Dairy Queen on Highbury is Staffed by Morons.

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KevBo avatarI think it’s fair to say I eat out a lot, probably more then I should, but I enjoy it. That said I am never going back to the Dairy Queen at 1160 Highbury Ave as it has the worst service of any fast food restaurant I have ever been too.

My Girlfriend loves Dairy Queen, so we often go to this location as it’s close enough to my place, but almost every time we do spend our money there they somehow manage to screw the order up.

Today was the last straw.
I ventured out to this Diary Queen location for supper tonight, arriving at the empty drive-thru I almost drove away waiting for someone to take my order, I wish I had, but I gave them a chance to get their shit together, and I really wasn’t sure where else I wanted to go at that point. So eventually a voice crackled through a speaker obviously past its usefulness and I ordered a mushroom swiss burger, a side of fries with cheese, and a small cherry cheesecake blizzard. I only had to repeat half my order once, so I was feeling better at that point and pulled up to pay and collect my dinner.

They promptly took my payment and a few minuets latter I received my fries and burger in a bag, they were half way there, all that was left was to give me my blizzard. So I waited, and waited… and waited. Luckily and about 10 minuets latter someone pulled up behind me and placed an order, causing an eagle eyed employee to come to the window to take that customers payment. Noticing I was still waiting he went through the orders in the till found what I was waiting for and made my blizzard in about 10 seconds.

Normally once I get home from this restaurant, my Girlfriend tends to call the store and complain and they tell us to come back and they will fix it, which we used to do when gas wasn’t $1.20. In fact we have called this store to complain so much without any results that we tried calling DQ corporate to deal with this store, to which they assert they can not do anything about.

The level and frequency of incompetency here is astounding, they even forgot the cheese on my fries I found out once home, and I am done with them. In fact I will drive to one of the other locations not owned by the same owner to get DQ in the future.

There is a way to win back my business though, should the owner chose to get his store in order.

1) Fire the front staff. They might not all be responsible, but I’m okay with the unintended casualties. At the very least fire the ones working when we have ordered and complained.

2) Train your new staff better then the one you just fired, and let them know they will be fired if they don’t perform. Some quality assurance measures, make them pay for their mistakes if not with their jobs then their pay cheques.

3) DQ hq, manage your brand better. Stores like this that have frequent enough complaints to have customers call your head office should be dealt with seriously. You have a brand to maintain and these incidents are not doing you any favors.

These would be a step in the right direction for me to return, steps I doubt will be taken, and will result in the loss of my business.

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12 Responses to “Dairy Queen on Highbury is Staffed by Morons.”

  1. fowgre Says:

    I’m not sure that I would attach the same label to them that you have, but I certainly understand your frustration with such inadequate service. Even though it’s common to be asked to repeat my order, which is always carefully and clearly enunciated the first time, it never fails to annoy me. So much so that I sometimes now record my order when I’m placing it, and simply play back the recording when they ask for it again. I find that such tactic has a positive effect, especially if there are other customers in line behind me to witness the exchange.

    I don’t think that firing the staff is the answer though. My perception is that there’s more of a demand for those kind of jobs than can currently be filled. Seems every other Timmie’s has a ‘help wanted’ sign posted lately. And the staff turnover in the stores that I’m familiar with seems pretty brisk to begin with. From a management point of view, I’m sure that constantly having to train new employees must be problematic.

    The obvious way to attract a higher calibre of employee is to raise wages. But that isn’t likely to happen so long as business is good. So I think you’re on to the only thing that is likely to influence them, and that’s voting with your feet. When their business falls off enough that they start to be concerned about it, then they may be willing to be more receptive to customer service needs.

  2. Erica Says:

    I don’t know if I would say that they are staffed by morons (seems harsh) but from what I observed there last weekend, they are seriously under-staffed. I was there on a busy Sunday afternoon and there seemed to be only 3 people working there. At least one family waiting in line inside left.

  3. KevBo Says:

    What do you expect when minimum wage is as low as it is. Is there really any motivation for people working at places like Dairy Queen to care, because I know I wouldnt. Jobs like sadly are a dime a dozen.

