Keeping with our Sunday night tradition, we went through the drive-through of a well-known fast food restaurant that shall remain nameless, but it’s image is led by a red-haired girl named Wendy. We order the same thing every week. We’re fairly habitual about it.Tonight the unseen voice cut me off before I could get “#2 cheeseburger combo with sweet tea; two Jr. Cheeseburgers plain, another Jr. Cheeseburger regular, and a large Frosty” out. She said, “We’re sorry, we’re out of fries tonight. How else may I help you?” OUT of fries? How can that happen?! Clearly, someone screwed up fairly seriously. It’s hard to imagine the scenario that would lead a fast food restaurant to be out of french fries. But the fact remains: tonight, this local establishment was out of fries.And considering there was nothing (tonight) they could do to change it, I thought they chose the better scenario to deal with it. Don’t let me order fries and then have to tell me you don’t have them, and don’t hope that I don’t order them and not tell me. Face the issue up front, ‘fess up to it, and make it clear you’ll be glad to help in any other way possible. It’s a most unfortunate occurrence, but make sure service and information gets through clearly.
When there’s bad news brewing, get it out of the way up front with clarity and focus on what you CAN do to provide a great experience.