A day in the life of McDonald’s #5834 (West Liberty Ave. – Brookline/Beechview/Dormont)

Typically, when I write a crazy email, I wait for a response before I post… but I’ve had a significant lack of response on this one for over a week now, and I felt the need to post this here and perhaps refer to it in a webform submission to corporate.

McDonald's on UrbanspoonI have a love/hate relationship with McDonald’s, especially this McDonald’s.  It’s close to where I live.  The food is generally horrible for you and looks like it was assembled by Stevie Wonder, but sometimes I’m in the mood for it.  Or, sometimes I’m in a hurry, and McDonald’s still somehow equates to quick service.  It’s the only fast food joint that I pass when going in that direction other than the abysmal nearby Wendy’s.

Apparently, with the complete demolition and re-building of this McDonald’s, they decided to include a contact email address at the top of their receipts.  The email address included at the top of my most recent receipt was Ella.Jones@us.mcd.com,  so that’s where I sent my email.  Over a week has gone by, and I still haven’t received a reply.  I even copied the email to sandra.jaeger@gmail.com, who had contacted me about an earlier incident at this location(Although, she never did ultimately reply about my complaint… I just got an email asking what the situation was, and was given no response thereafter.)

This McDonald’s has a website at McPennsylvania.com and it lists the manager as Rick Sapko.  It doesn’t give his email address, but I did use a “contact the manager”
there, also to no avail.  I forget Ms. Jones’ title, but I would think that the manager’s address ought to be at the top of the receipt.  Unless she’s the owner?  Also… this reminds me that Ms. Jaeger isn’t a very good customer service rep if she never got back to me about my original inquiry.

Reading all of this, I can’t see why anything in my letter below shocks or surprises me.

My email that defies all responses:


I had sent this message over a week ago, and hadn’t had a reply, or even a “we received your email, we’ll get back to you” message when submitted by webform.  I decided to try again from a different email address…

Hello Ms. Jones,

I would first like to thank you for the new policy of including a contact email address at the top of your receipts!  Email is my communication tool of choice.  I find myself able to converse more effectively if I see the words written out in front of me.  The webform at the McDonald’s website is such an impersonal exchange.  It’s never satisfying to get an email that includes a reference number and a phrase to the effect of “please do not reply to this email”.  I mean, really… what other possible message could that convey besides; “We got your email, we’re ignoring it.  This response is solely an attempt to pacify you from further pursuance of your issue.”  So, to reiterate, I would like to thank you in advance for making communication so easy with the McDonald’s in Beechview.

The new McDonald’s is quite striking.  It looks like a Starbucks or Caribou Coffee from the outside.  The parking lot is absolutely gorgeous.  Although, the abandoned Jiffy Lube next door ought to be knocked down for additional parking… or you could charge people to park there instead of letting them park in your lot to go to the adjacent bar that has a new name every few years.

Inside, I feel like I’m in the Brady Bunch dining room or den though.  Somebody chose those chairs?  Really?  And then there’s the produce all over the walls, while visually appealing, isn’t exactly representative of the food you sell, is it?  I mean, I don’t see any vats of oil or cows on the wall, but there are strawberries and cherries on the wall.  How many menu items contain strawberries and cherries versus beef or chicken?

I’ve seen similar design schemes in Chick-Fil-A, Quiznos, Subway, the Pita Pit, Qdoba, and other food establishments.  I thought that McDonald’s was an innovator, not an imitator.  I’d just like to hope that the designer didn’t charge too much.  The layout and seating are infinitely better than the previous layout.  That ramp outside that led to walking through the drive-through lane was ridiculous, the seating was well, dirty…  beyond mopping & wiping-down dirty.  The bathrooms were… Well, I had written about those in the past to a Sandra Jaeger.

After all this, I still need to get to the point of my email I suppose.

This past Sunday, I had the unique opportunity to dine at the West Liberty Ave. McDonald’s twice in one day.  First, in the morning, my wife & I were on our way out to the suburbs east of the city.  We decided to go through the drive through as she had a craving for an iced coffee.  I ordered the Egg McMuffin extra value meal with a Sweet Tea, and she got a Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit and the aforementioned iced coffee.  As we were sitting in the drive through lane, before the split, someone pulled in from the West Liberty Ave entrance without following the clearly marked “↰” arrow and cut directly into the outside ordering lane.  I know the McDonald’s in Canonsburg has solved this problem by using orange reflecting traffic cone type devices so it’s impossible to pull into the extra lane from the outside.  (Perhaps you could look into this solution, as people obviously cannot be trusted to “do the right thing” of their own volition.)  Once we were finally past the ordering process, we sat in the line before the pickup window as the orders in front of us were mixed up and it took seemingly forever for them to be told to move forward until it was all sorted out.