  4. Pam Says:

    I have never been to this location, I only located this page as I’m looking for a DQ location somewher between Scar and Ajax as I would like to try the bowls and my husband and I are going to meet friends to share this treat. That said, I am a C/S freak….I’ve worked in the field for years and I fully believe in key service. If ever anyone ever worked in this area, you’ll agree it providing a positve experience is partly learned through training and then becomes the normal behavior and by the way, this can actually become a way of life too!! That being said, usually these are kids working P/T and while they may have been trained to a certain extent, the key here is the management / corporate and Brand Training. When and or if Management / Corporate Office really believes, breathes and behaves in a Brand Loyalty way – only then can they deliver the same to their Staff. I would definately explain to the staff serving that it’s important to listen, it will save thier time in the long run and that is about as much as they should be scoulded on – I would then move immediately and directly to the Manager to let them know THEY have not done their job in ensuring the front line is the right choice. From there I would confirm with HQ, and tell them what you want in terms of compensation, otherwise just stop going there or to any DQ. Oh by the way, sometimes a negative experience becomes the normal! Have this ever happened to you….you drop something while trying to do something else, and then minutes later you trip over something and again something happens later and then finally you say – WOW – I can see what kind of day I’m going to have!! Well, perhaps when they see you coming, everyone gets a little nervous because they know something always seems to happen, and now, it’s just going to be the way it is. I would say, if you absolutely love DQ, find a different one, make sure you go with a positive attitude, don’t put the ‘bad karma’ on the experience and perhaps it might be better? Good Luck!

    Now, I’m still looking for a nice, clean, good service DQ location?:)!!

  5. picard102 Says:

    Well they can’t really see me comming in the drive thru, but I have stopped going to this Dairy Queen and went to the one at Masonville insted.

  6. Sarah Says:

    As a new employee of this DQ location I understand your frustration but I don’t think that you really understand how much stress we go under to make sure that you get the best food. Maybe if you had more patience and understanding things might go alot smoother for you. So what? they forgot your cheese, big deal. Maybe before you drive away from DQ park in the parking lot and check to make sure they have everything, that way you don’t have to bother with driving back and forth all the time.

  7. Linda Says:

    Let me say that it’s not always the staff that is to blame. On the other hand, they choose to keep the wrong staff. As the mother of an employee of this DQ, my child received continual praise from the owner, and now the owner’s son, however he has now been fired because he was told he wasn’t ‘adjusting well to the new management structure’. Even though his efforts stopped the health inspector from closing this particular store down just recently, it will not last. This will be closed down. The stories that will be told about how this place is handling it’s staff will close this store. I have no doubt. What goes around…..comes around. So he’s not an outgoing, loud, annoying individual, he always got the job done. They couldn’t fire him for not doing his job. So why???????

  8. picard102 Says:

    Sarah, I have worked as a short order cook in some extreme conditions. I know the challenges associated with working in the fast food industry, but that isn’t an excuse for continual problems. When every time there is an issue it’s more then the “challenging environment”, and when there are few to no incidents at other establishments I frequent more often it becomes clear that there is an issue with this particular store.

    I agree Linda that the management is responsible for how a store is run, in who it hires and keeps on staff despite poor performance.

  9. Kevin Says:

    Sarah: what are you talking about best food? have you eaten at your work before? who are you kidding. As for checking your order before you leave, people shouldnt have to. If I go to get an oil change for my car I dont check to make sure that there is oil in my car before I drive away, I take the establishments word for it, and if it turns out someone didnt do their job properly and my car blows up, the person who screwed up gets fired. This should be the same at any place. People pay for a service and if they dont get that service the establishment (and its employees) need to take responsibility for that.

    Linda: if you cant find a good reason why he was fired, which Im sure there is, but being a mother you dont want to accept that (and I can understand that) then you go to the labor board about it, its simple. There are things to protect workers out there, trust me, I’ve used them before.

  10. NIAC Says:

    Kevin, you’ve said things I would have. I do not eat at DQ, but I am sure that no matter where you go, people tend not to be happy when paying for something, and not getting it. Nobody wants a doctor to give 90%, or a dentist, lawyer, mason, carpenter, taxi driver … and they don’t deal with the things you EAT.

    I don’t know exactly why our culture sees food-service as unskilled, dispassionate and simple. Not everyone can (or should) do it. If you are there for the money, well, that is not a reason to do any job, let alone one serving the public.

    “Linda”, Kevin is correct, but I would point out that places like DQ are not out to employ people; they are there to make money. If someone is “doing a good job” but in doing so, costs DQ money, I am guessing that part of the contract/offer/code of conduct etc has a clause in there about ‘indemnification’ or some similar thing. Making good, clean, hot burgers, at a rate of one per hour, for example, is not going to be looked upon well. However, if there is something truly untoward with your son’s situation, avail yourself of the Labour Board. They WILL help.

  11. John Leschinski Says:

    I don’t know if going to the labour board over DQ is worth anyone’s time.

  12. Kevin Says:

    It is worth it if youre willing to take the complaint all the way.

    I was un-fairly dismissed from a typical service industry job 5 years ago and I went to the Labour Board, but before anything could happen with it the company decided to settle rather than me in the media spot light.

    I got wages for a year and a half and the people that fired me were let go.

    Just the mention of filing a formal complaint is usually enough to do the trick.

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