Stay Classy, Panera Bread.


Sure, it’s probably nothing more than a public pissing contest and a case of “hey, look over here!”, but it sure is amusing:

Panera Bread

Just stand behind this sign, please.

There’s more to the story, but the headline is all that people will remember.  They say it happened in Mt. Lebanon, so not sure if it was the Galleria location, or the Greentree one (sometimes surrounding communities pretend to be Mt. Lebanon).

If you stick with the article to the end, it looks like the guy was stretching his time out on disability & got fired for it… then he pulled the “they made me hide the black guy” thing.  It sure as hell worked.  It may even be true.  Doesn’t matter though, because it’s now the main issue.

I do have to say, I’ve never seen a dude working the cash register at any Panera Bread.  I don’t think it has as much to do with race as age & gender.  The worst (best?) offender of this is Dairy Queen.  Not too many dudes work at dairy queen.  Then again, probably not many dudes put in an application at DQ.

You already know what I think of Panera Bread.

Bob Evans Follow-Up Bob Evans Follow-Up Bob Evans Follow-Up


Jelly! Jelly! Jelly!

Jelly! Jelly! Jelly!

You read about the Bob Evans fallout and follow-up, right?  In the interest of fully full disclosure, we went back, got a free meal, and had a nice normal dining out experience.  It went well.  LeAnn from Bob Evans wrote to check on me, and I thought I’d share the dialogue.

From: “Purdy, Leann D”
To: [Me]
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Subject: RE: Bob Evans – Reference # 720520 / Blog post about Bob Evans

Hi Eric!

 I wanted to follow up with you to see if you had been back, if not I understand.  I do hope that you do at least use your gift certificates to get some of our amazing Wildfire BBQ sauce!

I know you had concerns with what action was taken after your call/email, I can assure you that all of your feedback is used for training purposes, we did forward your comments to the area coach and general manager so that we can ensure that we are providing excellent service.

Have a great day!

Jelly Jelly Jelly!

bef.gif

LeAnn Purdy
Representative, Guest and Consumer Relations

Supporting Bob Evans Restaurants, Bob Evans Food Products & Mimi’s Café Restaurants
3776 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43207
Bob Evans Guest and Consumer Relations: (800) 939-2338
Mimi’s Café Guest Relations: (866) 616-6464
Fax: (614) 492-4971
Bobevans.com

And, my response:

From: [-mE.]
To: “Purdy, Leann D” ; Riggs A.
Cc: [The Wife]
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Subject: Re: Bob Evans – Reference # 720520 / Blog post about Bob Evans

Hello LeAnn,

Thank you very much for the follow up!  We actually did get the opportunity to take advantage of a free meal last Thursday night, at the same Bridgeville location.  It was a wonderful experience.  It wasn’t too busy when we arrived… and we seemed to get there right at a shift change, but the service was smooth nonetheless, and we only had to ask once for jelly!

Asking once for jelly & receiving it struck me as a possible bad omen.  Upon arrival, the first thing we heard as we were seated was the waitress at the table next to us (oddly not our waitress) telling her customers that something had been comped or removed from their bill… and the customer was spouting off about something unintelligible.

We had an excellent waitress then waiter, there was no shouting from the kitchen, the food was prepared well.  Some of the carrots with my turkey dinner were dry/cracked, but you’ll get that anywhere.  I didn’t see a manager on duty or patrolling the dining room, but things were running quite smoothly without their presence.

If you talk to the area coach/general manager/managers/team there again, please pass on our thanks for another great meal that was back to what we would call a normal Bob Evans experience.  I didn’t present my BE gift money until the end of the meal, but it didn’t produce any speed bumps and we still have one left!

Thank you for the gift, and both you & Nate for your time, and sincere follow-up!  (Follow-ups?  Follows-up?)

“Jelly! Jelly! Jelly!” may be a good ad campaign.  “Pizza! Pizza!” worked for Little Caesar’s.

Thanks again,
-Eric

Bob Evans Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Bob Evans’ Follow Up


A Bob Evans Restaurant

random BOB EVANS image from the web

Bob Evans Restaurant on Urbanspoon

After posting my recent tale of insanity during a Bob Evans visit, I received some almost immediate follow-up from Nate Riggs via Twitter DM:

nateriggs
– Eric – I work with Bob Evans. Saw your blog post. Would you shoot me your email so I can help make this right? 🙂

nateriggs
Thanks. Ill email you in a few and make sure we make this right By the way – love your blog and your writing style. 🙂

Twitter is awesome.  Instant responses.  These were followed up with another quick flurry of emails:

From: “Riggs, Nathaniel A.” <Nate_Riggs@BobEvans.Com>
To: <me@my.email.addre.ss>
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 1:52 PM
Subject: Blog post about Bob Evans

Eric,

Thanks so much for your email address and for your post. We always try to deliver the best guest experience that we can, but sometimes we mess up. We’re truly sorry for the wait time and hassle that you and your wife experienced in our restaurant.

