Now...I am a lunch person. It is no secret that we eat out 5 or 6 times a week and almost always it's lunch.
I don't care much about breakfast (coffee and toast will do) and I simply don't eat dinner anymore.
But lunch is very very important.
We go to many different restaurants and have a number of favorites.
The quality of lunch sets the tone for the day.
LUNCH is important.
And I believe that on Thursday, I had one of the WORST lunches I have ever had here in Columbia. EVER.
Here's what happened:
I went into town to do a number of things. I wanted to go to the Goodwill Store, I wanted to go to Home Depot and I had to go to the commissary to do the grocery shopping.
And here was my dilemma. I left the house early so I couldn't really go to lunch at one of the places on this side of town.
And I really didn't feel like driving all the way downtown. Plus, although I was not is a rush, I didn't want to spend the time dawdling over an hour long lunch like I would normally do.
So.....I got halfway downtown and I thought of Earth Fare. The warm, fuzzy, feel-good "healthy" grocery store. Now, I know, it is not my favorite place and the food there is some what unpredictable.
But I thought, okay, I just want a sandwich.
And I thought, yeah okay try Earth Fare. I'm right here. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, honestly, it turned out the be one of the WORST lunches I have ever had in this town.
I left a handwritten note for the manager of the store and this is a copy of the email that I sent their corporate offices:
Hello to Earth Fare:
I would like very much to tell you about my lunch at the Earth Fare store on Devine Street here in Columbia South Carolina.
I eat lunch out 5 or 6 times a week so I know the restaurants in town. This was not my first time at the rodeo.
Although I do shop there for just a few small items, I rarely eat at Earth Fare becuase the experience tends to be unpredictable at best and very negative at worst.
Out of time constraints and convenience, I decided (somewhat reluctantly) to stop at Earth Fare for lunch on Thursday, 5 November and unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the WORST lunch experiences I have ever had.
It was getting close to noon so the lunch buffet was pretty busy.
The staff appeared to be besides themselves, trying to do multiple tasks. The cashier in the lunch line was trying to ring up lunches, make coffees and smoothies. She was trying very hard to the lunch line was at a standstill while she blended strwberry-banana smoothies.
I went to the deli side and chose a turkey and bries sandwich. The disheveld looking young woman there was totally distracted, trying to heat up pizzas, fill deli orders and doing other tasks behind the counter.
She came around, pulled my sandwich out of the refigerator case, warmed it up ever so slightly in an "oven" and after adding a handful of stale chips that she pulled from a bag that was wadded up under the counter, the slapped it into a plastic container and literally shoved it at me and went back to other tasks.
The area around the deli was disgusting. There was an empty rotisserie case which didn't look like it had been used or cleaned in ages. There were crumbs everywhere on the counters and food was spilled along the lunch buffet. The "recycling" side where you are supposed to bus your own tables was stacked with trays, dirty dishes and plastic glasses. Food was spilled and no one was making an effort to keep the area clean.
My sandwich was cold and tasteless. The "chips were flat and stale. I couldn't finish it. I just gave up. This poorly prepared food was in no way worth the $7.61 that I spent.
I wanted to speak to the store manager but the place was very busy and I needed to be on my was because I had many errands to finish.
Instead I left a note in the "suggestion" box, explaining my very negative experience. I included my name, phone number and email address, hoping to get a responce.
I really feel this is a management issue and should be addressed.
The staff was overworked, rude and distracted. The lunch area was disgusting.
This needs to be brought to your attention.
Although I may still shop there for the few small items I like, I will NEVER try to eat lunch at Earth Fare again.
Thank you for your time.
I would appreciate a specific response from a real person about thism NOT just the standard form letter saying "thank yo for contacting Earth Fare." For a store that is promoting the warm, fuzzy, feel-good "healthy" eating experience, this was totally unacceptable.
Now hopefully, that will get someone's attention.
I did get a call from the district manager of Earth Fare but he left a message on my machine and I never did get to speak with him.
I don't know what he has to say.
Hopefully, he will call again.
I'm not even angry. I don't even want to go back there.
I will never, ever try to eat at "healthy" warm, fuzzy feel-good Earth Fare.
What a fiasco.