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(CNN)   Applebees to extend war against their customers beyond food and annoying commercials to automated answering systems and call centers for those foolish enough to call   (cnn.com) divider line
    More: Stupid, Restaurant, Hamburger, call centers, half of Applebee, National Restaurant Association, call center, communications Melissa Hariri, Call centre  
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437 clicks; posted to Business » on 21 May 2022 at 1:55 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



26 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-05-21 12:14:58 PM  
I did this for the taqueria years ago.  However I outsourced to a call center in Mexico and made it clear that it was the phone order line.  It worked great.
 
2022-05-21 1:18:36 PM  
people still order takeout using the phone.

I find it faster to use a takeout menu and phone to order out. Some of those websites are clunky. Also keeps me from unkowingly giving money meant for the store to a 3rd party for fees.
 
2022-05-21 1:39:02 PM  
I placed an order for Papa John's last week and it was definitely answered by an overseas call center. Aside from the obvious accented speech, the person taking the order kept repeating the location address clearly & frequently to the point I finally asked him to stop as I knew exactly where it was (I could walk to it if I truly had to). 

"Could you make sure you put "diced tomatoes" on the order?"
"Sir, we only have Roma ones."

Yes, that was actually said during the call.
 
2022-05-21 1:50:28 PM  
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2022-05-21 2:07:30 PM  
I call directly to the restaurant when I order food. I even speak to the owner once in a while. I buy local.
 
2022-05-21 2:35:25 PM  
Not as bad as using Uber Eats for McDonald orders where the delivery fee is higher than the food
 
2022-05-21 3:14:01 PM  

frankb00th: I call directly to the restaurant when I order food. I even speak to the owner once in a while. I buy local.


All of the local-owned restaurants near me have online ordering - 100 percent of them.
 
2022-05-21 3:32:47 PM  
Applebee's roughly 1,575 US locations

WTF, people?!
 
2022-05-21 4:12:48 PM  

damageddude: people still order takeout using the phone.

I find it faster to use a takeout menu and phone to order out. Some of those websites are clunky. Also keeps me from unkowingly giving money meant for the store to a 3rd party for fees.


I hate calling but most places around here stopped using online ordering.  I'm not sure if there's extra costs with it they didn't want to pay or if it's buggy or what, but almost everywhere around here (except pizza places, but even then, quite often they claim they didn't get my order) doesn't have online ordering.

So, alas, phone calls!

/Some still have the website operational so as to just double as a menu, but you can't actually use it to order
 
2022-05-21 4:15:09 PM  

thornhill: All of the local-owned restaurants near me have online ordering - 100 percent of them.


My nearest tacqueria will take online (through EatStreet, which seems to be the dominant in this town but not so much other places I go).  But, he also begs you "please pleeease just call me", it's so much less in fees.

I'd rather online too, but I'm willing take that request.
 
2022-05-21 4:26:07 PM  

isamudyson: I placed an order for Papa John's last week and it was definitely answered by an overseas call center. Aside from the obvious accented speech, the person taking the order kept repeating the location address clearly & frequently to the point I finally asked him to stop as I knew exactly where it was (I could walk to it if I truly had to). 

"Could you make sure you put "diced tomatoes" on the order?"
"Sir, we only have Roma ones."

Yes, that was actually said during the call.


So, what you are saying is that the customer service is still better than their pizza?
 
2022-05-21 4:27:32 PM  

majestic: Applebee's roughly 1,575 US locations

WTF, people?!


Have you ever been on an expressway?
 
2022-05-21 4:33:53 PM  
I can't imagine a reason for eating at a fern bar like Applebee's, let alone a reason to call one.
 
2022-05-21 4:52:49 PM  

TheSubjunctive: thornhill: All of the local-owned restaurants near me have online ordering - 100 percent of them.

My nearest tacqueria will take online (through EatStreet, which seems to be the dominant in this town but not so much other places I go).  But, he also begs you "please pleeease just call me", it's so much less in fees.

I'd rather online too, but I'm willing take that request.


There are POS systems like Toast that provide no commission online ordering, but you have to be using their system for your in-restaurant sales. It seems like 1/3 of the places I order from use it, so I assume it's reasonably economical for restaurant.

It's also hard to imagine any restaurant doing robust to-go sales without an online ordering system. Let's say a phone order takes 4 minutes to complete - you could only do 15 per hour, and you'd need multiple people to do concurrent orders (and even if you have to pay a commission for online orders, that's probably cheaper than paying someone to do phone orders). It's no wonder Applebees is turning to a call center.
 
2022-05-21 4:53:29 PM  

isamudyson: I placed an order for Papa John's last week and it was definitely answered by an overseas call center. Aside from the obvious accented speech, the person taking the order kept repeating the location address clearly & frequently to the point I finally asked him to stop as I knew exactly where it was (I could walk to it if I truly had to). 

"Could you make sure you put "diced tomatoes" on the order?"
"Sir, we only have Roma ones."

