I like the food there, but I hate the customer experience. I hate all the little tricks and rules applied by staff forced into it by suits. Mostly, the “anything else” rule. Staff are ordered to ask the customer if they want anything else with their order, probably because someone in a necktie figured out that one in ten asked this question will either remember something they forgot to order or decide on something to add. And sod the other nine who are being forced to speak extra words for no reason.
I got so annoyed with the “anything else” lark that I tried my damnedest to avoid hearing it. It started with my placing an order then saying, “that’s everything, mate.”
Bastard. I got my burger and tore out of there. Next time, I had prepared an improvement on that tactic. “That’s all I need, that’ll do me just fine, thanks. Just the old burger.”
Okay, sir…anything else?
Battle lost, but not the war. I was back the next day, resolute, certain victory would be mine. “burger. I’ve only got 99p, mate, so I’ve come to treat myself. My last 99p in the world, so I’ll just have one of your burgers. And that’s me skint, mate.”
Yep, you guessed it. He wondered if I’d like anything else. For free? I asked. No? Then no, mate. Just the burger.
Next time, I thought, let’s make this guy as sick of that question as I am. Watch this.
Next time I rolled up to the talking box, I was ready.
“Just a burger, mate. Plain with cheese.”
“A hash brown.”
On it went. I backtracked to the burger, added barbecue sauce to it. The tea got sugar. I needed fruit for afterwards, ice cream for my sweet tooth, and then decided I had a friend who needed all that stuff as well. One item at a time. Soon, the intercom went quiet for a second or two after eachaddition to the order. I could imagine the guy moaning about me, and his colleagues closing in for a listen. I imagined him saying, Why doesn’t this guy just give me the whole order? Cos you never think the order is complete, I wanted to shout.
But soon it came. The moment. The glorious moment. After yet another “anything else,” I scanned the menu for something previously missed. Vegetarian roll of some kind. Ordered it. And then there came a pause. Protocol versus patience.
…”Window 3, please.”
I had done it. I felt like a guy atop Everest, a guy with his hands raised after fifteen rounds. I got sent to bay 2 for a modicum of revenge and the drivers behind me sneered as each went past, but I had beaten the system.
Well worth £174.45.