Culinary no-no #615


Had some time off this past week so one day before heading to Oak Creek’s splash pad the family decided to grab lunch. The choice was unanimous.

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Wait a minute, Kev. Have you violated your own Culinary no-no writing rule by giving it away so so early in your blog?

Are you suggesting Chick-fil-A is this week’s no-no??!!

Moms love Chick-fil-A. There are the kid birthday parties,  play dates, simple meals, kids’ play area, free Wi-Fi, sleepover nights with stuffed toys.

Yes, moms absolutely go bonkers over Chick-fil-A.





The American Customer Service Index (ACSI) just released its survey results for America’s top fast food restaurant.

The ACSI questioned 23,000 consumers using a 100-point scale. Customers were asked to rate fast-food restaurants on the following:


Food quality

Menu variety


Staff behavior

The top restaurant scored an 86. For the 4th consecutive year, Chick-fil-A was #1.

Bringing up the rear…

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Here are the complete rankings.

The hostile opposition to Chick-fil-A is well-documented because of the owner’s Christian beliefs. But the chain has a strong loyal following. From Twitter:

Say what you will about their politics, you can’t argue with the customer service. I once saw a drive through cashier literally chase a car down in open traffic to correct someone’s order.

If you’re going the fast food route, there are tastier options (they’re still very good) but they beat every other chain hands down in the employee friendliness department. The person taking your order doesn’t act like they hate you and their job.

While on the way to Chick-fil-A the other day our Kyla noted she thought it was better than McDonald’s.

Picking on McDonald’s is so easy. It’s the fast food Goliath with roughly 14,000 locations in the United States. But it’s been struggling to please consumers for decades, failing year after to win them over, no matter how often they make menu or marketing changes.

Think about the criteria the fast food places were judged on and apply them to the Golden Arches.

Accuracy – Has your order at McDonald’s ever been messed up? Probably more times than acceptable.

Food quality – Please.

Menu variety – There’s too much. Chick-fil-A has excelled by doing a very limited menu and doing it well.

Cleanliness – I think for the most part McDonald’s does just fine here. Evening hours are iffy.

Staff behavior – If this was a boxing match between Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s the referee would be forced to stop the fight in the 1st round.

Website satisfaction – All fast food places put forth good efforts I’m sure, but I’m not deciding whether to pay a visit on this.

Let’s not single out McDonald’s (Others have issues, too, like Starbucks. Consumers’ belief that the chain’s prices for coffee are too high has deflated their customer satisfaction score).

My question is why can’t most of these other restaurants that Chick-fil-A beat out be more like…Chick-fil-A?

Why can’t their staffers be trained to be more friendly?

Why can’t they avoid screwing up an order?

Why can’t they smile, be polite, and actually mean it?

Why can’t they ensure their workplace is cleaned up?

Why can’t they settle on a good, consistent menu?


Certainly this has happened to you at a fast food restaurant. You place your order. You’re given a receipt with a number, and then you, what? Look around and around. Where do I go? Where do I stand and wait till I’m called?

Meanwhile the person who took the order may because of staffing may have to run and bag your order or pour your drink which slows down service as others in line make no move forward.

But the biggest problem fast food places, especially McDonald’s, have is trying to lure, guess who, into their restaurants? Millennials.

They dine out a lot, and like to. But they want higher-quality food, ambiance, and excellent service that they’re willing to pay more for. McDonald’s and the rest don’t supply those.

Because McDonald’s is so big they may never challenge anyone for the #1 spot. They will have to rely on being quick, consistent, and value-driven.

And yet management has attempted every year (they must) to make substantial, noticeable, progress in the qualities listed in the ACSI survey.

Again I ask, why can’t they and others succeed, like Chick-fil-A?

The employees who picket and demand $15 hourly wages surely shoulder some of the blame because they lack simple soft skills. Finding individuals who have them and are willing to show up daily, on time, with a professional work ethic and attitude is a bigger challenge than it’s ever been. Somehow, Chick-fil-A pulls it off.


Fast-food restaurants represent the best and worst of America

Woman, 25, claims she doesn’t eat solid foods, just ‘breathes’ for energy

One thought on “Culinary no-no #615

  1. Pingback: Culinary no-no #616 | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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