I've recently had a rash of unsatisfying experiences with Warrensburg's fast food and casual dining restaurants. It seems like almost anywhere I order from, my order is in some way messed up. And even ordering it on the app doesn't seem to help. It's not one restaurant either. It's a bunch of them.

Last night I finally lost my temper and cursed and yelled at no one or nothing in particular as I drove back to McDonald's to get an order of fries that were left out of our bag. I was pretty steamed, but I just asked for the fries and moved on. It didn't seem worth the time flapping my gums and complaining about it to the manager. And how much good does it really do?

But it's not just things missing from an order. It's serving lousy food. That's more of the problem than stuff missing from the order. For example, we put an order in one night at about 8:45 PM for some items from Sonic. A little later in the evening. Yes, I know. But Sonic's food is almost on point so why not?

Yet, Kathy wound up with a burger that just wasn't good eats. And a couple of weeks later I got a grilled chicken sandwich and that just seemed like it had been lying around. So I guess Sonic after 8:00 PM is a no go?

Then there's the pizza I got from Fazoli's a week ago. It was overcooked and the crust was burned. Not well done, burned. And since again, it was a little later in the evening and the restaurant was closing there really wasn't a way to rectify the problem.

Of course, you might say, you know what the problem is. And tell me what do I expect when I order at 8:45 at night? Or provide the simple solution of making something at home. And also point out that it would be healthier and probably tastier too. Or make an excuse for the restaurant's employees that they're understaffed.

And ya know, there's some merit to all of that. You do risk getting that fast food sandwich that's been sitting around at 8:45 PM. And I could get home at 7:30 PM, walk the dog, get caught up with my wife, and then cook dinner if I wanted to. And yes, I understand that the restaurant industry is struggling to find good help these days.

But, if you're open at 8:45 my sandwich should be as hot and tasty as if I ordered it in the middle of the dinner rush. Cooking dinner at 8:00 PM isn't all that an appealing idea for Kathy and me. And frankly, while I do have sympathy for those working fast food who are working their ass off, the understaffing really isn't my problem. And it's not an acceptable excuse to get orders wrong, or worse, serve food that maybe should be thrown in the garbage.

In the grand scheme of things, it's a first-world problem. And I think I'm frustrated because despite staffing shortages, and supply chain issues, for the most part, I like the restaurants I've mentioned. I've gotten tasty meals at these places at all different times. So it's kind of like, what gives?

That said, it's not all bad. I want to give a big kudos to the Wendy's on Maguire Street. That place, or at least one of the managers of that place, goes out of his way to make sure the order's right. And if for some reason, they can't give me what I want, he's gone out of his way to make it up to me. It's almost too much. Just being aware of it and trying to make it right before I pull away says volumes to me.

If you manage a fast food place or work at one, here's a secret: I appreciate the offer of making it up to me if you make a mistake. or you forget to give me an item. Or you give me an item that isn't acceptable. Except, I'd rather just have the order right and tasty in the first place. Because that's truly good customer service.

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