via one of my local QSRs drive thrus! (I realize I’m not supposed to drink caffeine. Let’s forget that for a second. I really wish they would have a caffeine free option. My local movie theatre offers that now! Isn’t that glorious??? Less guilt for me as I suck down a giant bathtub size drink while watching a flick!) Due to my use of the drive thru’s I can tell you that The Happy Wars are happening!
The leaders are Burger King and Jack in the Box. I use to only go to Burger King. I went every morning and didn’t even have to order a “medium diet coke” as they knew. In fact the woman became my bff and was beyond nice. Due to route changes and the need to be on the other side of the road (scrapping together every second possible in a day) I don’t go there as often but when I do I get the “How are you doing???? I haven’t seen you in a while. Have a great day. See you soon.” in the most genuine heartfelt tone you can imagine.
Jack in the Box is Burger King’s biggest customer service rival. I have a number of examples. Recently my gal friends celebrated the holidays with our traditional “dinner and drinks” out. A few of us took the “drinks” part to heart and stayed out too late drinking too much. That lead to a slumber party at my house with a NEED for food the next day. I suggested Jack in the Box, so off we went. The woman who took our order was very worried for our well-being and asked if we were okay. I don’t blame her as we looked like we had been run over by not one but a fleet of trucks. Still, she seemed to care about us! Can you imagine? Someone working for minimum wage at the local Jack in the Box cared enough to check on us. THEN the most amazing thing happened. A little old man came in and after, what seemed like hours of thought, ordered 2 breakfast meals. When the nice woman handed him his bag of food she asked if he needed help taking it to his car. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING? A more recent example of Jack in the Box’s power of nice happened this morning. I swung through the drive thru for my morning diet coke and happened to get stuck behind a guy who apparently ordered everything on the menu. So I had to sit there for precious minutes before I could get a hold of my required liquid. The man behind the window said, “Sorry for the delay. I’m going to only charge you for a small soda because you had to wait.” WHAT?????? HOW FRIKIN’ BRILLIANT IS THAT? You know they still made a 10,000% profit off the soda I got and yet that tiny 54 cent discount made my day!
Taco Bell is next on the nice list with McDonald’s (still nice but in a less obvious way) coming in last.
I love good customer service and the crazy nice employees of the fast food joints in my hood make me a tiny bit happier every time I visit them. So WOO HOO FOR THE HAPPY WARS!