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When the Taco Bell Drive-Thru Becomes Art

Capitalism is all about heart.

by
Scott Ott

Bio

September 1, 2014 - 2:00 pm

Because this experience is so rare, not only did I visit TellTheBell.com to answer their customer-service survey — something I never do — but I just came in from the mailbox (yes, the snail-mail box) where I placed this letter, and put up the red flag for the postman. I share it with you now, as I would a visit to a fine museum, an inspiring concert, or a thrilling spectator sport.

Taco Bell 022872, 11829 Abrams Rd., Dallas, TX 75243

To the Manager,

I had such an experience at your restaurant drive-through yesterday, I had to take a moment to let you know. Over the years, I have worked in customer service, in restaurants, in sales and in customer-service training. My family frequently visits Taco Bell and other fast-food places.

But yesterday was far and away the finest drive-through experience I have had…even better than Chik-fil-A, which was the previous standard-bearer.

Laquiata H. (as her name appears on my receipt), greeted me through the speaker with a clear and cheerful voice. She immediately let me know that she was ready to serve when I was ready to order, no hurry. This little touch I found immediately endearing and comforting. Drive-throughs always feel rushed, menus are complicated and, if you don’t have perfect vision, difficult to read. (BTW, the small type on yours meant that we had to read the choices aloud to my wife in the passenger seat, inevitably fouling your speed stats.)

Laquiata was an island of peace and happiness in a hectic day. When we got to the window, she greeted us with a smile. When she handed us our food, she repeated the order clearly to eliminate errors. That little gesture made me feel like she really cared about us, and wanted us to have a terrific experience.

I don’t know if you realize how extraordinary this is in your industry. I have come to loathe drive-throughs, with their squawk boxes, fast-talking, inarticulate automatons, and frequent errors. Most folks in this line of work seem more concerned with getting rid of you, than with serving you.

Please convey my gratitude to Laquiata, and the support team that made it possible for her to be the voice and face of joyful welcome.

She singled-handedly turned a commodity into a work of art.

Thank You,

Scott Ott

One of the things that makes America great is folks like Laquiata, who bring this attitude to work each day.

Capitalism, after all, isn’t about prices, and markets, and margins, and finance.

It’s about people, and beauty, and emotion, and excellence, and human need, and joy, and love and liberty.

All of that other stuff is just mechanism.

This is heart.

This is real.

****

Cross-posted from the PJ Tatler

Scott Ott co-hosts a news, commentary and humor show called Trifecta on PJTV. He created and hosted the 20-part series on the Constitution titled Freedom's Charter. His satire site, ScrappleFace, spawned three books and praise from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin and many others.
All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
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On of the things that have happened over the years is the replacement of "thank you, please come back", or words similar with "here you go". I have heard this so often that restaurants where it is common do not get my business at the drive the, and it is also infecting full service restaurants when they bring your food.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Not a problem" has somehow replaced "You're welcome". This is one of those phrases that should be banished.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, and chased out of society with flogging, if needed.


If I owned a retail establishment, this would be part of every employee's training, and a written policy, violations of which would be grounds for disciplinary action.


7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
That was a great letter. I'm also one of those people who will take the time to compliment good service.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I figure that those who are too lazy to compliment good service have no right to complain about bad service.

7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
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