On Friday, on the way to a camping trip, my family and I stopped at the Burger King in Wenona for lunch. We placed our order, then the kids and I sat down with our drinks as my wife filled hers. When she looked in her cup, there were large green and white chunks floating in there. She called me over to see, and I then discovered the same problem in the other cups too (which we had been drinking out of). I checked, and the junk was coming out of the ice, not the soda. It looked like mold to me.
I took the drinks up to the counter and complained. The guy running the counter was very polite and apologetic and got me new cups of ice from the untainted supply behind the counter. The staff at the counter started handing out cups pre-filled with ice to subsequent customers.
Here’s where it gets worse, though. About a half a dozen customers (either those who were waiting on their food or were already in the lobby) went up to the ice machine and got more ice from the tainted machine. I went up and warned each person about the problem, and most were disgusted but grateful for the warning. I went up to the counter and asked to speak to the manager. I told her that I really shouldn’t be the person warning people about the sanitation issue. Her response was that the ice was fine earlier, and that they’d take care of it when they weren’t busy. All I wanted was an “out of order” note to be placed on the machine.
The drink dispenser was the type that doesn’t make the ice itself. There’s a hopper on top that you have to dump ice in from the machine in the back. There was no lid on top of the hopper like there normally should be. I don’t know where the gunk came from, but without a lid on top, the possibilities are limitless.
I am now paranoid about fountain soda, and I’ve definitely lost my taste for the Wenona Burger King, if not Burger King in general. I wanted to file my complaint online at Burger King’s web site, like I’ve done for past incidents at other establishments, but on their site, there was no feedback form, no email address, and no postal mail address. All they provide is a consumer relations phone number. It’s a toll call, and I had to wait on hold for ten minutes. The associate on the phone was polite, took my complaint and forwarded it to the regional manager (or perhaps the assistant to the regional manager). I’m not anticipating any coupons or gift cards coming my way, since they didn’t take my address, just my phone number. At least if they call me back it will be on their dime.
Update: The manager of the store got my feedback routed to her. I wasn’t at home to take the call, but on the answering machine she apologized and offered a free value meal on my next visit. I didn’t call back, since I’m rarely in the area, and it’s certainly not worth a special trip for $6. I’m glad the feedback system worked, though.