Our fellow foodaholics over at Grub Grade do an excellent job of reporting food deals. They always know where to get cheap food, free food, limited time only offers and coupons. All summer long, they have been posting the weekly Arby’s Freebies – each Wednesday, Arby’s offers a menu item for free, usually with the purchase of a soft drink.
This past Wednesday, the Arby’s Freebie was the Roast Chicken Club Sandwich. Buy a drink, get the Sammie free.
Using our sharp logic, we figured there would be a crowd. After all, that’s a great deal! We left for lunch a little early that day and had a VW full of hungry people. No signs were visible advertising the special, but maybe they didn’t want to give away too many sandwiches. Maybe it was semi-exclusive: you get the deal if you’re “in the know”, which thanks to Grub Grade, we were.
And then it happened: complete Freebie fail. Misty was the first of our group at the counter. (She elbows her way to the front of the line because she is sooooo hungry.) She is told by the gal behind the cash register that they aren’t doing the Arby’s Freebies. In an effort to jog their memory, I whipped out of my purse the printed copy with the complete Arby’s Freebies schedule: four full months of summer specials. Cash Register then announces to Shift Manager that “they have a piece of paper”. Shift manager takes a cursory glance at my evidence and replies, “We aren’t doing that. We are a franchise.”
WHAT THE FORK?
I contend that if the restaurant sports the famous red hat Arby’s logo and serves up Arby’s food, then said restaurant, whether franchised or corporately-owned, should honor Arby’s advertised specials.
Sure the fine print at the bottom of the ad says “participating locations only” but you have to call ahead or find out when you order whether they participate or not. That’s not good customer service. I feel participation should be manadatory also because the franchised location is benefitting from the corporate advertising.
Here’s what happens: Customer sees Arby’s ad for great deal. Customer makes a trip to local Arby’s. Since there is no sign indicating ownership status of local Arby’s, customer believes great deal is available. Upon entering on limited time lunch hour, customer is told “no deal here”. Due to limited time situation, customer buys food anyway. In fact, spends more money than planned because restaurant does not honor advertised deal. Customer has diaper rash. Arby’s reputation is tarnished.
Arby’s (and other chains like them) should require ALL locations honor their advertised specials. Who’s with me?