I’d Like to Speak to a Manager Please — Part 2

A few blogs ago I promised to tell you more about my recent successes in asking for a manager. In part two of this three part series, I was going to tell you about my conversation with Cody, a manager of a franchise chicken restaurant I ordered from while I was out of town.

Guess what guys? Cody made a liar out of me. He led me to believe I was successful in asking for a manager and getting a refund for the terrible experience we had at his Zaxby’s franchise in Kansas City, KS. Cody and I spoke the day after my ordering experience (October 6); he was extremely understanding and embarrassed, and went out of his way to say this was not the kind of impression he wanted to make. He said normally they’d offer me a credit in Zaxby gift cards but when I told him I lived in Chicago, he understood that a credit wouldn’t be useful since there are no Zaxby’s near where I live. He went as far as saying that this was the worst kind of first impression to someone who didn’t have Zaxby’s in their market, because if they ever expanded to Chicago, the Kansas City location already tarnished my opinion of their restaurant. Cody said he’s done it before and would work with his boss to issue me a full refund on my card. At the end of the call I told him that I was the mom of 4 and I didn’t have time to keep this in my brain and I didn’t want to have to follow up on this with him. He understood and said I’d have the refund within the week. “Just give me a couple days,” he promised.

Fast forward a week. I saw no refund on my card so I called Cody. He wasn’t there. A staff member told me he worked days. I called for Cody during the day. He wasn’t there. I had so many reminders on my phone to call Cody you would’ve thought I was having an affair.

Front and center on Zaxby’s Contact Us page on their website, they state, “We think of our guests as our friends, which means we can’t wait to hear from you!”


B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T times infinity Zaxby’s.

Zaxby’s guest service line is available at 866-892-9297. I have this phone number memorized. Want to know why? Because after playing phone tag with Cody, the manager at 2035 N 109th St in Kansas City, KS, for a month, I decided to call this corporate guest service line.

I called for the first time in November and spoke with a friendly woman who did a great job of taking notes as I described my experience, the conversation I had with Cody and what he promised me. She asked for my name, mailing address, phone number and email address. I asked when I might be contacted. She said typically about 3 business days. Three business days went by, then three more. So I called Zaxby’s guest service line again, asking for an update on my ticket.

Another friendly woman was able to look up my account by my phone number and read back to me the notes I provided on my first call. She promised to expedite my issue to management since I hadn’t heard anything back.

Sometime later, someone from the Kansas City, KS location called my phone while I was at work. They left no message, and made no attempt to call me again.

I called Zaxby’s guest service line and spoke with someone 8 more times in December. Each time a different woman was friendly, apologetic and promised to expedite my call to senior management. Each time the woman confirmed my phone number, email, mailing address. On my most recent call, I explained that I did not NEED to be contacted. I told my story. It’s in the notes. I did not need to be heard or coddled or pacified. I’m too busy. All I wanted was a refund to my credit card WHICH IS WHAT CODY THE MANAGER at the 2035 N 109 Street, Kansas City, KS location promised me.

On December 27, my husband called the same Zaxby’s Guest Service phone number to see if that would help. He was calm and friendly but explained to the woman that I had called 10+ times to follow up on my refund and that was simply unacceptable. We have 4 kids and both work a lot and we don’t have time to be following up on this matter. He said that if we didn’t receive our refund by December 31 we would be filing a small claims lawsuit against them. The woman promised a return phone call within the hour.

No call. Nothing. Silence……..

You guys, let me briefly tell you how terrible the experience was and I know you’ll agree with me that I should’ve been given my $30 refund, no questions asked.

Setting the stage – I was 10 hours away from home, traveling with 3 starving kids – a teenager with a college tryout the next morning, a preschooler who will whine nonstop if he’s hungry, and a 6 month old baby. It was cold and rainy and we just got to our hotel. The teenager asked for wings and a salad, so we looked online and found a Zaxby’s 2 miles away from our hotel. They offer online ordering so I went through the motions and ordered all of our food, sides, drinks and desserts online and pressed submit. I got the hourglass/spinning circle of death. I held my breath and hoped it was just the internet but no, the spinning circle of death continued. I was afraid to press it again. I was afraid to hit the back button on my browser. I had clicked and typed and customized so much.

So I called. They didn’t answer at first. So I waited another minute and called again. Finally someone answered. I explained that I placed an order online but I wasn’t sure if it went through. He looked and said it didn’t and offered to take my order over the phone. Ugh. Okay. I placed my order over the phone and he repeated it back to me and it was perfect. I asked how long until the food was ready. He said he would give me a call back with a pickup time. 40 minutes went by. No call. What the fuck? I called and inquired about my order. The person apologized and said they wanted to make sure everything was fresh. In my mind I was thinking this place was probably a sit down/order restaurant like Olive Garden or TGI Fridays and it was a Saturday night at dinner time so okay, they were busy.

Nope, I pulled up to the establishment and saw that not only did they have a drive thru – they were counter service like a McDonalds. Why in the hell did it take 40 minutes to make our food? I was annoyed. I stood in line waiting for someone to take my card and hand me my food. The line was long, the floor was sticky and my blood was boiling.

I drove back to the hotel hoping the kids wouldn’t bite my head off. I carried the multiple bags of food into the room, started to open up the bags, boxes, and spread things out, giving each person what they ordered. Ummm, I went through the bags and noticed quite a few things were wrong and more importantly missing. Important things.

I called back to explain what was missing, the person apologized, and offered to correct my order if I drove back. No way I said. I’m traveling with 3 kids and we’re already in the hotel. He understood and took notes and said he or his manager would call me back later that night after the dinner rush. That’s how the message got to Cody and that’s when all the lying began.

Come on Zaxby’s. Make this right. Isn’t this ridiculous?

* Online ordering wasn’t working

* Phone order took 40+ minutes

* 6 finger chicken plate meal – missing drink and sauces (both BBQ and Honey Mustard)

* Kids Grilled Cheese meal – missing chocolate milk

* Fried Chicken Caesar salad – no salad dressing

I’m in a hotel room with three kids. Drinks aren’t provided. We don’t carry salad dressing in our luggage. You’re a chicken fingers restaurant that boasts about your sauces and you give us none?

Come on Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley. Make this right. I’m not the only one trying to get your attention.


Katie Helgesen

Katie Helgesen is the Senior Director of Business Intelligence at Dealer Inspire, a fast-growing and award winning technology company near Chicago. Katie and her husband, Todd, have 4 awesome kids and love living in a small community centered on a lake in northwest Indiana. Baseball, t-ball, and soccer schedules are just a few pieces of Katie’s Mom Hustle. Her daydreams revolve around finding more “me time” and traveling. In real life, Katie keeps herself sane with naps, Netflix and eating out as often as she can.