Friday, October 30, 2009

Boston Market ran out of chicken

Sunday or Monday, a friend forwarded an email to me, with a link to some coupons for Boston Market. In response to KFC giving away a free piece of chicken on Monday (which I totally forgot about), Boston Market had coupons for a chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and cornbread for a dollar. The coupons were good till Sunday, November 1st. And of course they hope that you will also buy a drink (which I did), and maybe an extra side item (which I did not). So I ended up spending about three dollars for every coupon I used, which is not too bad.

Tuesday I went by myself. There was a big line. I didn't think that I was the only person with a coupon, but I thought maybe without the sale being mentioned on Oprah, maybe there wouldn't be quite that many people. But, I was prepared that there might be. Other people seemed surprised at the line. That's always funny to me. What, you thought you were the only one who got that email about the coupons? And I suppose that there were a few people there who didn't have coupons and were just wondering what was going on.

Anyway, there was a line, but I was impressed how fast the line was moving. They just assumed that most people had a coupon, and they seemed prepared to deal with it. I got done with lunch a lot sooner than I had planned on, so I was able to run a few errands before going to the library.

Wednesday we went together to a different location, and there was not as much of a line at first, but later there was. Again, they seemed prepared, and the line moved quickly.

Thursday, we went to the second location again, and when the cashier took our coupons and our money and our drink orders, she says something like "Is meatloaf okay?"

Well, I rarely order meatloaf, but okay. It seems that they had gotten so efficient at selling the cheap chicken dinners that they had run out of chicken, so they were substituting meatloaf. Another customer in line told me that he had been to another location where they were substituting turkey.

Again, the employees were quite efficient, so maybe they will run out of meatloaf and turkey as well.

Anyway, substituting meatloaf is probably a better solution than putting up a sign saying that they wouldn't honor the coupons at all, as KFC did. I still haven't received my rain check on that one.

Whatever. A cheap lunch is a cheap lunch, and I have just printed out more coupons for the weekend.


dmarks said...

I remember when "Boston Market" was called "Boston Chicken". I suppose it might have been more embarassing with that name ("Boston Chicken" runs out of chicken!")

I was once at a Burger King that ran out of whoppers.

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

I didn't know that Boston Market had issued coupons? Very cool!

Ananda girl said...

That's great that they honored them by subbing in meatloaf. I would have been mad if I'd gone all the way to a place and found out there was no deal at all. I'm adaptable and calm as a general rule and would have been glad to accept that deal. I think most people would. Cool beans laughing.

dmarks said...

Well, isn't the whole point of these deals it get people into the restaurant so they like it and will come back? By smoothing over things with meatloaf, the Boston Market makes itself look good.

Not like those KFCs during the Oprah thing where the staff were rude and nasty to the customers.

laughingattheslut said...

Well, I went back to the first location, where I had turkey, and other people had meatloaf (which was two slices instead of one like at the second location). They had run out of chicken, and mashed potatoes, so this time we got red potatoes.

People were walking in with more coupons than they had people, and they still wanted to get a meal for every coupon. I would have just read them the part on the coupon that says "one per customer per visit" and sent them away. But the employees told them to go back to the end of the line if they wanted to use another coupon. So most of them did.

I guess going back to the end of the line means it is another visit?

Anyway, I went back and told them that they were doing a good job.

dmarks said...

I've hardly ever seen a Boston Market, and don't have one near me, so I sat this one out.

laughingattheslut said...

I've been listening to and reading about what other people have had to say about it.

Here's a complaint: somewhere on the email it says something like "present coupon or mention coupon before ordering" and some people are thinking that means that you don't actually need a coupon, just mention that you heard about it.

Well, I took that to mean that you are supposed to make sure that they know you have a coupon before ordering, so that they know to get you the food that is part of the special, not something else and not an extra side that you don't want to pay extra for. I have seen similar things on other coupons, and I didn't think other people would take that to mean that you didn't actually need to bring the coupon with you.

Some of the locations are tired of the drama and are letting people get by with that, just as some locations are letting people buy more than one per customer if they stand in line a second time or tell you that the other one is for someone waiting in the car. There's no reason that they should have to do that, and some of them are not. You need to bring the coupons with you, and all of the customers need to come into the store (or the drive thru). You don't get to pick up dinners for your whole family if your whole family didn't come with you. It's odd to hear people complaining about this, especially since most of the employees are really trying their best this week.

laughingattheslut said...

We went to the second location again Sunday. This time, they had chicken. Though, I did notice a sign on the door that the night before they had closed early so that their employees could take their kids treat-or-treating.

I wonder if they had planned to close early before they started running out of food. Halloween isn't usually one of those holidays that you close a business early for the employees to spend time with their familes.

Anyway, we were going there on a Sunday, and I guess that we got there before they opened, and there was this line outside.

Plan B. Go to across the street to Taco Cabanna.

Anyway, I figured that while we were having lunch at the taco place that the line would have gone down some at Boston Market. We could go back and get two dinners to go and put them in the fridge for later.

Okay, it was still a long line, the longest I had waited in so far. But I decided to wait anyway. I was curious to see if they were still out of food and such.

The supply truck must have come, because they now had chicken and mashed potatoes and the sodas they had run out of and everything.

Speaking of sodas, people were stealing them. The employees are working their butts off, and people are getting water cups and putting soda in them instead. A lot of soda, not just like a sip or two while they were waiting in line.

And here I felt bad about not buying a soda to go with the dollar meal, but at least I wasn't stealing a soda.

dmarks said...

I guess some free food is not enough. For some people, it opens up a "plunder the restaurant" mentality".

educated said...

I am currently @ a Boston Market in Flushing NY and now not only is there no chicken, no .... :
.. Corn Bread, Potatoes (of any kind -sweet, mashed, rosted-), stuffing, corn, salads, napkins and is getting even less in the options.

Now they're offering Turkey and meatloaf (reduced servings). Considering all the above mentioned, there is a big line (20 people or so). I guess they need to come up with an solution or perhaps a new name, maybe "No More Stuff Market".

Ashley Jacob said...

Boston market is really flurishing these days during spring.