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patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

2 edits

name asking by upscale retail quick service restaurants

Around you, do quick service/fast food/to-go restaurants ask for your name, which can be anything you give them (no ID), to separate orders, or do they use numbers or receipts? I am more interested in "upscale" fast food places than in "downscale" or traditional fast food places.

background: When Starbucks first came to the northeast/NYC area in the late 1990s, the used names to separate orders, by 2005 the name system was replaced by just saying the item being served. In 2010, I went to 3 different upstate NY near-rural Starbuckses. They all used the name system. I was shocked. Now a Cosi around me that opened 3 years ago in the NYC area, suddenly switch to reused order number tags (I guess their register can't do large font order numbers). The manager said "customers complained". He wouldn't elaborate.

How do chain restaurants handle it in your area?

I would think all traditional fast food places either use order numbers on receipts, or the cashier that took your $ must hand you what you bought. Some traditional fast food places around me (burger king yes, taco bell no) require you give in the receipt or they won't release your order to you. If you "want" a receipt, at these places you must ask the cashier for a duplicate, that says the words duplicate, and you wont get your order if you show one. Hobos will find or dig through the garbage and reuse the receipts. The order numbers are 2 digits and loop over every 15 to 40 minutes.

Edit: I assume an or some customers complained over the "privacy" of their name at the above Cosi. What do you think of a chained restaurant asking your first name for order matching, no govt ID, no last name? An invasion of privacy? none of their business? or perfectly fine since you give a fake name? or your fine with everyone knowing your name?

Also is the whole "my name is none of your business" just a northeast/NYC/east coast thing of all new yorkers/urbanites being cold, defensive and anti-social and chain stores change their policies (no asking of names) for the local market?



printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC

You can find a bit of everything around here. Some places will hand you the receipt that has an order number and then will serve with the order number. Other places just tell what the order is and you go pick yours when it is out. Other places ask for your name and the cashier writes it down in the order ticket and then when the order is out they call your name. Upscale restaurants don't do anything of this of course because you are served at the table. But places like Bonanza and such where you order at a cashier on a line simply give you the receipt attached to a ticket that the waiter/waitress takes when you sit down. Some places that are carry-out only and take orders by telephone use your name or phone number to identify the order.

Can you explain what is an "upscale" fast food place?



thegeek
Premium
join:2008-02-21
right here
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to patcat88

Panera Bread here asks for your name but I never hear them call out names. They give you one of those buzzers that indicates when your order is ready. I usually just give an ethnic name that is unlikely to be the actual real name of a white male.

I'm hungry for Panera Bread now. Their french onion and chicken & rice soups are fantastic for a fast food place.



Gbcue
Premium
join:2001-09-30
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:8
reply to patcat88

Both.


Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to patcat88

I have never heard of up scale fast food, I go to fast food when I dont have the time for up scale. though some Chinese places even when they are up scale(ie they have a dining room) still do takeout.
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Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1
reply to thegeek

Panera is getting rid of them. All the one by my location have gotten rid of those pagers. They call out names again.


patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

4 edits
reply to printscreen

said by printscreen:

Can you explain what is an "upscale" fast food place?
Non-waitered chain restaurant with "premium" prices and "premium" Bourgeoisie interior styling with "art" on the walls, often spin their menus with a so called green or organic or health or natural feeling. "Soy" is an automatic upscale restaurant. There is atleast a small amount of "haute cuisine" (food as art, exotic sounding ingredients) to their food. They usually rant about the "experience" and if you have your membership card today.

Non-waitered mom and pop upscale restaurants are less cheesy, no membership cards, but follow the same formula.
Chained stores, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Cosi, for sure.

Pret A Manger, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jamba Juice come to mind but I dont remember what their ordering/food prep style is. Price and the "art" ness of the food are the 2 biggest criteria for what separates Chipotle (upscale) from Taco Bell (downscale).

