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  1. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    I know this thread has been about the restaurant industry - but the title seems to invite a broader scope - I personally see more laxed or outright terrible service within the retail market, as opposed to when going out to eat. Trying to find someone to ask where something is or if they have more in the back at Walmart is near impossible. You used to could walk into a place like a Radio Shack and find extremely knowable staff to pick their brain. I find most retail employees simply don't give a sh*t and maybe that's because there is no incentive like a tip. Or, is it because of the extremely low wages? Or, is it just a reflection of our current society?
    Mostly the last one. Also, retailers - especially corporate stores - have discovered over the past few decades that they can save huge amounts on labor by letting customers fend for themselves, and if they pass a part of that savings on to the consumer they’ll get the business anyway. Americans as a rule have proven they care way more about getting stuff as cheaply as possible and way less about things like sevice and quality.

    Great service is on the wane, in general. Other than a few outliers, it’s mostly only found in high-end environments these days.

  2. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Since we've mentioned tipping several times in this thread it reminded me of a pet peeve. I find it tacky when restaurants have counter service and put a tip jar next to the register (I've even seen this at gas station convenience stores). Recently, with the advent of Square and similar payment systems - now they literally call out the customer and say "On the screen there you'll see your total, would you like me to add a tip to that amount?" Is it just me or that really annoying and rude? That being said, I do on rare occasion find myself wanting to tip the cook(s) but not the wait staff - because the food was excellent but the service was barely minimal.

  3. #78

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    My wife's biggest pet peeve is places that want tips for counter service.

  4. #79

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    I've made this point over and over...

    I despise the new trend of having the cashier spin the screen around for you to add tip and sign while they stand right there.

    It makes me not want to return to those places and instead give my business to those who do not put the paying customer in this very awkward position.

  5. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    ^^^^^^^
    Yeah, not a fan of pressing customers for tips for counter service. You’ve eliminated an entire layer of labor (servers). It’s now a basic order-taking retail transaction, not one requiring recommendations, table delivery, ongoing service. You placed the customer service burden on the consumer. Passing on the remaining payroll burden is disrespectful to the customer, and you darned sure had better not be cutting the counter person’s pay anticipating customers making up the difference.

  6. #81

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    I don't find it awkward in the least. If the people at the donut shop have no problem blatantly asking if I would like them to add a tip to my total just for taking a donut out of the case and putting it in a bag, I have no problem cheerfully responding with "Nope!".

  7. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I've made this point over and over...

    I despise the new trend of having the cashier spin the screen around for you to add tip and sign while they stand right there.

    It makes me not want to return to those places and instead give my business to those who do not put the paying customer in this very awkward position.
    Pie Junkie did this to me. All I did was go in and get a pie that was already in stock. The girl was not happy I didn't tip.

  8. #83

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    ^^^^^^^
    Yeah, not a fan of pressing customers for tips for counter service. You’ve eliminated an entire layer of labor (servers). It’s now a basic order-taking retail transaction, not one requiring recommendations, table delivery, ongoing service. You placed the customer service burden on the consumer. Passing on the remaining payroll burden is disrespectful to the customer, and you darned sure had better not be cutting the counter person’s pay anticipating customers making up the difference.
    i don’t know. I usually tip a dollar or two for a to-go order. there’s usually a server making $3.24/hr or whatever putting that order together. it’s not like the order appeared on the counter without any labor at all.

    But i would agree with most other service businesses. A great example is the groomer. I just paid you $50 to groom my dog, and now you want a tip as well? Ah, no thanks. But i’m sure a lot of folks are guilted into paying $60.

  9. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Counter service makes minimum wage or better. I tip more often than I’d like in those circumstances due to the aforementioned social pressure (I also believe there are legitimate exceptions such as for baristas, who are more like bartenders than simple order takers). The relationship between a customer and a person ringing at a counter is completely different than the one with a server or bartender, who acts as a consultant, checks your order, delivers your food, makes repeated trips to your table, and yet who is paid less than a counter person in anticipation of a tipping arrangement with the customer.

    Food establishment counter jobs are great entry-level customer service or sales jobs, and they serve a valuable function for people entering the field. They provide employment for young people, or people just entering or re-entering the job market, or working part time for extra money. If someone is doing that job and wants to improve their earnings, the next step is (and should be) either moving into supervision or moving into a service field with more earnings potential, such as a server at a full-service establishment. It’s an aspirational job, and tipping makes no more sense here than it makes to tip the cashier at Wal-Mart or CVS.

    Come to think of it, the rise of tipping expectations for counter service could be one of the reasons for such a stretched labor market for full-service restaurants. If I make a higher base wage, have fewer responsibilities AND still get tipped just mindlessly ringing up sales, why on earth would I want to wait tables for similar money? Especially if I’m not a very motivated person?