At the pickup window, we had to ask for straws as they weren’t in our bag or handed out to us with our drinks.  The kid in the window looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language after asking for them and handed them to me, one at a time, still looking like a deer in headlights.  After we were finally handed our food, my wife gave a cursory check of the bag as we drove away…  Bacon Egg and Cheese Biscuit?  Check.  Egg McMuffin?  Check.  Hash Brown?  Check.  Drinks?  Check.  Napkins?  No napkins, my friend.  I think we both know the grease content of your fine foods and of the need for napkins after partaking.  It’s also worth noting that there was no ketchup in the bag for my hash brown, nor was I asked if I wanted any.

As we cruised down West Liberty toward the maddening chaos that is the Liberty Tunnels, my wife let out an expletive as she graciously unwrapped my breakfast sandwich.  Apparently someone wrapped my sandwich with the appropriate wrapper, but forgot that an Egg McMuffin contains ham and a fried egg and not bacon and a creepily folded piece of rubbery yet spongy scrambled egg-like substance.  We even checked the receipt just to be sure that I did indeed order an Egg McMuffin.  According to that, I had.  Since we were on our way to a timed function and because (if you’re familiar with the road you’ll know) there was no convenient place to turn around once we were on the road anyway, I declined to go back and have the situation rectified immediately… and ate the dry spongy yellow matter and pretended to not be annoyed.

Much later in the evening, around the dinner hour, we were on our way home and decided to stop at McDonald’s again for in lieu of cooking at home or going out of our way somewhere else to get dinner.  Arguably, Wendy’s would be an option here, but have you ever been there?  They give new meaning to the word “sloth” in its application to a fast food establishment.  After all, there’s no possible way that orders could be screwed up twice in one day at the same McDonald’s with an entirely different crew, right?  Yeah, right.

I tell you, you have a stellar team if you’re competing for the “sloth” title with Wendy’s.  There looked to be nothing but chaos in the kitchen and cash register area.  No one seemed to know what was going on; not in the new counter area that was overly packed with confused waiting customers, and not the crew who were running around like chickens with their heads cut off in slow motion.  Yes.  I’ll let that image sink in.  It’s the only way I can think to describe it.  There was no pattern to the scrambling around in the kitchen, but then again, it wasn’t scrambling because that would imply speed and/or urgency where there simply was none.  I shared glances with several of the other customers, each of us asking each other with facial expressions alone…  “What is going on here?”  “Who’s in charge?”  “Is this really happening?”  I tell you, I have never felt more telepathic in my life.

Upon receiving my meal, it was clear that my chicken nuggets were cooked and cooled well before the batter-turns-to-cardboard point had been reached, even the sweet and sour sauce couldn’t disguise it.  Exasperated and bewildered by the still ridiculous amount of people waiting to order or waiting to receive their orders, I again just ate them without complaining.  Really… there were hardly any patrons sitting down in the dining area compared to the throngs of would-be consumers just waiting and hovering around the order area.

I realize that I am to blame here for not rectifying each situation immediately as it was happening, but you must understand my perplexity regarding the awesome ineptitude of two wholly different shifts at the same restaurant.  From my standpoint, that’s a 100% failure rate in the scope of one day.  I find myself continually questioning why I choose to visit this McDonald’s location, and the answer is always the same; convenience.  Unfortunately, the convenience is slipping away.  The time required to obtain a meal is not convenient.  Eating lukewarm chicken nuggets (“now” with all-white meat?  What the hell was in them before?) is not convenient.  Eating spongy rubbery folded egg stuff is not convenient.

I had hoped that with the literal demolition and rebuilding of your McFranchise, it would have also entailed a symbolic rebuilding of your team and their work ethic with an effort on getting correct orders out in a timely fashion.  Apparently my hopes have gone unrequited thus far.

I’m not asking for a free meal, or for an apology for instances that are clearly not your fault.  I am, however, asking you to please reevaluate your hiring, training, and supervisory processes, and perhaps to look into having someone observing all the time until things run more smoothly.  I’m sure that one lone day of scrutiny will point out several issues that need attention immediately. I would like to thank you for your time, and I look forward to a continued dialog on the progress of getting this McDonald’s location transformed into a well-oiled machine.


Have you have a similar experience there, or at any other McDonald’s?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.

46 thoughts on “A day in the life of McDonald’s #5834 (West Liberty Ave. – Brookline/Beechview/Dormont)

  1. I forgot to mention above that as usual, I got editing help from Dave on this one. I like to at least sound somewhat intelligent if I’m going to come off as a ranting lunatic… and it’s quite difficult to proofread your own ranting.

    A comment on a link to this blog from Valerie on Facebook:

    “1. Did you notice that, in the lemon on a scale mural, the lemon weighs nothing according to the scale? Yeah, I had plenty of time to contemplate this while waiting 20 minutes for my damn food.

