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Kit Grant's Unique Look at Customer Service

I always enjoy Kit Grant's observations on different corporate policies. This story is about Wendy's restaurants, last time it was Ikea ... entertaining but also educational. I hope Eagle doesn't have stupid policies like this!!!


I read an article this week about a Wendy's Restaurant manager who was shot by a disgruntled customer. It seems the customer wanted more chili sauce for his drive-through meal but was told the company policy prohibits customers from getting more than three packets. The customer wanted 10! The female attendant complied but the customer was still argumentative and when the manager came out to inform him of customer policy, he was shot ...
but is expected to recover.

Now by NO means am I saying shooting the manager was O.K. - this customer is obviously far beyond reason but I'm also confused by the 3 packet policy. Is the "theft" of chili sauce a huge problem for Wendy's? Are there a lot of complaints about not having enough chili sauce? If so, why not just make the packets bigger? If it's an infrequent request that people receive more than 3, then give a customer who asks for more as many as needed - chances are pretty good he did not start out asking for 10, it just escalated to that level as the "Stupid Contest" got stupider!

I hope Wendy's rewards the manager for protecting chili sauce to the point of getting shot for it.

The shooter was stupid, the policy is stupid ...
it's the ultimate stupid contest example.
Amazing! Oh yeah, the customer drove off and has not been caught yet.

I was in an A & W the other day when a family presented three coupons for food specials and was told they could only use one per visit. I'm thinking, buy some stuff, leave, come back in, buy stuff, leave, come back in and get everything you wanted. If you attach a whole bunch of rules to coupon redemption that just annoys people, why offer the coupons in the first place?

**The 1% rule of service stupidity says that because 1% of people (or even 10%!!!) will try and rip you off what you need are policies that alienate the remaining 99% so the 1% never gets to you! Waytago guys - Wendy's managers with bullet proof vests, coming to a neighborhood near you soon.