My wife and I on Saturday found ourselves at Gloucester Centre Mall with A&W coupons in hand. We had planned to visit the A&W in the mall's food court (1980 Ogilvie Road, Ottawa) before heading over to Canadian Tire for more shopping.
We arrived at 11 A.M. wondering if A&W would even be contemplating serving lunch as some other fast food outlets sometimes serve until 11:30 A.M. There was already a line of three customers waiting to order ahead of us plus two other customers waiting for food to arrive. One customer was just waiting for some hash browns to be served up. Behind the counter was a frazzled single server taking orders and dishing out food from trays arriving from the kitchen. The lady behind the counter seemed organized working through each order by taking cash, checking to see if the previous order had come down yet, serving and getting the next order. Credit to her for keeping her composure. But it did seem the customer volume could of at least warranted the attention of an additional body behind the counter.
At least lunch was being served as customers ahead of us ordered burgers without any complaint from the A&W staffer.
It took at least 5 minutes to get through the line and to the counter and present the coupon. We ordered.
The Order: 2 Teen Burger Combos with fries. 1 combo with Sprite and 1 with Coke.
The next part stunned me. The lady entered in the order into the cash register which rang up to $18.00 and change. Next she took out a calculator, figured out the coupon value, added taxes and then figured out the difference between the amount in the register and the coupon value plus taxes. Took that number and discounted it off the register total and gave us the total.
Not sure why this technological wizardry was required considering we have used the same coupons at the Rideau Centre A&W without any issue or calculator shenanigans.
Next came the wait. The next order was taken and politely waited. Our order came up even before the the previous customers which we found odd. The previous order was only a Teen Burger combo with blue cheese. But somehow the blue cheese Teen seems to take longer to prepare than a regular teen. Go figure.
We found a seat in the nearly empty food court and dug into our food.
The Teen burger sandwiches appeared mediocre. Sure all the toppings were there but it appeared they were just stacked cause corporate said certain amounts of toppings had to be on there. Taste wise it matched the mediocrity that it was put together, nothing great, nothing bad.
The fries were the same improved fries found chain wide in the "Allen & Wright" gourmet marketed paper wrapping. Sure the fries were delicious and fine with a little fast food takeout style tomato ketchup. but at least accompany it with a decent burger. The fries now seem out of the league of A&W fast food style food and more in line with a higher value burger place.
Overall, this A&W needs a little assistance. 1 employee behind the counter serving a steady stream of customers with the lunch rush building seems a little off. Couple that with my later observations, after 1 P.M. of two counter employees standing behind the counter with no customers in line watching the world go by. Sure it may come down to tweaking the schedule, but I believe if management did this it would serve the customers better. Next, management needs to investigate the burgers being topped. How is it that Rideau Centre A&W makes a better tasting burger than Gloucester Centre or even St. Laurent Centre? Even better is these tweaks may not even need a calculator, unlike a coupon.
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