On a personal note, I dig your blog and was just in Pittsburgh yesterday. This is week 3 for me at Bob Evans leading digital and social so I’m working through some on boarding before I can really work on tightening up our digital presence.  I’m a blogger as well – http://nateriggs.com – and I always appreciate when bloggers are so respectful, even when we messed up. J

The next email from me will refer you to Leeann Purdy in our guest relations department. She will email you and take it from there.

Again, thank you!

BEFarmslogoemal

Nate Riggs
@nateriggs
Digital Marketing Strategist, Restaurant Marketing
3700 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43207
Phone: (614) 497-7447
Droid: (614) 348-2646
www.bobevans.com
We like you. Like us on Facebook!

and…

From: “Riggs, Nathaniel A.” <Nate_Riggs@BobEvans.Com>
To: “Purdy, Leann D”
Cc: <me@my.email.addre.ss>
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 1:55 PM
Subject: Contact information for Eric Carroll – Pittsburgh Blogger from this morning

Leann,

Hi there.

I’ve copied Eric Carroll on this message. He is the Pittsburgh blogger who posted on our Facebook page this morning as we discussed. Would you please reach out to him when you have a moment?

Thank you!

BEFarmslogoemal

Nate Riggs
@nateriggs
Digital Marketing Strategist, Restaurant Marketing
3700 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43207
Phone: (614) 497-7447
Droid: (614) 348-2646
www.bobevans.com
We like you. Like us on Facebook!

and…

From: “Purdy, Leann D”
To: <me@my.email.addre.ss>
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 2:32 PM
Subject: Bob Evans – Reference # 720520

Mr. Carroll,

I would like to first, thank you for taking the time to share your experience regarding your visit to our Bridgeville location, and also sincerely apologize for the overall unacceptable food and service you received.  I also appreciate that you were so candid as most people will not complain, the will just not go back, and we would not have the opportunity to try to make it up to you.

Our company places great emphasis on training our employees to satisfy our guests, so we appreciate that you have brought this to our attention.  We expect our servers to be attentive, timely, and attend to all of our guests needs, and I am very sorry that we let you down.

I would like the opportunity follow up with you by mail to invite you back to our restaurant, and if you are willing, I would like your address so that I can formally apologize to you by mail.  I also have shared your comments with the general manager and area coach of this location also so they can ensure that any necessary action is taken.

Again, Mr. Carroll, we appreciate your comments.  We value your patronage and appreciate your interest in Bob Evans Farms Inc.

LeAnn Purdy
Guest Relations
Bob Evans Farms, Inc.

and…

From: “Purdy, Leann D”
To: <me@my.email.addre.ss>
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:24 PM
Subject: RE: Bob Evans – Reference # 720520

Mr. Carroll,

I wanted to send a follow up because I researched our records and did find where you had sent us these comments on our website with your mailing address included.

I have updated our records and a letter will be going out to you tomorrow.

Have a great day!

bef.gif

LeAnn Purdy
Representative, Guest and Consumer Relations
Supporting Bob Evans Restaurants, Bob Evans Food Products & Mimi’s Café Restaurants
3776 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43207
Bob Evans Guest and Consumer Relations: (800) 939-2338
Mimi’s Café Guest Relations: (866) 616-6464
Fax: (614) 492-4971
Bobevans.com

Then a week or so later, I got this in the mail…

Bob Evans Letter

Bob Evans Letter

Bob Evans Coupons

Bob Evans Coupons

How cool is that?  That’s enough for a meal & a half for the wife & I.  I have to say, I applaud their quick followup, perceived excitement, blatant flattery, and sincerity.  I do have to say, I’m a little afraid of returning to the Bridgeville location if someone was reamed by a regional manager as slyly implied by the emails and letter.  I mean “I also have shared your comments with the general manager and area coach of this location also so they can ensure that any necessary action is taken” seems pretty serious.  I don’t want to go back with Bob Evans bucks in hand and have them be all like “Oh, this is that butthole who wrote a blog and got me a lecture while I was just having a really bad day…”  Or do you think it was calmly presented as “OK, we obviously have some sort of breakdown, what can we as a management team do to help”?  I mean, that’s how it should have gone… right?

The didn’t comment on the asking 3 times for jelly code, so I can only assume this is a real thing.  Next time you’re at Bob Evans and you want jelly, ask for it thrice and ye shall receive thereupon the third asking.

Where’s the balance?  I’m really looking for input here.  Was I right to complain?  Am I safe in returning?  Should I just go to the Bob Evans in Robinson?  Think they have the same area coach & general manager?  How good is their Wildfire BBQ sauce?

