[update 11/28/06] See also related article on how Bruegger’s gets it and fixed the problem.
For awhile I was refraining myself from writing negative things about Bruegger’s as my previous rants (here is one) got a pretty high ranking on Google. But the absurdness of their practices is so flagrant that is has become too hard not to write about it.
A few weeks back I went to Bruegger’s only to find out that they had no bagels – you heard that right – on a Sunday at 8:30 am they had NO bagels. Apparently the baker had overslept. If you are a bagel shop and for some reason you have no bagels, why even bother to open up shop???
Then a week later I got a bagel with hair in it. We tried to convince ourselves that it was hair from a cleaning brush so that we could at least continue eating the others – but even that is unacceptable!
When I walked into the store last week, there was a huge line…and one very sloooow server. When a guy ordered 36 assorted bagels I thought I was going to die – the misunderstandings and the recounts that took place as part of that transaction were like a caricature on how to really piss off your customers. The thing is, even that server probably should not have been there. She most likely missed the memo that said that there was a team meeting on the back porch of the store. Indeed, after waiting in line for 15 minutes, a team of 4 Bruegger employees – including the top store manager (a very grumpy man), and the assistant manager (who clearly lacks respect for the top dog) – all came in chatting from the back porch – oblivious to the collective negative energy that was about to turn violent in their store.
And then there was this morning. I was early and there was only one server again, who evidently had forgotten (or never was given) the log-ins for the cash registers. She was using a little hand calculator to figure out how much customers should pay. I had three bagels and even though there is a special price for a three-pack, that little calculator did not have an option to enter a three-pack – the only option on that calculator was 3X the price of a single bagel. For awhile it thought it might be an operator error, but after a few minutes of arguments I realized that it must have been a calculator limitation (arrggghhhh!).
If you are in management at Bruegger’s and happen to read this post (although I bet you nobody is listening) – the next time you are in my town, go take a look across the hall to Starbucks. The place is humming, employees add to the vibrancy of the atmosphere, I have never seen them run out of coffee, and I have never had hair in my coffee or in their pastries!
And if you are wondering why I continue to put up with this nonsense – you have just encountered a case where the buyer and the actual customer/consumer are two different people. I don’t usually eat bagels – my son does. And yes, I have thought about taking him with me a few times so that he would get fed up with this whole thing and allow me to buy bagels elsewhere…