Quiznos has some attributes of being "upscale" compared to Subway, but in my opinion I wouldn't put it next to Starbucks or Panera Bread, its somewhere between. Maybe I'm not aware enough with its stereotype. Au Bon Pain is another I don't know enough about to classify.


Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN
reply to patcat88

Red Robin, last I was there, gave you a name like James Dean, Elvis, Betty Davis, etc.
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Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1
reply to thegeek

Re: name asking by upscale retail quick service restaurants

said by thegeek:

Panera Bread here asks for your name but I never hear them call out names. They give you one of those buzzers that indicates when your order is ready. I usually just give an ethnic name that is unlikely to be the actual real name of a white male.

I'm hungry for Panera Bread now. Their french onion and chicken & rice soups are fantastic for a fast food place.
Fast Food? I really wouldn't lump Panera into the fast food category.


i1me2ao
Premium
join:2001-03-03
TEXAS
reply to patcat88

we used names because it was hard enough for people to remeber there own name much less a random order or wtf they ordered..
--
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thegeek
Premium
join:2008-02-21
right here
kudos:2
reply to Cheese

said by Cheese:

Fast Food? I really wouldn't lump Panera into the fast food category.
Why not? You order at the counter. There is no wait staff. You have to go to the counter to get your order. It rarely takes no more than 5 minutes to get your food even during peek lunch times. They may not have a drive thru but several other fast food joints don't either.


nokken

join:2001-02-07
Memphis, TN
reply to patcat88

Starbucks is actually an interesting example.

They started out using names and moved away from it.
Because customer's complained that their coffee experience was no longer "personal", they re-adopted orders by name.

There's a Harvard Business Case about this...
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Phil
Rojo Sol
Premium
join:2001-06-11
Downers Grove, IL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Warzau

said by Warzau:

Panera is getting rid of them. All the one by my location have gotten rid of those pagers. They call out names again.
Good. Baja Fresh tried the pager system out some time back and it was terrible. I even complained to the manager about it and he told me it was being tested out to avoid having to call out order numbers over the intercom. Calling out names/order numbers is a positive part of the ambiance in my opinion.
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Bond James

@mchsi.com
reply to patcat88

Re: name asking by upscale retail quick service restaurants

I love it When they ask for my name I always reply
"Bond, James Bond" never fails to get a chuckle.



Yippz
Premium
join:2005-05-04
Fort Walton Beach, FL
reply to thegeek

said by thegeek:

said by Cheese:

Fast Food? I really wouldn't lump Panera into the fast food category.
They may not have a drive thru but several other fast food joints don't either.
I'm not sure if Panera is statistically considered fast food, but here in NW Florida all 3 Panera locations near me have a drive-thru window. Yeah, I'd guess it'd be considered upscale... All 3 locations still ask for your name and give you a pager.

So then would you consider Whataburger to be upscale since it's a basic fast food restaurant but they also give you a pager while they make your order -- but they don't ask for you name.

Hmm... Good question...
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ak3883

join:2005-08-20
Portsmouth, RI
reply to patcat88

"Number 67... family feast"

"Number 67!!"

"Hello... Newman"

"Hello Jerry."

Kenny Rodgers Roasters, classic Seinfeld.

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John K

@conquesthousing.com
reply to patcat88

Re: name asking by upscale retail quick service restaurants

quote:
Also is the whole "my name is none of your business" just a northeast/NYC/east coast thing of all new yorkers/urbanites being cold, defensive and anti-social and chain stores change their policies (no asking of names) for the local market?

As far as the "cold, defensive, and anti-social part" goes, I don't think you have to fit that description to be dismayed at the prospect of having a roomful of perfect strangers know your name.

Your name is as personal a piece of information as it gets. Sure, it's not the end of the world when someone shouts it out to a bunch of strangers, but I can see why some people might be less than thrilled. When someone knows your name, but you don't know theirs, they have the advantage of you. Some people might be more sensitive to this consideration than others, but I don't feel someone is being unreasonable if they take this attitude. If it's their name, they ought to be able to decide to whom it is given.

