I wander into Braum’s a couple of times a month for various things from their side-of-the-store market: for instance, I am fond of their 9-Grain Bread, and I prefer their pickle slices for my own sandwiches. I have not, however, stepped into the restaurant area in at least a year, and while I really hadn’t thought about it, maybe I’m unconsciously reacting to a decidedly mediocre customer experience:
Its storefront experience is mediocre, just like any mediocre national fast food chain. The menu has hardly changed in the last 20 years. (Check out the three salads on offer) The stores’ interiors are stuck in the 90s and lit like operating rooms, which has the unfortunate effect of making the stores simultaneously sterile and dirty. In my experience, the bathrooms aren’t clean, the dining rooms aren’t particularly clean, and the crew’s aprons are covered with fast food effluvia.
Which suggests things haven’t improved much since the last time I had to complain about one of their stores, about eleven years ago:
[T]he staff at this particular location [address redacted, but it’s at the link] were suffering from (yogurt-induced?) brain freeze; they botched, by my unofficial count, six of eleven orders during the twenty minutes I stood there waiting for them to botch mine. The shift manager, brow furrowed to a depth somewhere below sinus-cavity level, had apparently given up any hope of whipping this motley crew into shape, and was concentrating on cleaning up the grill area, which at least had some potential for accomplishment.
I still like the food. But Hades and the soft-serve machine will have to reach mutual temperature equilibrium for me ever to set foot in that store again.
It helps that I no longer live over that way, but you may be certain I have not returned to that store.
And while we’re on the subject: I bought a box of Ice Cream Bars a couple of months ago. There was a distinctly, for lack of a better term, greasy aspect to the chocolate coating, as though they’d been dipped in a can of Spry; I reasoned that they’d secretly replaced some of the chocolate in the recipe with
Folger’s Crystals vegetable oil, and vowed to buy Something Else, perhaps Somewhere Else, next time. I have no idea if they’ve seen the error of their ways, but the price, which hadn’t budged from $4.39 for several years, has now risen by a buck. Packaging looks mostly the same no references to “Original Recipe!” or anything like that but I’m just ever so slightly distrustful.