    2. Wendy’s smells SO BAD now. I know I’m more sensitive to smells than most people, but seriously… how can anyone even eat in there?!

    3. Your last experience pretty much mirrors mine… that place sucks.”

    Valerie (aka Star Destroyer) also posted a review on their Google Maps page.


  2. From Heather via Facebook:

    “The first time my husband and I went there after they were rebuilt, we decided to go in and order instead of the drive-thru as we wanted to see what it looks like now. He was on his break from work (30 minutes) and we waited for at least 15 minutes to get our food. In a hurry to get back to work, we started out the door and as soon as we got to our car, I checked the bag. My sandwich was missing. So, we had to go back in and wait forever just to get my stupid sandwich. The people behind the counter were so scatterbrained that it was truly appalling. What should have been a quick trip down the street ended up taking longer than his allotted lunch break and he had to eat while he worked and I had to eat alone instead of enjoying time with him. “

    So far, out of 3 people polled… 3 people have had the same experience on 4 separate occasions.

    Wrap your head around that.


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  7. I just had the worst experience of my life there ever. I went in and ordered 2 cheeseburgers and fries and some nuggest. a 7 dollar order. I waited 35 minutes for my order before they asked me “what are you waiting for” finally i told them just give me my money back. the lack of confidence in employees is overwhelming. they have a young manager there or maybe she was i dont know that had no brain whatsoever. 100 people waiting in lines.. and one person on the register. every girl is argueing with one another and giggling and just having fun like some disney movie. I found it appaling how bad the service is down there. They need to do something quick because i have never had service as bad as tonight and the last few times. tonight was the icing on the cake. Please fire the idiots there and replace then with robots if you have to i dont care. i really like mickie ds and hate wendys but ill eat god damned cereal and go to bed hungry before i go there again.. im livid right now.


    • Wow, I feel your pain and I’m not surprised! That’s absolutely uncalled for. Isn’t it ridiculous that we continually get bad service and keep going back? I don’t know what the deal is there. I think I’m done with that place. 35 minutes at McDonald’s? That’s an eternity.

      It’s funny, because a friend left a Facebook comment for me the other day saying that she had some OK service there and couldn’t believe it.

      At any rate, I really appreciate that you took the time to express your dismay here. How’d you find this blog? I did eventually get a reply: https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/the-mcsaga-continues-a-reply-from-ms-jones/

      I would encourage you to write to them to express your dismay. They need to know if they ever have any hope of changing this type of service.



    • This is the quote from Facebook about the “good” service there, in the interest of fairness… ha ha ha.

      From Valerie:

      OH!! That reminds me! We went to the Beechview McDonald’s again yesterday, expecting the third strike. However, the food was somehow the BEST McD’s I’ve ever had (they have side salads now?!) I also decided that those brown booth things are… really comfortable and that I love the fountain drink setup. They still have the most incompetent employees ever (why/how do they always have so many trainees?!) but when the manager saw us looking annoyed at the wait, he took our order himself. By the time we left, they actually had ALL THREE registers open. So I guess they get another chance!


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  9. i will never return to this McDonalds again. Im going to make this short and simple. i ordered a steak mcmuffin, and sausage biscuit. i get home and i have 2 sausage biscuits and no steak mcmuffin. i called and complained. the lady took my name and address. said she was going to send me coupons in the mail. AND I NEVER RECEIVED THEM!!!!


  10. and they screw up my order EVERY time i go there. i like to get something fast on my way to work and i cant even do that because i sit in the drive thur for 25 mins. then they tell me to pull up because my food isn’t ready and they have to bring it out to me.


  11. Visted the Belle Vernon Store. The worst service ever. I was waiting in line and the girl running the register; after completeing the order before me; proceeded to help the other register filling an order and left me standing there (no acknowledgment of me ) I thought the register closed. Then because of her delay my special order quarter pounder was taken by the other cashier (that didn’t move from his post) and there were no fries for my order. Total wait time, in line and to complete the order – 18 minutes. I WILL NEVER go there again. Ever.


  12. I was very unhappy with my visit from store 10848 delmont 6526 route 22 pa the servise was the worrise that i ever had and i had only had three things two frys and a fish sandwitch and i had a pice of chees on mu fish and the frys where cold and when i asked for ketchup they said i had to pay for it pleas email me back or i will call and complaine


    • I’m familiar with the location, Jeffrey. Sounds like the service was terrible. I’m unfamiliar with the fish sandwich. Does it usually not contain cheese? Paying for ketchup is certainly shenanigans if you ask me. I would think that corporate would not approve.

      Not sure what you mean by “pleas email me back or i will call and complaine”. I’m not affiliated with McDonald’s in any way. I’m just an unsatisfied customer like yourself.

