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Taco Bell is Never Prepared for Opening

Posted Sat October 24, 2009 12:00 pm, by Kristin B. written to Taco Bell

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Like I do on a weekly basis, I stopped by at my local KFC/Taco Bell located on Elkton-Newark Rd. in Elkton, Maryland at 10:05 am. I'm writing this to Taco Bell because I hardly order from the KFC side. The staff has always been friendly to me and I know them all by name. Ashley and Donna, in particular have always made my experience a good one.
As an overnight worker, I get off at 7am every morning and stay up during the mornings and run my earrings and get them over with so that I make it to your establishment by 10am, before a line forms, and try to make it bed by 11am so that I get enough sleep to get up, do my college work, and go in again at 10pm that night.
I've had a continuing issue with this chain being prepared for opening. The door is always unlocked on time, but the drive-thru is never ever ready for me to order. And on top of it all, there never is any food prepared except for chicken and fries. The drive-thru would be nice to use because I just want to get home and would like the convenience that is supposed to be offered. There has never been a time that I am out of there no earlier than 10:25am or 10:30am since I have to constantly wait for food. For a fast food place, 20-25 minutes minimum is unreasonable, especially when I'm the first in line.
I've spoken to a manager about this issue before about two months ago and she said that she was sorry and gave me a free meal. It was a nice gesture even though I didn't demand anything. I like this manager and everybody else because they are friendly to me, so I don't want to complain a second time. I also know what can happen to a persons food whenever you make a person mad that ultimately prepares it. I've been a victim of that circumstance from another nameless fast food establishment and don't want it to happen again so I wish to remain confidental.

My suggestion would be to start preparing food a little bit earlier in the morning, but only prepare a little bit of each item until it starts getting busy. And open the drive thru on time. If its a scheduling issue, schedule them 15 minutes earlier.


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by Michael C. Posted Mon January 23, 2012 @ 1:56 PM

A chicken sandwich is not something many people order at 10am. They
have to control costs in order to stay in business and, therefore,
don't want to make a lot ahead just in case YOU happen to darken their
doorway with your presence. Do yourself a favor and either fix some
food at home that's more healthy, or sit patiently until they can make
your food fresh and hot instead of luke warm from under the heat

They don't know yhour schedule and for the most part, people don't
want dinner 1 hour before bedtime is not generally thin, and therefore
casts a large shadow. I worked the graveyard shift for awhile, and
realized I was in the minority and if I wanted a steak at 7am, I'd
have to wait for it.

by Terena D. Posted Fri October 30, 2009 @ 10:34 AM

I don't know how anonymous you can be. You're the first person in
line every morning when they open their doors. They probably even
have a nickname for you.


early bird by Michael C. Thu March 22, 2012 @ 3:31 PM

by Kalphoenix Posted Tue October 27, 2009 @ 6:03 PM

As time goes by, I've noticed the issue with chicken at faster food
services too.

I know uncooked and improperly cooked chicken has a HIGH rate of
developing bad things, like salmonella. What about cooked chicken?

Is this maybe a health issue?

Or is it just a freshness/waste issue?

Not disputing the claim at all, I'm just curious why I see this so
much now. I don't frequent "fast" food much anymore, but I do notice
I have to wait a lot longer for chicken items.

by Courtney G. Posted Tue October 27, 2009 @ 10:29 AM

I hate this too. This happened at Arby's recently. My dad ordered a
chicken sandwich of some kind and the kitchen had NO chicken cooked
and ready to go. My dad waited 20 minutes for his sandwich! I hope
you get some sort of feedback on this!

by b d. Posted Sun October 25, 2009 @ 2:27 AM

i really think that's typical in fast food restaurants.

i worked for KFC in high school. we were normally on top of things,
but the thing is...fast food joints don't have the best of the best
when it comes to employee selection.

there was only a handful of employees that knew how to prep the
chicken. most everyone knew how to prep everything else. of course,
the managers knew how to do the chicken if it came down to it.
but..there were mornings when our cook (who also happened to be an
alcoholic) would show up late. that could prevent us from having every
single item ready in time.

so, fire him you say? well, we could've. he did show up late
sometimes...but when he was there...he could get the chicken out
faster than anyone on the planet...he'd been doing it for years. it
was a matter of replace him and consistently run out of chicken on a
daily basis because you can't find another guy who can work like
him....or keep him and have some rough mornings where we're running
behind. afterall, practically nobody is ordering fried chicken at 10
a.m., but hundreds of people are ordering it for dinner. let's tick
off the person who eats chicken at 10 a.m. or the line of people who
eat it for dinner?

