April 30: Restaurant Report Drive-Thru Challenge

By Ashley Swann - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - In our fast paced world, nothing's more convenient than whizzing through a drive-thru to pick up a quick meal.  But if you don't get what you asked for, your experience can quickly become a dining disappointment.

Frequent fast food eater Jeremy says, "I might order a big mac, but they end up giving me three chicken sandwiches.  I hate that, i hate that."

Deborah adds, "I asked for no mayo and when i got home later on when i check, it had mayo."

No one's perfect, but we decided to put the accuracy of eight local fast food joints to the test.

With cameras rolling, our producers visited restaurants in Richmond, Henrico, Hanover & Chesterfield to hear those magic words, "May I take your order?"

And what we found, may just surprise you.

In Hanover, we threw a few curveballs to the sonic staff.  "I don't want any mayo, lettuce or tomato on it."  That were not only met with a smile.  "Have a great day!"  But followed to a tee.

And it was the same story, at a Hanover Arby's.

In Henrico, a Wendy's employee actually had us chased down to make sure we didn't leave without our missing food.  "I appreciate that, thank you so much," said our producer Matt.

And a Taco Bell in Chesterfield also hit the bulls eye.

One of our only blunders came at a Chesterfield Wendy's, which accidentally shortchanged us of some cash.  "I should get another dollar back, right?" says Matt.

Other mishaps included a missing receipt at a city Chick-fil-A.  And a missing order of french fries from a Richmond McDonalds.  Everything else was right on the money.

After visiting and then carefully checking all eight orders, our producers offered these tips for getting what you want from the drive thru.

-Speak clearly & loudly.  Stop all other conversations, especially those cell phone calls

-Be specific about what you want

-Have your form of payment ready

-Be courteous

-And, perhaps most important, never drive away without first checking your order to make sure it's right.

Deborah says, "Soon as I get my order, I check my food before i pull off cause if it's not right, I can hand it right back to them."

Now for tonight's critical list, The Forest (5057 Forest Hill Avenue) in Richmond with 4 critical violations, including various foods holding at improper temperatures.

Moving on to Henrico, Ukrop's Cafe (5700 Brook Road) with 4 critical. Among them, chicken pot pie mix & black bean salsa found out of date in the cooler.

And finally, Great China Buffet (1829 Southpark Boulevard) in Colonial Heights with 6 critical violations. An inspector found raw shrimp stored over ready-to-eat melons.

And this week's Hall of Fame Award goes to Tropical Smoothie Cafe of Short Pump (11736 West Broad Street) in Glen Allen for a perfect inspection March 20th.

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