  10. #85

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    "Counter service" does not mean a to go order, it means like at Subway, you go up to the counter, order at the counter, receive your food at the counter, and pay at the counter. The whole transaction spans a course of maybe 6-10 feet, nobody brings you anything. Or at most fast food joints, you place your order at the counter. The definition of counter service very often includes the phrase "gratuities not expected".

    Or to put it another way, you go to McDonald's, stare at a large plastic board ten feet in the air, then tell the person in front of you what you would like to order. You pay right then and they hand it to you. It might be there or to go, but either way, that's counter service. Or you go to S&B, sit down, the server brings you menus and takes your drink order, then returns for your food order, then brings you the food, then brings you the check. That's table service. You have the option to call ahead and place an order to go at S&B, and you're not getting table service, but it's not counter service either, it's a to go order. If you feel you should tip, feel free, but it is still a different animal than counter service.

  11. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    ^^^^^^^
    Agreed. In most cases it is an apples and oranges comparison. And in pretty much all cases a quick-service or fast-casual restaurant pays a counter person 2-3 times what a full service restaurant pays a server. Night and day differences.

  12. #87

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    I’ve brought this up before. But it occurred to me that I always see young people working counter jobs. When I go to a chain sandwich shop, just about everyone sans the manager is under 20. Back to my recurring point: within the last couple decades, all the fast food “McJobs” are all filled by adults in their 30s, 40s, 50s. I can’t tell you the last time I drove through a McDonald’s or Arby’s, even picked up a pizza, and saw a teenager. And the workers are absolutely miserable, they wear faces like people waiting in the emergency room. What up with that?

    The only exception I can think of are quick serve chicken places like Caine’s and chick fil a. Although I suspect the latter recruits labor from church youth groups.

  13. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    I know this thread has been about the restaurant industry - but the title seems to invite a broader scope - I personally see more laxed or outright terrible service within the retail market, as opposed to when going out to eat. Trying to find someone to ask where something is or if they have more in the back at Walmart is near impossible. You used to could walk into a place like a Radio Shack and find extremely knowable staff to pick their brain. I find most retail employees simply don't give a sh*t and maybe that's because there is no incentive like a tip. Or, is it because of the extremely low wages? Or, is it just a reflection of our current society?
    You are comparing people with two very different wages. Walmart is paying the employees min wage or just a bit above. Radio Shack is/was paying their employees $9+ plus they are well trained. It all has to do with how much they are making. If I was making min wage with very little to if any benefits which most fast food, most mom and pops, and most Walmart employees endure, then they are not going to put pride in their job. I have seen a lot of posts stating that servers make a lot of money, and they can, but there are also slow times during the week and day where they are lucky to see a couple of tables. So they could work a 6 hour shift and walk home with $30 at best after they have tipped out busboys, and whomever else the employer had them tip out. (One restaurant I worked at, the cooks got a small percentage of that tip.) I think if you pay a person a fair wage, give them benefits, and train them well it can pay off in the way they perform at their job, they tend to stick around longer, and that in the long run saves the employer money in having to spend time hiring and training new staff all the time. Sure there are going to be lazy employees, but I know I sure feel good when I feel like a company treats their employees right and makes them feel more than they are just cattle.

  14. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by tfvc.org View Post
    You are comparing people with two very different wages. Walmart is paying the employees min wage or just a bit above. Radio Shack is/was paying their employees $9+ plus they are well trained. It all has to do with how much they are making. If I was making min wage with very little to if any benefits which most fast food, most mom and pops, and most Walmart employees endure, then they are not going to put pride in their job. I have seen a lot of posts stating that servers make a lot of money, and they can, but there are also slow times during the week and day where they are lucky to see a couple of tables. So they could work a 6 hour shift and walk home with $30 at best after they have tipped out busboys, and whomever else the employer had them tip out. (One restaurant I worked at, the cooks got a small percentage of that tip.) I think if you pay a person a fair wage, give them benefits, and train them well it can pay off in the way they perform at their job, they tend to stick around longer, and that in the long run saves the employer money in having to spend time hiring and training new staff all the time. Sure there are going to be lazy employees, but I know I sure feel good when I feel like a company treats their employees right and makes them feel more than they are just cattle.
    That's a complete crap excuse in my book. And, unfortunately, it's an excuse a lot of people rely on to excuse poor service or justify themselves in giving poor service.

    I worked at Walmart back in the day and I also worked in the food industry. I also had to support myself on those jobs as I moved out of the house very early. Walmart, even as a teen, didn't pay enough to make my rent, utilities, car payment, groceries, and allow me to have a life - let alone go to college. I started the food industry as a waiter and quickly learned I could make better cash as a bartender so I went in that direction. All my life I've worked different, multiple at the same time, traditional and untraditional jobs.

