Open letter to Iowa City KFC

May 3, 2009

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To the KFC on Highway 1 in Iowa City

I love your food.  My favorite is probably the mashed potato bowl.  Mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and little nuggets of chicken, all combined into one bowl.  What’s not to like?  I’m also a fan of the original chicken.  My wife also likes your food.

Unfortunately, I will never darken your door (or drive thru) again.  Why?  Because your service is absolutely dreadful.  Let me count the ways.

First, on multiple visits (months apart) I have come across a situation where the drive thru speaker is broken.  This isn’t apparent until you actually wait in line for a while.  It is frustrating to arrive at the ordering station and realize that you’re not going to be able to order your food until you get to the final window.  This creates an additional delay.  Getting this permanently fixed would be a high priority if I owned the KFC.

Second, the service is too slow.  It is common for me to wait 15-20 minutes in the drive thru when there are only a handful (3-4) cars ahead of me.  This is not the exception, this is the rule.  I’m not exaggerating, either.  Since this starting become an issue, I keep track of what time it is when I pull into the line.  I can actually put my car in “park” a couple of times while I am waiting.  One time, while waiting in line,  I was approached by an older gentleman (apparently from out of town) who wanted directions.  I was able to give him detailed directions and send him on his way – and the line had not moved forward even an inch during this time.  From what I can see of the inside of the restaurant, the service doesn’t seem much quicker there, either.  This is supposed to be fast food, but it’s really not fast.  I can get a pizza from my favorite restaurant as quickly as I can get a potato bowl from KFC.

Finally, your employees simply make too many mistakes.  There are frequently problems with the order.  A recent order had the wrong variety of chicken (extra crispy instead of original recipe) and didn’t have any gravy on the mashed potatoes.  The order was taken correctly, as the correct items are on the receipt – the order was simply fulfilled incorrectly.  We complained about that incident and received a postcard for a free meal.  I redeemed that a couple of night ago.  After a very long wait, I finally pulled up to the window and ordered (since the speaker was broken).  As the lady was putting things into the bag, I asked for honey and butter.  She tossed something in the bag, and I assumed she gave us both, instead of checking.  Nope, she didn’t include any butter.

Quite honestly, you’re no longer worth the hassle.  There are a lot of other restaurants in town, and most of them provide a much better experience for the customer.

Note that I do not believe that this is indicative of all KFC restaurants.  Over the years, I have eaten at many KFCs and have had a lot of positive experiences.

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