For four years now I have gone to Panera #3312 on University Blvd. in Orlando, Florida. Every Friday, our department has Bagel Friday. At first, when we started the tradition four years ago, I would call in my order on the Thursday prior.
However, after my order was lost, forgotten, or stale bagels received several times, I started calling my order in the Friday morning, two hours before I would arrive to pick them up. I call in this order every week because sometimes it changes either the time I will be there, or the number of bagel packs I will be getting.
For three of those four years, I dealt with a wonderful manager named Van who appreciated my business and made sure I was always happy with my order. Recently, management has changed all the old faces are gone now, and those who have replaced them have made me want to seek out a different source of Friday morning treats. I have been told that my order is bothersome, that I should make changes in the way I call in my order so that it will be more convenient for them, and made to wait repeatedly.
Although my measly $32.99 a week may not be a large contributor to the profit of this store overall, I am a regular customer and have referred others to the store because I had appreciated its congeniality and quality. This morning I am particularly perturbed. I set my alarm early every Friday to call in my order two hours before I will be at the store. I did this week as well.
However, on Friday April 16th, there was an issue. I told them that I would arrive at 8:45 AM to pick up my order. I arrived at Panera #3312 at 8:55 AM only to be ignored for several minutes until someone saw that I was standing at the counter. At that time I stated that I was there to pick up a call-in order. The sales person then looked around to find that my order had not been filled. We have a weekly meeting in my department that is preceded by everyone getting their bagel. I am on a time limit, that's why I call in my order ahead of time, so I don't have to wait. However this morning, I waited nearly 20 minutes for my order, putting me very late for work and displeasing my management team very much. Not only was I forced to wait this additional time, when the manager whose name I do not know because he has never been friendly to his regular customers was told, he shrugged his shoulders and looked at me as if to say oh well, I told you what would be convenient for us, not you.
No steps were taken to correct this mishap i.e. a discount on the order. When Van was managing the store, this type of customer service would not be acceptable. However, apparently the current morning manager has not learned the value of treating your customers properly. Because of this, I will NOT return to the store that I have visited every week for four years, but will seek out some other avenue of bagels for Bagel Friday. I have also filed a complaint laying out the several issues I have had with this current manager, and have posted to my company bulletin board that this store is not recommended.
While I'm sure some of our recurring corporate orders won't be affected, I have already convinced several of those that go to Panera for lunch to choose other avenues. I suggested to the corporate office that they review the value of proper customer service with their staff because apparently they are unaware of it.