Sunday, 4 January 2009

Hough Retail Park branch review 24/12/08

After nearly a month of operation, I decided it was time to visit the newest addition to Staffordshire's arsenal of KFC's. I assumed that by now the new team would have had plenty of time to assimilate protocol and most importantly have learned to build a good quality Zinger Tower Burger.

The Hough retail park branch (Stafford's first drive through) was heralded by an article in the local publication the Express & Star. The paper has a circulation of roughly 130,000 so giving the restaurant nestled in the county town's Eastern enclaves a good publicity boost. For months there had been palpable excitement amongst Staffordians who had clearly been whipped up into a frenzy of euphoria by this rousing comment from a KFC spokesman, “We look forward to opening this new restaurant which will offer the convenience of a drive-through facility.” Indeed!

I braved the Christmas eve crowds and arrived at the restaurant shortly after one in the afternoon and took up my place in the queue. I was seventh or eighth from the front and resolved to spend what I assumed would be a short time queuing to visually appraising my surroundings.

The restaurant was beautifully appointed with warm red and orange colours and some seldom seen soft furnishings as well as areas of more traditional seating layouts. However it was around this time that I began to become aware of what would become a litany of errors and failures so large that to be properly managed they would need catalogueing and indexing.

Firstly, the restaurant had made utterly no avowal to the festive period with neither decorations nor any attemp to find a CD of christmas music. This was in sharp contrast to the Loughborough branch I visited on New Years Day, the entire interior of which shimmered with gold and silver decorations.

By this time I became aware of the sluggishness of the queue which had hardly advanced since I took my place in it. I began my second visual sweep of the premesis and saw a sea of litter strewn tables as is so often the case. Slowly I advanced to the head of the line and placed my order of a hot rods box meal with gravy upgraded of course to a zinger tower.

I had calculated the price to be £5.09 upsetting as it breaks the psychological five pound barrier but in fact I was charged only £4.99. This mistake appears to have been head offices who've printed all their Hot Rod box promotional literature with a tower up option at 40p extra and not the 30p which it actually is. I have subsequently noted this has been stickered over.

I left the counter, meal in hand towards the anciliarry items area to furnish myself with napkins, freshen ups, a spork, pepper and a straw. There were however no straws to be found and I was forced to sip from a flimsy cup which of course has lost a lot of its structural integrity when the lid which acts as somewhat of a brace is removed.

I managed to find a clean table and set about unpacking my feast to be greeted not by the gravy I had requested but a pot of coleslaw and neither was there any sign of my cool herb dip. There was one error that worked in my favour but it was an error nevertheless and should not be excused. They had included not one but two hot rods with my meal which I suppose went some small way to compensating me for my suffering.

And the burger? A 5 at best.

In short, a restaurant best avoided

1 comment:

ALbad said...

Two Hot Rods and no gravy! This is madness!