Given how QSR (Quick service restaurants) are hot now, with venture capitalists chasing them and newer stores opening up everywhere, I often wondered how do the new startups manage growth? how are they able to leverage the competencies of the systems and their people to offer an uniform customer experience ?
And I am disappointed to report, they don’t. And given the state of things, I am not surprised that they are soon forgotten or are forced to shut down. Let me share my experiences.
I sent my kids to pick up a frozen yogurt from a store in Napean sea road and was waiting outside the empty store. They returned back, with the product in hand, and handed me the change, which found was Rs 15 short. I was also told that they were given a bill only when they insisted on it. I went inside to ask the cashier, who feigned ignorance, and then on confronting her, she admitted her mistake. Her colleagues said that she was new, and she had made a mistake, inspite of using a computerised billing system, and a calculator! She offered to give me the balance change, but I asked that she write on the bill that she had paid me Rs 15 short, in a Rs 335 sale.
I took my kids to a newly opened showroom selling nitrogen ice cream. Pretty good stuff, and the newly opened store was pretty crowded too. Since we could not eat more than one shared one, we packed the others and took them home. Imagine our surprise when we reached home, and found that there was one cup less. I called the store to complain, and the attendant heard me and just hung up on me. Repeated calls were not picked up! And there was no response from the store on this subject.
I did write about these incidents on social media, (I am a senior contributor on TripAdvisor and have multiple followers on twitter and my blog) but the lack of response from these stores, frankly made me wonder.
What do you think is the future of QSR stores, if they do not make any efforts to check on what their customers feel about their brands? The fact that both these stores were empty after the first month, should send warning signals to the owners.