Evolve or Die: Saskatoon Fast Food Restaurants

Written by Marc on January 9th, 2008

With the boom that Saskatoon has been experiencing over the past years, there have been some serious changes in the employees in town.  You see, the "good" employees have moved from the entry level jobs (such as fast food, retail sales, etc.) to higher paying jobs.  With their glowing resumes and references, they have had no problems getting new jobs.

The result of the good staff moving, has left a void to be filled by the mediocre or poor employees.  Taking a look at the help wanted signs down every street, the businesses are in a position where they need bodies to work, so they hire these people that don’t do a good job.

The result of this has been customer frustration with services.  Take for example, Burger King in Saskatoon.  The last two times that we have gone there, their drive through was shut down due to lack of staff.  What makes it even worse is that if you do go in their restaurant, you can expect to wait ten or more minutes for your order taken, and quite often at least another five minutes for your food.  Considering that I could go to a real restaurant, pay a bit more, wait the same amount of time, and have better food, seriously makes me debate whether I should go to a fast food restaurant or not.

The sad thing is that this is getting progressively worse.  It is getting to the point where many people feel that going out is more of an inconvenience than making food at home.

What can be done?

There needs to be a call to action regarding the delivery and operations of these fast food restaurants.  Whether that is as simple as changing the restaurant to drive through only, or changing the hours of operations, there needs to be more consistency in their operations.  Also, management needs to be more accountable for the quality of the product and the timeliness of delivery.  More emphasis needs to be placed on cleanliness of the patron area, and staff competence.  Where staff ability is lacking, more training or letting them go may be required.

This is the time that the weaker fast food restaurants will be weeded out.  Each restaurant has a simple choice: evolve their operations, or close shop.  I believe that the number of fast food restaurants in our city will be much different six months from now – it will be interesting to see who survives.

Read more articles on Business Ideas and Business Management and Saskatoon Business.

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