the turnaround in these places is crazy. as an employee, i never knew
when we got a new employee if they would be there the next week or
even the next day. there are ALWAYS people not showing up, calling in,
showing up late, etc. it's easy to say, "well, hire people who are
more reliable." think about the people who work these types of jobs.
high school students or people who didn't have the get up and go to do
anything more worthwhile. i'm sure i'll get attacked for saying that,
but it's true. older people who work in places like that are not the
most dedicated, motivated people you could find.

every day in a fast food restaurant is full of surprises. i've shown
up for work and not been able to get in because the person that was
supposed to open (who had the keys) didn't show up. nothing ever
surprised me.


I understand where you are coming from... by a_simple_girl Sun October 25, 2009 @ 8:02 AM

I do take offense...and it's not ALWAYS true about the older folks by dottiejean28 Sun October 25, 2009 @ 5:09 PM

dottiejean by a_simple_girl Mon October 26, 2009 @ 6:26 AM

"Older" does not mean "Oldest" by Batman Fri October 30, 2009 @ 5:37 PM

by RedheadwGlasses Posted Sat October 24, 2009 @ 10:50 PM

I agree completely. When the doors open, every food item on the menu
should be available. This store either is poorly managed/supervised,
or they aren't allowed to have enough people there in the morning to
get everything ready (to save money on wages). Good for you for
letting them know.

Great letter.


Reply by a_simple_girl Sun October 25, 2009 @ 7:52 AM

Keep dreaming by Michael C. Thu March 22, 2012 @ 3:35 PM
by dottiejean28 Posted Sat October 24, 2009 @ 5:18 PM

former taco bell crew member here...we had to get there 8:30 or 8 am
to prep.


sounds right, i worked at a KFC/TB for a week a couple years back. TB hot prep was started at 8 for a 10am open by Chadg Sat October 24, 2009 @ 7:17 PM

This location... by a_simple_girl Sun October 25, 2009 @ 7:49 AM

so it is an isolated incident then I guess...especially when by dottiejean28 Sun October 25, 2009 @ 5:11 PM

by Greg - PFB Restaurant Advisor Posted Sat October 24, 2009 @ 2:10 PM

This is excellent feedback for Taco Bell and you have every right to
be upset.

It would be one thing if this were a one time situation however it
appears to be a consistent thing.

Taco Bells have an opening prep list however no matter how low it
might be, they are still supposed to open with a full prep line. That
means, at a minimum:

5 pounds of cooked beef
1 pound of cooked chicken
1 pound of cooked steak
full container of refried beans
containers of all the sauces
container of cooked rice
a full line of lettuce/cheese/tomatoes etc.

I suspect the reason they have chicken and potato nuggets available at
open is because these take much less time to prepare than the beef.

What it sounds like is they are strangling the open meaning they dont
bring their people in early enough so they can properly set the line
up. Instead, they get the quick stuff up first while the other stuff
is cooking and hope no one comes in during the first fifteen minutes.

Or it could be bad management. Or both.

Here's hoping you get a successful resolution which, in this case,
doesn't really mean a free meal as you've already got one of those.
Instead, here's hoping this store gets its act together and starts
opening on time properly.


Reply by a_simple_girl Sun October 25, 2009 @ 7:47 AM

You absolutely right by AndreaGulli Sat December 8, 2012 @ 4:46 AM

by Steve OH (IO) Posted Sat October 24, 2009 @ 1:52 PM

I think that's the problem. Just as you can't suggest how much to
prepare to cover the odd morning customer, it would be difficult for
them to know. I suspect they already have what they consider is
enough, based on the sales history for that location.


it would be difficult for them to know by Bill R. Sat October 24, 2009 @ 3:33 PM

Bill, that's what I was thinking when I said "I suspect they already have what they consider is enough, based on the sales history for that location". by Steve OH (IO) Sat October 24, 2009 @ 4:09 PM

I missed it by Bill R. Sat October 24, 2009 @ 9:34 PM

Reply to Bill R. by a_simple_girl Sun October 25, 2009 @ 7:32 AM

Reply to Steve OH by a_simple_girl Sun October 25, 2009 @ 7:36 AM

that is why you have stuff made...and back up ready to prep by dottiejean28 Sun October 25, 2009 @ 5:16 PM

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