Today I grabbed my McDonald's coupons and headed to 1795 St. Laurent Blvd to a McDonald's I had never been to. Thought it was a great idea even in the densely falling snow figuring nobody would be there at 11:45 A.M. on a Friday.
Was I ever wrong! The place was crawling in so many kids you could easily open up a daycare centre complete with playroom. Right, the Friday of March Break. Heck, even McDonald's character Birdie showed up to greet the kids.
I walked up the counter and waited as the first in line with four cash registers open. I was signalled to by a cashier that she was ready. I handed over my 1 can dine for $4.99 coupon and ordered.
The Order: 1 Big Mac Meal (Big Mac, Medium Fries & a Coke).
She handed my change back and said in a monotone stern voice, "have a nice day". It sounded like this McDonald's restaurant was trying to incorporate the latest lame customer service idea from corporate head office where each employee is supposed to say to the customer "have a nice day." Not a bad concept really on paper, but in real life with a minimum wage employee who is merely counting the minutes until break/lunch/end of shift delivering the line, the sincerity is lost.
I waited at the counter for my order which was filled by a manger pretty quickly. I've noticed at most McDonald's now that processing of food orders has been better stratigized. First there is the cashier who takes your order, cash and sets up your tray. Next the runner goes from the kitchen to your tray ensuring everything is filled correctly. Works pretty well when the kitchen is running at peak efficiency and the runner knows what they are doing like today. But I've had disasters in the past that ended up with runner being to uncoordinated to fill the orders or simply not being there leaving the cashier to fill everything if they even bother to notice. Not here though, peak efficiency was the order of the day and I was off to the condiment stand.
The condiment and drink stand was a disaster. The Coke dispenser was definitely in need of a change of Coke syrup. It tasted like a bad club soda. Nasty. The ketchup containers were absent off of one of the two dispensers. Gathered everything I could find and off to the tables.
Right the tables.... only one in the entire place sandwiched between a stroller and another set with grandma and grandkids. No problem, the mom with the stroller was pretty nice ensuring I had enough room. The grandmother though on the side came with a grandfather who insisted on rearranging the newspaper I brought with me to read during the meal while squeezing between the tables. Not sure who the designer was of the new renovation, but these two separate tables should not have been that close. It looked like the jammed the table in where it was just short of space to do so. Of course, Birdie had to visit the kids at the table which was a mixed reaction. One of the kids squirmed against the wall figuring Birdie would grab him and take to the skies while the sister was a little more into and gave Birdie a hug.
The entire restaurant though needed a complete mopping and sponge down. Not the best time to visit due to the large number of kids running around and parents trying to keep control of their little ankle biters with their SUV strollers.
The food was average mediocre food. The fries were decent temperature but that should expected considering the number of customers being processed and new batches required constantly. The Big Mac was fine as well.
Overall, this McDonald's was mediocre. Mediocre food that was just o.k. Mediocre customer service that I could tell would rather not be there. My big mistake though was attempting to visit the closest McDonald's to Ottawa's Science & Technology Museum on the Friday of March Break during lunch time. Add to that, a fresh new set of McDonald's coupons had been dropped in mailboxes across Ottawa, things were bound to be busy. I bet, if I had visited at any other time, this McDonald's would have risen to good but definitely not very good to excellent.