Except for Chipotle, which tends to have excellent customer service, most FF places service tends to be a reflection of the soci-economic area in whihc the restaurant resides.
there are exceptions, of course, but as a rule - the crappier the enighborhood, the crappier the FF joint.
One exception was a McDonalds I went to in Howard County, MD. Afluent neighborhood, terrible service. I think the "assistant manager" was a child. He didn't know his own menu. I asked for Hot Picante sauce - he said, "what?" "uh, we don't have that." I said, "you serve breakfast burritos, right?" he said, "yes." I said, "it's the sauce you give out every day with that order." "Oh, I didn't know what that was." ......Assistant Manager. The girl at the window didn't know what it was either. I left, but when I found they had given my Root Beer instead of Diet Coke (after a huge wait in the drive thru - car piling up behind me because it was so slow - and they kept taking bags back and then giving new bags, it was clear they were screwing up orders). I went in for an exchange because I can't drink sugared soda. The manager said, "sorry." So I figured, ok, I'll ask about the hot picante sauce. Oh boy!
In my view, it was being run by teenagers - hence the issues of ignorance and inability to solve problems.
But, regardless, I stand by my statement that the worse off the neighborhood, the worse the FF service. I've seen it all too clear here in my own area - which has an incredible gape between wealthy and priveleged, and the poor and disadvantaged.
I think Chipoltle avoids that pitfall because it's not a franchise, so there's no locally owned and operated variance happening between franchises. But, Chipoltle, as a corporation is also less apt to open in places it thinks will be trouble or have high liability. In some places, they even avoid college areas to avoid the late night drunk rush and the garbage that ensues. Rather, will open several blocks away, to get the collegiate business but not so easy for a drunken stupor.
<message edited by Scorereader on Tue, 06/7/11 6:02 PM>