Death works at Q’Doba

I don’t normally blog about consumer experiences. I did once before I got popular as a blogger, but *sniff* I was young and needed the money. Today however, I had a consumer experience so annoying I feel compelled to share with you.

I went to Q’Doba for lunch, a place I go to probably once a week out of convenience, and because I like their vegetarian nachos. There is a Q’Doba near where I live; it’s in downtown Royal Oak, so it’s always busy, but it’s super quick to get in and out of.

Then there’s the restaurant by my office. Seated within one mile of my office (one of the largest ad agencies in the US) and the GM Tech Center, it gets a good lunch crowd. It also seems to have half the staff required to run it, and those that bother to show up for work seem pre-occupied with something other running a restaurant. I suspect the rays from the Mother Ship are foiled by Q’Doba’s shiny aluminum surfaces.

For the past three weeks, I have come to Q’Doba on a Monday. Little did I know, Mondays are Two-for-One Slack Off Days. You get two employees to do nothing for you instead of one.

Today, there were only 13 people in line in front of me. Not bad, but I was in line for 39 minutes. Now before you stop me and say, “Hey, that’s only three minutes per person. Is that bad?” Yes, it’s bad. There was not a single person assigned to the register. Apparently at Q’Doba, you are required wait by the register until your expression looks pathetic enough that one of the employees saunters over and rings you up. I’m sorry, that was a lie. They wait on the carry out orders first, and then are guilted into ringing you up.

What is 39 minutes in line at Q’Doba like? Well, it’s like standing in line to vote, but it smells a little better. I can tell you one thing. While I was in line, I actually had time to research stopwatch applications at the iPhone App Store, download a few and test them out before being waited on. There were only two people ahead of me when I decided to do this.

I figured I could start the stopwatch the second Emo-Boy asked for my order and end it the second Suicide Girl rang me up. That took over nine minutes. This is on top of the 39 minutes I’ve already donated to Q’Doba’s Kill Your Lunch Hour With Us Fund. So now, with 48 minutes of my lunch hour spent in line, I have less than 2 minutes to eat and jump back in the car.

As for the food, they rocked it. My nachos looked like they did on the menu and that’s saying something. But, oh boy! There’s not a napkin to be seen. As I approached the counter to inquire where I might grovel for one, another customer beat me to it. Like the hand of Death itself, the skeletal finger of Emo-Boy indicated the rear of the restaurant. I actually saw ectoplasm emenate from his mouth when he croaked out, “Uh, I think there’s some left back there, dude.”

“Why not get off your scrawny butt and refill the other five containers,” was my first thought. Listen, Dave. You just slow your roll. That’s not how we do things at Q’Doba. We don’t refill napkins until every last one has been sneezed on, rubbed apart, chewed, torn or spat on. First things first, y’know? You and your pathetic 60 minute lunch hour. Make me sick.

All in all was this a horrible experience? Not really. It was just so damned disappointing compared to how swift their other restaurants are. Will I go back? Sure, the next time I have a 500 minute lunch hour to kill.