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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Post # 168 - Whataburger: Whataboutaresponse - 7/2/2010

Pam, the Group Director, Communications, replied in the comment section on one of my Whataburger posts.  Her note is below, followed by our dialogue, which followed. ---------------------------
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Post # 124 - Whataburger Experiment: Whataboutanic...":

Stephan (Jerry),

I hope this note gets to you. I work for Whataburger and tried to respond to the previous post back in May, but apparently it did not post to your blog. Please e-mail me at ________or call me at 210-___-____. I will make sure you get an answer to any questions you may have. I apologize for the delayed response you have received so far.

Sent: Friday, July 02, 2010 7:45 PM

To: Pam C.
Subject: Whataburger Response


Thanks for responding. I'm a realist. I understand that when company hire teens to deal with customers, they also hire all of the baggage that comes with being a teen. I'm not sure if that's what we experienced or not.

All I know is, that's what I think of now, when I think of Whataburger. We stopped at the same restaurant twice--once on the way down to Florida, and once on the way back. Very positive experience on the first stop--we had also been to one in Phoenix, so it wasn't our first time. Loved the way the menu was set up. The burger was very good. Restrooms were clean, tables were clean.

The second time was a different story--seeing her do that really rubbed us the wrong way and sent a bad message to my kids.

On top of all of that, no one ever responded, which made me feel that no one cares. Obviously you found my blog (or someone looking out for Whataburger found it). That actually impresses me. If the people reading and responding to email were only so engaged...

If it was a server thing where messages weren't being received, I can understand that, I guess. But each time, I received a confirmation, like the one attached. Otherwise, I really don't see an excuse for not responding.

I'm sorry if I seem overly sensitive about this.


From: Pam C.
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 08:22:34 -0500
Subject: RE: Whataburger Response


Thank you for giving us another chance to respond to your concern. Again, I apologize for the lack of response to your website inquiry. I will be looking into this and find out where the break-down occurred and correct it as soon as possible. We truly do want to hear from our customers and actually try to respond to inquiries that we receive within 48 hours of their submission.

To address the original question that you submitted in May, the team member who threw the French fries away should have simply let you and your family keep the fries and the salads. Our policy regarding a situation where an incorrect order is served, is to offer the food to the customer as well as the correct order. Due to food safety reasons, it cannot be served again. I’m sorry that the team members decision to throw the food away put into question the values you have taught your children. I can certainly understand how that would be frustrating.

I hope that you will give us another try and that we can work to earn your business and make up for any past mistakes. We appreciate you writing and letting us know about your experience. Our customer feedback is critical to us improving our operations.

If you have any additional questions, please just let me know.


Pam C.
Pam C.
Group Director, Communications
Whataburger Restaurants LP
300 Concord Plaza
San Antonio, Texas 78216
To: Pam C.

Subject: RE: Whataburger Response
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 20:39:45 -0400


Thanks for your explanation. What you said makes sense for our situation, where the food was actually on our table.

In the case of a tray on the counter, I always assumed that a carton of fries is technically still not in "customer zone" and could therefore be placed back in purgatory for another customer. I've seen that happen at other establishments and thought nothing of it. I don't really know why I'm bringing that up. I pay attention to those kinds of things.

I see Whataburger does its share of Humanitarian work. That's good to see--it hits close to home in Michigan, where food banks are running out of food. As for what you can do to help me, there isn't much right now, since there are no Whataburgers in Michigan. I'll pass along your feedback though--it's only fair.

Thanks again!


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