    When I worked at Walmart I couldn't understand the employees who came to work with a scowl and left with the same scowl. They'd complain all day about the pay, yet they showed up in wrinkled clothes, usually late and with an attitude - yet they expected more from their employer. I wanted more money and hours and I also didn't want to be miserable. Most of that can at least be somewhat addressed in our own attitude. I find it isn't hard to shine in your employer's eyes when you are surrounded by lazy and unpleasant co-workers.

    I like to use my wife as an example of what doing your best at work regardless of your pay or benefits can lead to... As a young single mom she worked at Mathis Brothers (was able to buy a house and take care of her child on close to minimum wage). Her attitude was so good that she was hired away by a recruiter that often helped Mathis Brother's with their temporary and permanent staffing needs. From that job she was again hired away by a company she often placed temporary and permanent employees with. From there she was once again approached by someone her employer did business with and hired away from them. She's never applied for a job in the last 25+ years because her attitude shined and she was recruited away. There is no excuse for poor service or attitude simply because you want your current employer to pay you or give you more. ZERO EXCUSE.

  15. #90

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    It’s a mindset that many have: “****ty” jobs deserve ****ty attitude.

    When I was 17 and working at McDonalds we had a lot of folks with bad attitudes putting in minimal efforts, and when you would call them out the excuse would be “it’s just a job at McDonalds”. I’ve always felt that even a McJob reflects more on me than it does on the corporate uniform, and I’ve always taken pride in doing my best at whatever job I was doing. In the end my managers and the owner noticed, and I was one of the few people working front and back, got frequent raises, and quickly trained the new staff.

  16. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by d-usa View Post
    It’s a mindset that many have: “****ty” jobs deserve ****ty attitude.

    When I was 17 and working at McDonalds we had a lot of folks with bad attitudes putting in minimal efforts, and when you would call them out the excuse would be “it’s just a job at McDonalds”. I’ve always felt that even a McJob reflects more on me than it does on the corporate uniform, and I’ve always taken pride in doing my best at whatever job I was doing. In the end my managers and the owner noticed, and I was one of the few people working front and back, got frequent raises, and quickly trained the new staff.
    Exactly! The difference in attitudes when driving through a McD's or a Chick-Fil-A is remarkable. Same often goes for the attitudes of the staff at a On-Cue vs. a 7-11. On Cue's are clean, well staffed and the employees always seem happy or at least acknowledge your presence. Most often at 7-11 the single employee standing behind the register in a dirty environment appears unpleasant or simply doesn't acknowledge you - and the 7-11 employee is making more than the On Cue employee! (*FYI - I worked at 7-11 too back in the day).

  17. #92

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    I actually agree with tfvc, but I come at it from a different angle. I don't see it as crappy people making crappy excuses for a crappy job, I see it as human beings who may or may not have started the job bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but have been beaten down by horrible mismanagement. McDonald's and Walmart are not seen as crappy jobs because management makes it an enjoyable place to work. I was literally just last night reading an article about McDonald's and this issue...franchises are having an issue hiring people because of the horrible reputation. This does not just apply to crappy McJobs though, right here in OKC we have a couple places that have the reputation of working their people to the point of exhaustion and then another 20 hours on top of that. They actually try to spin this as a selling point, "we work hard and we play hard", and to make up for working some people literally into the grave they bring in booze and get everyone drunk a couple times a year. That's not a business, that's a frat house, and it takes a really special person to go into that environment with a smile and go home at night with that smile intact.

    tl;dr: Yes, some people are pieces of crap who will be miserable no matter what. But so are some jobs, and no amount of "it is what you make of it" is going to change the fact that you have three managers giving you three conflicting instructions. You're effed regardless of what you do, so many people just say eff it. I agree with what was said, I know I personally feel better when my employer has my back as opposed to my employer stabbing me in the back.

  18. #93

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    Exactly! The difference in attitudes when driving through a McD's or a Chick-Fil-A is remarkable. Same often goes for the attitudes of the staff at a On-Cue vs. a 7-11. On Cue's are clean, well staffed and the employees always seem happy or at least acknowledge your presence. Most often at 7-11 the single employee standing behind the register in a dirty environment appears unpleasant or simply doesn't acknowledge you - and the 7-11 employee is making more than the On Cue employee! (*FYI - I worked at 7-11 too back in the day).
    Some may say McDonald's and Chick-Fil-A is the same job. Others say McDonald's actively beats down employees while Chick-Fil-A actively builds them up. I think this goes a very long way in explaining the difference. Likewise with 7-Eleven and On Cue. When I lived in MO I was actually shocked the first time I walked into a QT. I know someone who works there and she's quite happy. I asked her why there were so many people staffed at any given location at any given time and she gave a really logical answer. One person simply can not, can NOT, man the register, clean the store, stock the shelves, clean the parking lot, empty the trash, clean/stock the restrooms, and so on. You can have the brightest, shiniest attitude in the world, and one person simply can't do the work of five. Period. On Cue appears to have the same philosophy.

