I really love Chick-Fil-A. They not only have a wonderful methodology for customer service, but they often double-up on service when it comes to the drive thru. If you’ve ever noticed, there is usually one person that handles drinks, one person that hands it to you, and several people in all to complete your transaction. This isn’t the same at other fast food restaurants where there could be only one person trying to manage every single part of the exchange. This isn’t even accounting for the food preparation part.
So when they screw up, it’s actually pretty annoying and devastating to their image. It’s not a huge deal, since their loyalty is much like Toyota’s. People are still willing to come back after one bad incident, but if it keeps up, the image starts going southwards.
For me, it was through the drive-thru where it just happened that there was a tomato peeking out from the top lid of my sandwich box. I didn’t really think anything of it, but when I opened the box, there was no top bun. How the heck do you close the lid of a box without realizing there wasn’t a top bun? Wow. And it’s funny that I had just finished telling my wife how their quality control and customer service was above every other fast food place even though they were closed on Sundays and probably lost a lot of money in doing that.
Better training drives revenue. Anyone that works at Starbucks corporate could tell you that. Remember when they locked it down for three hours company wide? That’s how you get things done.
Well perhaps it’s only a single isolated incident. It wasn’t like it was a misplaced item which happens frequently in fast food and take-out. It was just part of the food preparation that was missing. It probably doesn’t help matters with the fact that they do actually care about their customer service and training either. But this demonstrates why you can never cut corners around quality control. In fast food, it might generate an annoyed customer. In civil engineering, it could mean the bolt that holds the roof from collapsing on the people inside. QC/QA is a part of every business and should be thought about if you care about your corporate reputation.