SHOW REVIEW: Dethlehem / The Bloody Seamen / The Approach and the Execution


08/11/2011 @ Howler's

How cool is this flyer?

So, last night I broke my normal “school night” routine of hanging out at home (or at least getting home by a decent time) to check out a local show that I could not resist.  If you’ve read the blog, I’m obviously a Dethlehem fan.  In addition to those medieval fantasy knuckleheads, the Pirates that “crashed” their CD release party were on the bill; The Bloody Seamen (apparently known in some circles as The Flying Dutchmen).  I’ve been wanting to check those cats out for a while, so this alone was a no-brainer.  The other band was The Approach & The Execution.  They’re out on tour from Cleveland, OH… but we won’t hold that against them.  The place was Howler’s, and I know it well.  Bengt is a hell of a sound-guy.  I haven’t exercised my photography muscles in a while.  All of  the right ingredients added up to getting my lazy old musician behind out to a week-night show.

☠ The Approach & The Execution ☠

The Approach & The Execution

These guys were up first, and they just ripped it all apart right out of the gate.  I’m pretty sure there were 5,692 guitars on stage and their lead cat went through all of them… even knocking one from the stage to the floor at one point.  There was screaming, there was “woah-ing”, there was shredding, there was thunderous drumming, there was harmonizing vocals, there was dueling leads, there was even muscle flexing choreography.  The one highlight of the set for me is when the one dude on vocals & guitar was playing a show soulful lead… and the dude next to him was shredding circles around it.  It was later in the set, and I hope that song’s on the CD that I picked up, The Blood March.  These guys were incredibly tight, & played really well off of each other.  Apparently they had some setbacks in the way of van trouble and had to have AAA & some friends bail ’em out.  They had a vehicle-less trailer out front.  Hopefully they make it to their next destination tonight, so they can melt the faces of the next group of new fans!  (Interestingly, I popped the CD in on the way to work this morning… and heard keyboards & a chick vocalist… neither of which were at the live show.  I’m only 3 songs in so far, but I wonder what’s up there?)

☠ The Bloody Seamen ☠

The Bloody Seamen

These dudes are hardcore.  They show up in full pirate regalia, and don’t break character easily.  I even got a “business scroll” from Captaine Blackguts when inquiring about obtaining some recorded material!  For all I know, these cats really are pirates, and have a ship docked somewhere on the Allegheny river.  (Although, the one guitar player Cheswick looks a lot like the guy from Deathmobile/The It’s Alive Show…)  This is a band of buccaneers that knows how to work a room, and work it they did.  They definitely put a gleaming sharp metal edge on some really catchy drinking songs, with fighting, fornicating, plundering, and treasure thrown in for good measure.  They seemed to cross musical genres with some straight up rock and some more funky/groovy stuff.  Any band with a guy named “pipes” that plays the accordion, what  think was a fife or some kind of small flute, and the bagpipes alongside screaming guitars is cool in my book.  These guys know what they’re doing.  I bought a T-shirt because no CD’s exist yet.  I had sort of hoped they’d bust into “Friggin’ in the Riggin’” or “Whiskey in the Jar“, but alas… they were more original than that.  I will definitely be at more of these guys’ shows.  I just hope they weren’t distracting us with awesome swashbuckling metal as the rest of their crew picked our pockets and stole our women.

Dethlehem ☠

Dethlehem

Have I told you how much I hate these guys?  I mean, they have people that come out to their shows in costume.  How cool is that?  That’s fan dedication!  Bovice and Hildor make seemingly effortless movements across the fret-board that put me under a musical spell.  I wish I could unlock the secret to that power… or had the patience to practice like a madman.  Davidicus is indeed a wizard with the low-end, weaving together the ridiculous guitars and Brom’s pulverizing rhythms while managing to still have a voice of his own.  Lord Bonecrush commands your attention as he’s belting out tales of their conquests.  He even let a guest get up to help belt out “Blood Forest”.  Slaying orcs and harnessing dragons is hard work, but these guys have the time to do it, then to tell you about it.  They follow a rich oral tradition as old as the first hunter coming back and telling how he captured his prey to provide dinner for all, and you’d better appreciate it.  These warriors are going places.  I expect a cartoon series, live action movie, a graphic novel that transitions into a monthly series, and some damn stickers, patches, and pins soon.  I believe a side-quest with the Bloody Seamen is inevitable.  I vote that it gets put out on vinyl as well as digital download.

As stated above, I got some photos from the show.  I have them up on Photobucket and will probably eventually have them all on Facebook too.