Yes, that was actually said during the call.


1st mistake was Papa John's.
 
2022-05-21 5:42:41 PM  

damageddude: people still order takeout using the phone.

I find it faster to use a takeout menu and phone to order out. Some of those websites are clunky. Also keeps me from unkowingly giving money meant for the store to a 3rd party for fees.


I actually would prefer more places take orders via phone opposed to this current trend of "you NEED to order online.  Oh wait, you want to order online? You NEED to make an account."

No. I NEED to go someplace else.
 
2022-05-21 5:49:37 PM  

majestic: Applebee's roughly 1,575 US locations

WTF, people?!


That's down from their peak of almost 1900 back in 2015.  A decade ago almost every city around here had one, now there's maybe 2 left in a 50-mile radius.
 
2022-05-21 6:16:50 PM  

scotchcrotch: Not as bad as using Uber Eats for McDonald orders where the delivery fee is higher than the food


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-05-21 6:18:01 PM  

Bukharin: I can't imagine a reason for eating at a fern bar like Applebee's, let alone a reason to call one.


It's a place where your family reunion can decide on without someone going "eeeewww, Japanese Food, ICK Chinese Food, There's nothing Vegan at Longhorn for me!" "I have a peanut allergy we can't do Texas Roadhouse" "I Mexican food gives me gas" "Italian food gives me indigestion" "They just do too much seafood at Bonefish" "I hate EXOTIC FOOD"

"Okay, guys Applebees it is"
 
2022-05-21 6:26:11 PM  

thornhill: It's also hard to imagine any restaurant doing robust to-go sales without an online ordering system. Let's say a phone order takes 4 minutes to complete - you could only do 15 per hour, and you'd need multiple people to do concurrent orders


That.....usually it's the host/hostess that takes the call and order if you call the restaurant directly.
That removes them from the 'floor' for a bit if there are lots of orders.
They have enough to do with balancing customer flow among the servers and seating cleaned areas...and packing and retrieving 'to go orders' for pick up.
 
2022-05-21 6:38:20 PM  
I have a Domino's in my area that will deliver to my house, but the website says I am outside the delivery area. So I had to call. Now the calls are sent to India, where they are clearly filling out the web forms for me, and I have to tell them to connect me directly with the store.

/I know, Domino's... Don't judge me.
 
2022-05-21 6:48:14 PM  

damageddude: people still order takeout using the phone.

I find it faster to use a takeout menu and phone to order out. Some of those websites are clunky. Also keeps me from unkowingly giving money meant for the store to a 3rd party for fees.


Not to mention, quite a few of the establishments I normally order from are small and local and don't even have online ordering.
 
2022-05-21 6:50:22 PM  

frankb00th: I call directly to the restaurant when I order food. I even speak to the owner once in a while. I buy local.


Same here..
Only thing local to me, other than has station chicken.
https://ozarkcafe.com/
 
2022-05-21 7:56:16 PM  

mcreadyblue: isamudyson: I placed an order for Papa John's last week and it was definitely answered by an overseas call center. Aside from the obvious accented speech, the person taking the order kept repeating the location address clearly & frequently to the point I finally asked him to stop as I knew exactly where it was (I could walk to it if I truly had to). 

"Could you make sure you put "diced tomatoes" on the order?"
"Sir, we only have Roma ones."

Yes, that was actually said during the call.

1st mistake was Papa John's.


Sadly, that's very true. However, it was for my mom and she, for some reason, likes them. That and the only other nearby place is partially owned by a dumbass running for office in Georgia, so I refuse to give them money.
 
2022-05-21 8:35:55 PM  

isamudyson: I placed an order for Papa John's last week and it was definitely answered by an overseas call center. Aside from the obvious accented speech, the person taking the order kept repeating the location address clearly & frequently to the point I finally asked him to stop as I knew exactly where it was (I could walk to it if I truly had to). 

"Could you make sure you put "diced tomatoes" on the order?"
"Sir, we only have Roma ones."

Yes, that was actually said during the call.


I went to Noodles and Company for the 1st and only time a number of years back. I was asking the girl behind the counter if a specific dish was spicy. She told me it had black sesame seeds.

I asked her what that had to do with the spice level of the dish.

Queue totally blank stare on her face turn to her dying inside as she had no idea what to say next. She literally had no idea what specific things tasted like. How she passed what I assume is some form of a food exam for corporate, I am at a loss for.

A coworker took over for her who witnessed the whole thing.

Strangest counter service interaction I have ever had.
 
2022-05-22 3:57:17 AM  

thornhill: frankb00th: I call directly to the restaurant when I order food. I even speak to the owner once in a while. I buy local.

All of the local-owned restaurants near me have online ordering - 100 percent of them.


I'd only use an online option if I knew that the restaurant wasn't being nickel and dimed for it. If I see EatStreet/Grubhub/DoorDash or a site powered by certain cookie cutters, then I'm looking for a phone number.
 
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