Personally, I prefer to be introduced to someone so we can -exchange- names, but that might not work in a retail environment. Using my name as a data point for commerce wouldn't exactly ruin my day, but I would probably make a respectful suggestion that the restuarant come up with some other unique identifier for their orders if I was going to eat there regularly. YMMV.

I'm baffled as to why restaurants would insist on using only a 2-digit number to identify orders under the conditions you describe. If they're blowing through a pool of numbers in under an hour, that's a definite sign they need to add more digits to create more unique combinations to assign to orders. I wonder if the fault might lie with the cash registers, or with managers who are too lazy to see that the registers are reprogrammed to meet their needs.

If their POS system dates from within the last ten years, I'm surprised that would be confined to the use of 2 digits for orders, but that might be the way it is after all.


cabana
Department of Adjustments
Premium,Mod
join:2000-07-07
New York, NY

I think you can simply give them a generic name ... I mean it is not like they are carding you to pick up your order - have a sense of humor ... give them your nickname like ... "pookie" ...

smiles to everyone when the intercom voice says "pookie your order is ready"

What annoys me more? ( I am so glad you asked) :P

When you are paying for something at a retail store and the clerk asks you to give them an email addy or your phone number. Do you know how many people just give that information right over???!!

I always politely "I don't care to give it" - They can't force you ... but I see so many people just give pieces of their identity away ... not even thinking they have a choice!



Parogadi
What? Stop Looking At Me Like That
Premium
join:2003-03-31
Racine, WI
reply to Kearnstd

Up scaling the quality of the food doesn't mean that you have to make the place a stuffy sit down restaurant.

More places are starting to realize that fast doesn't have to mean greaseball food.
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printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
reply to John K

I think some people have become a bit paranoid in the last few years. I don't see how other people knowing my name can do any harm. It's just the first name all they need and you could use a nickname if you wanted.

About places asking for e-mail or phone numbers I simply refuse because I don't want them sending stuff or calling me.



printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC

1 edit
reply to Parogadi

said by Parogadi:

Up scaling the quality of the food doesn't mean that you have to make the place a stuffy sit down restaurant.

More places are starting to realize that fast doesn't have to mean greaseball food.
I agree. There are a couple of Burger King and McDonald stores around here that are more elegant than some sit down restaurants.

ctggzg
Premium
join:2005-02-11
USA
kudos:2
reply to patcat88

Maybe this belongs in the Security forum. Some people there would tell you this is a violation of your constitutional rights and an invitation for identity theft.



battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

1 recommendation

reply to patcat88

What the hell kind of privacy issue is there with giving out your name? They don't check your ID so it's not like you can't give a fake name. When I used to go out with friends we always gave odd names for the fun of it. One I always thought was kind of funny was "Horsemen, party of 4"



boognish
Premium
join:2001-09-26
Baton Rouge, LA
kudos:6

1 edit
reply to patcat88

Yeah there are places here that ask for your name and call it out when the order is ready. My first name is fairly common so I always make something up. There are also places that hand you the bottom part of the order with a number on it and call the number when your food is ready. Right off hand I know »www.brewbachersgrill.com/ does the name thing and »jambalaya-shoppe.com/default.aspx does the number thing.
I have never considered giving my name for my food order a privacy issue. That is just weird thinking.
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ak3883

join:2005-08-20
Portsmouth, RI
reply to battleop

It's also fun to make up telephone numbers when stores ask for your phone number. Look up the area code for somewhere in Alaska or something, then make up the rest of the numbers on the fly.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to printscreen

said by printscreen:

I think some people have become a bit paranoid in the last few years. I don't see how other people knowing my name can do any harm. It's just the first name all they need and you could use a nickname if you wanted.

Agree with the above 1 million % - it is getting really silly...
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