Photobucket:
Grid View | Slideshow

Facebook Photos:
The Approach & The Execution | The Bloody Seamen | Dethlehem

Here are some Photobucket highlights:

Pizza Hut’s Intestinal Warfare


If you’ve ever heard me on the subject of Pizza Hut, it all boils down to this…  Pizza Hut = Gastrointestinal Distress.  I have no idea why.  I’ve heard the same thing from many other people when the subject is raised.  I know I’ve gotten into it on facebook not too long ago too.  I enjoy plenty of other pizzas from other chains & from the local shops, all with no digestional discomfort.

I wrote to Pizza Hut a long time ago… and this is all I had to say…

Hello Fine Friends at Pizza Hut,

Contrary to the belief held by your delicious pizzas, my intestines are not a waterslide.  Can you please instruct the   to not use my digestive system as a waterslide park?  It would be very much appreciated!

Gotta go!
-ERiC AiXeLsyD
world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Well, their answers back then were quite dissatisfying, and when I contacted them again via snail mail, my query went wholly unanswered.

Perhaps that’s why I waged another campaign of emails with a vengeance.  I looked up several Pizza Hut and Yum! Brands executives online, found the syntaxt of their respective companies’ email addresses, and fired off a few notes… as well as filled out the webform once or twice or so.

from ERiC AiXeLsyD world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
to Scott.Bergren@yum.com
date Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 8:28 AM
subject Intestinal Warfare?
mailed-by gmail.com

Hello,

This isn’t about a specific incident, but a general observation.  There was nowhere in the webform to indicate that, so I had to seek out some email addresses. I find it quite rude that there’s no general inquiry area, or a contact email address.

As for the purpose of my missive…

I would like to know why your pizza treats my intestines like a water park.  Every time I enjoy your delicious slices of pie, I feel like I have swallowed a hurricane that’s trying to escape via my …well, I’ll leave that to your imagination.

I can assure you that I’m not lactose intolerant, but perhaps I’m allergic to something in your sauce or pie?  I don’t seem to have this problem with any other pizza places… chains or local.

Have any other customers written to you regarding gastrointestinal distress of any sort?  My cousin who works in a Pizza Hut in Ohio swears that they use a different sauce there, devoid of the same effects.

Thanks for your time!
-ERiC

Pizza Hut Allergen InformationThe email address experiment seemed to be to no avail.  I’ve either been blocked by IT, spam filters, or wholly ignored.  But, it looks like I did get a bite off of the webform…

from Dave Kronenwetter Davekronenwetter@aurorahuts.com
to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
cc Ed Holt edholt@aurorahuts.com
date Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 9:16 AM
subject Pizza Hut Incident Eric Aixelsyd
mailed-by aurorahuts.com

Dear Mr. Aixelsyd,

I was sorry to hear about your experience at the local Pizza Hut. Let me assure you that the ingredients used here in Pennsylvania are the same quality ingredients that are used throughout the country. In most cases our ingredients come from the same suppliers. The following website lists possible allergen & sensitive ingredients : http://www.pizzahut.com/Files/pdf/Updated%20PH%20Allergen%20List%2004.17.09.pdf This website includes our nutritional information: http://www.pizzahut.com/Files/PDF/Pizza%20Hut%20Nutrition%20Info%2010.12.09.pdf. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions you may have and I will handle them personally

Sincerely,
Dave Kronenwetter

Area Coach
Aurora Huts LLC
412-897-6775
davekronenwetter@aurorahuts.com

Interesting.  Well, at least now I have two good contacts… but perhaps my query will take a more serous and inquisitive turn.

Upon viewing the interesting pdf linked to by Mr. Kronenwetter, I see that a bunch of items there are marked “prepared in common equipment and therefore may contain allergens” in the shellfish column.  I’m not sure exactly why this is, because I don’t recall any shellfish on the Pizza Hut menu, and especially since the items marked are oddly random and specific…  Garlic Parmesan wings, and no others… three different pizza sauces… 3 of the 4 Tuscani pastas, and breadsticks.

I can only assume that these things arrive at Pizza Hut pre-made, and may come into contact with potential allergens at the manufacturing/processing/packaging facility?  Oh well, perhaps I can figure out a way to address this in a goofy manner, yet still yield some positive and enlightening results.  I know that many people suffer from the pizza hut digestion demon, and I really hope it’s not just some sanitary/kitchen issues.

Perhaps this too must move into snail mail territory.  For some reason, most companies seem to treat a real live letter with more respect than an email.

Yum!ballsI thought of Yum! Brands today as we watched Spaceballs…  In the characters Kernel Sandurz and Pizza the Hutt – both now Yum! Brands brands.  Would it be wrong of me to write to them and tell them that Mel Brooks is working on a new special edition of Spaceballs with more scenes, digitally inserted characters and creatures, and better re-vamped special effects… and that they’d like to include more Yum! Brands characters… like Captain Long John Silver and Taco Bell, and some droid sidekicks, A & W?