      The restaurant has a page at McPennsylvania.com here: http://www.mcpennsylvania.com/10848

      Unfortunately, they don’t list a direct email address, but they do list the manager as “Pam A.” and the phone number (724) 468-5506.

      It looks like they have a new restaurant feedback form here: http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/contact_us/restaurant_feedback.html

      Give them the store number & time of your visit, hopefully it will be dealt with properly, and they’ll most likely send you some coupons that you can use to re-try that location, or at another location that you know has better service, like the one further up Rte. 22 in Murrysville… or perhaps one in Greensburg.

      Good luck in your feedback process. May I suggest spell-check though? I feel that the more eloquent the complaint, the more validity it seems to convey. Please share with us any word that you get back from them!

      Mind if I ask how you found my blog?


  13. I think this email is in regards to McDonald’s…

    I think.

    This is all I received via the contact form:

    Name: shirley
    Email: [_________]@yahoo.com
    Message / Comment: went in Imperial store on Aug. i,2011, the service was horrible . They acted as if they were doing us a favor by waiting on us .There were no napkinks out , no containers for ketchup both myself and another had to ask for napkins, when they gave them to us it was like an effort to do so The management at night is horrible
    How’d you find my blog?:

    Time: Tuesday August 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm
    IP Address: 173.___.___.___
    Contact Form URL: https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/contact/

    Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

    Sadly, my contact form doesn’t tell me which of my posts you were viewing. I’m assuming this isn’t related to my latest Panera-induced rant, since you mentioned ketchup. No one viewed a Wendy’s rant yesterday (according to WordPress), so we’re left with McDonald’s, I guess?

    Perhaps it’s this McLocation? The one UrbanSpoon review there isn’t very favorable. That’s a little further out than I go.

    I would encourage you to contact that McDonald’s directly: http://www2.mcstate.com/14951

    Although, they sadly don’t have a very good web presence.

    I’m not sure if not having ketchup or napkins qualifies as a rage-educing encounter, but I feel you, Shirley. Perhaps you can flesh out your experience with some more colorful details?


  14. I went to the mcdonalds in belle vernon and ordered a 20 piece chicken and a small frie with honey sauce and all I got was the chicken with honey mustard no fries and wrong sauce was very upset


  15. My husband and I went to the same mc ds store #5834 stil sucks, we both order dbl qtr w/ chez meal. I looked at the burgers it only had one hamburgh so I took them back up to the counter and the manger laugh, and told the cooks watch what thay are doing she said to them a dbl gets 2 burghs (DUH). So 15 min. later I got the same cold hamburghs back w/ a bloody burgh on top .


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  19. First of all, it’s fast food. Why are you eating there to begin with? It’s obviously going to be gross because the food is so cheap and kids and underpaid adults work there. Quit complaining about a fast food restaurant that serves nothing but food that’s bad for you and start cooking at home like families used to. Or eat out a better place like Tom’s diner or red lobster. It’s sad that you would get so worked up over fast food and makes me realize how fat America and the world is getting.


    • Well, obviously you’re new to my blog. Red Lobster isn’t an option for me, just like a bunch of other places.

      Check this out: https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/a-little-background-on-my-shellfish-allergy-before-i-write-my-next-rant-of-a-blog/

      I don’t eat at McDonald’s every day. When, I do… I expect the order to be quick and correct.

      May I ask what brought you here & what inspired you to make your anti-fast food comments?


      • Because I was looking up the number for this place. I’ve worked in fast food and if you simply expect underpaid workers to do their best to serve you gross, greasy food then go ahead and complain. It’s pathetic really just due to the fact that one large fry alone is 500 calories. I don’t care if you eat there every day or once a month. It’s fast food and it shouldn’t be eaten at all. It’s gross and bad for your body and there is no way that any McDonald’s can be perfect twenty four seven. Even Wendy’s for that matter. I just came to realize that if people are getting this worked up over fast food then I can see why everyone typically hates Americans. We are an obese country running on arrogance, fast food, and shit we don’t even need but buy anyways. Pathetic.


  20. Your McDonald’s is slow. you need 2 cashers when your busy. You don’t need to. Wait. For your food for like 5mins the people that work there is slow workers I hope you fix this or you will lose people


  21. The crew sucks and they let the line go out. The door and the food sucks and the. Workers are slow. It’s time. To. Close up. And. Move. On. Or. Get. New. Workers. Cause it. Not. Fast. I. Like. The old. One better when you go there the people have. To. Get a manger to. Do. Coupons this is a. Bad. Mcd I hope you fix it now or close down


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  23. i have bad experience the empleoyes was it very slow and when i place my order the empleoye is in the cel phone .and the person was it bagger it.s anser her personal phone ,so i wait like 10 min for my order and then manager they know what’s happen not says something about ,,,it’ in fairburn ga .at 74 hwy and oakley rd.


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