November 4, 2005
Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits
5555 Glenridge Connector NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
Sir and/or madam:
I want to write to you about a very bad experience I had at a Popeyes restaurant this week.
First, let me say this was my third visit to a Popeye’s restaurant. The first two were in Kenosha, Wisconsin and were some of the best meals of my life. This third one, which was awful, was at the Center Street store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While the food tasted as perfect as always, the service was beyond the pale.
My friends Eric Wulterkens and Andy Lueck were in Milwaukee to see a concert. Before the show, we had about an hour to spare so we walked to the Popeyes restaurant we saw on the way. This restaurant is take-out only, no dining area.
We waited a while before we were able to order our meals, because there were people in the drive-through. Then we ordered, and each asked for the 3 piece chicken strips meal. Eric and I got mashed potatoes and Andy ordered french fries. So far, so good.
Before we received our food, three other people who ordered after us received their meals. While we waited, I watched the staff working in the back. I was a little disturbed with the cleanliness of the restaurant because none of the employees wore gloves or hairnets, even the women with large hairdos. I was also bothered by the way the employees handled the drive-through, swearing and getting upset when the signal would buzz. All three of us worked fast food at some point (me at Hardee’s, Eric and Andy at Taco Bell) so we understand how frustrating customers can be. But one rule we had to follow was never say bad things about a customer in front of other customers. We clearly heard them getting upset.
We finally received our meals. I checked my cell phone and compared the time to the time printed on the receipt. We had waited for 32 minutes. That is completely unheard of, but the staff did not see any need to apologize or explain the delay.
Eric opened his bag, and did not receive either a biscuit or his mashed potatoes, He asked for his sides, and the manager gave him some. She asked for his sauce, and he wanted honey. When this second bag was handed to him, there was no honey. He also did not receive a spoon, so he asked for one. The manager informed him there were no spoons – they had been used up at the dinner rush (it was about 8:30 now). This information would have been nice to know before ordering mashed potatoes. Eric ended up throwing his potatoes away.
My meal was almost perfect, other than the fact I had also ordered mashed potatoes. Unlike Eric, I kept mine in my car and ate them at work the following morning. I also never received my honey.
Andy’s meal was perfect. He was really upset about the wait, but had no problem enjoying his food.
Anyway, this was our experience and it was not the kind of experience we expect from a Popeyes. We will still go to a Popeyes restaurant again, but I highly doubt we will ever use the one at Center Street in Milwaukee – the service was so awful (even from management) that I have no desire to give them a second chance.
I don’t know what you can to rectify the situation. Some coupons or a reimbursement would be nice, but what would mean the most is an apology from the management at Center Street. Whoever was working the evening of Wednesday, November 2, they do the food industry a disservice.
Thank you for letting me voice my concerns. Please continue to provide this world with the best damn chicken anywhere on earth.
Gavin C. Schmitt
209 E. 17th St.
Kaukauna, WI 54130