    You yourself said it, in the case where there is one person, they're miserable and surrounded by filth. Why? Because no attitude in the world is going to push the mop while operating the cash register. And who didn't staff enough people to operate the store properly? It wasn't the surly person...he's surly for the same reason. Management, or lack thereof.

  19. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by stile99 View Post
    ...McDonald's and Walmart are not seen as crappy jobs because management makes it an enjoyable place to work. ...
    Since when? I have worked for both when I was younger. It's probably become fairly obvious, I changed jobs a lot when I was younger. Why? If I didn't find the job enjoyable then I moved on. Or, it served it's purpose at that time and the need was no longer there (like a second job or a filler job to makes ends meet). Neither McD's or Walmart made coming to work fun or enjoyable - but, they weren't out to get you or stab you in the back either. There were no employee parties, no team building, nothing. But, they did make their expectations clear. I also knew that if I just met those expectations (show up to work on time, put a smile on your face, do your job) and hopefully exceeded those expectations then that would make my interactions with management so much better. Your job - much like your life - IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT. But that's just my opinion. You've gotta have focus and desire though and I find a lot of people in these types of jobs lack one or both.

  20. #95

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    To jump in your guys' conversation, I think you're looking at it from different perspectives. Yes, as BBates said, an individual can make the best of what he has and keep a positive attitude and work hard regardless of what environment the employer provides... But that employee probably won't stick around for very long as they'll have opportunities beyond Wal*Mart or McDonald's.

    But, as stile99 is saying, a business that takes care of their employees, staffs well, and maintains a positive environment will be able to better retain those employees such as BBates while also elevating less self-motivated people into better employees.

    The difference between you guys, in my mind, is just the difference in perspective from an individual level or a business level.

  21. #96

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I've made this point over and over...

    I despise the new trend of having the cashier spin the screen around for you to add tip and sign while they stand right there.

    It makes me not want to return to those places and instead give my business to those who do not put the paying customer in this very awkward position.
    My only gripe with Sunnyside diner is that the waiter brings a tablet to your table, swipes your card right there, and turns it around and holds it while you fill out the tip section and sign with your finger. HATE HATE HATE.

  22. #97

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    7-11 seems so dependent on location as well. The store near me is always clean, staff is always happy and friendly, and I’ve never had any issues there.

  23. #98

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    Neither McD's or Walmart made coming to work fun or enjoyable
    Yes, that was my point. It's a fun little quirk in the English language that can make a statement both a positive and a negative. I thought I had made my point clear, but perhaps I do need to expand on it.

    "McDonald's and Walmart are not seen as crappy jobs because management makes it an enjoyable place to work"...expanding on that, since they ARE seen as crappy jobs by many, it stands to reason that the second half of the statement is also inverted, management does NOT make it an enjoyable place to work. I'm beyond pleased that you choose to see the positive in life, that's a dying trend. That said, it doesn't change the fact that when McDonald's hires one person to work the drive thru, AND make the fries, AND mop the restrooms, AND replenish the drink machine, ALL AT THE SAME TIME, some have a bit of difficulty seeing the rainbow. Then when you add too many managers (none of whom seem inclined to do any of the work) who yell at you while you're making the fries because the restroom isn't getting mopped, and yell at you when you're mopping the restroom because the drive thru isn't being tended, and yell at you when you're at the drive thru because the drink machine needs a refill, even the most positive person eventually gets to the point where they just give up.

    If you really are unaware of the meme, google 'McDonald's ice cream machine broken". The reason it's famously 'broken' so much is it stops working when it needs to be cleaned. The reason it is going uncleaned is not because they have too much staff.

  24. #99

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by d-usa View Post
    7-11 seems so dependent on location as well. The store near me is always clean, staff is always happy and friendly, and I’ve never had any issues there.
    How many people are working there when you go in? The reason I ask is the 'new' 7-Eleven in Mustang is much the same way. Clean, brightly lit, and for the most part the employees are friendly. Notice I said employees, plural? That's because whenever I go in, there's at least three. That said, before it moved across the street, the old location was staffed by one person and was generally dirty as hell.

  25. #100

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by stile99 View Post
    How many people are working there when you go in? The reason I ask is the 'new' 7-Eleven in Mustang is much the same way. Clean, brightly lit, and for the most part the employees are friendly. Notice I said employees, plural? That's because whenever I go in, there's at least three. That said, before it moved across the street, the old location was staffed by one person and was generally dirty as hell.
    Usually only 1 or 2 people working whenever I go there.

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