Sunday, 25 July 2010
A truly Belgian experience!
"Slow" might be more appropriate. "Incompetant and gungy" might be even better, although perhaps simply "Belgian" might give the customer an indication of what to expect.
I visited, for the third (and certainly last) time today their store at 329 Route de Phillippevile, Couillet. Its just outside Charleroi, where the airport is.
It opens at 10am. The first time I visited (at 10:05) a couple of years ago, the staff where all having a smoke in the kitchen, and would not speak to me. After 5 minutes I gave up and left. The second time I visited, I got served but my fries were cold, and the box contained the wrong burger. Today, The fries were, as expected, cold, and I was told to wait 5 minutes for my burger. After 10 minutes, and after barging past a queue, I eventually got my burger. I didn't enjoy it very much. This is absolutely normal, and the biggest queue of people in any Belgian burger bar is the one of people holding a tray of fries and soft drink, waiting for their burgers
I was stranded in Thionville in France once, because of snow. Leaving my "motel" I tried to find food. I found a Quick. The sign on the door advised me of the opening time, but 10 minutes later the doors were still locked. They opened 15 minutes after my arrival - 25 minutes after the stated opening time. They were not, however, selling any food at all, and in fact the girl who was taking my order was unable to explain what they did actually have to offer.
Another Belgian burger anecdote: A teenager of my aquaintance ordered some food at a McDonalds outlet, and of course the burger was not ready. "It will be 5 minutes", he was told.
After 10 minutes, and in the Belge tradition, he went in search of his burger, and the following conversation took place...
Teenager "Can I have my burger now, please?"
Staff "Its not my problem, I didn't take your order. Who did?"
Teenager "I can't see her"
Staff "What was her name?"
Teenager "I don't know..."
Staff "Then you are stupid, aren't you?"
Teenager "You call me stupid, but its you that ended up working in a burger bar!"
I will end with another Quick story. It was a Sunday afternoon another Quick store in Brussels. Someone had spilled a trail of soft drink across the width of the restaurant. A staff member spent about 10 minutes folding tissues and laying them in a long line along the length of the spill. I wondered why she didn't use the mop standing in a bucket behind the till...
Burger King deserve a mention too, of course!