My local sushi restaurant, Me Love Sushi, has been open for about a year and a half and located in Swiss Cottage, not far from where I live. As well as being a restaurant, they offer a takeaway service and a free delivery service. The free delivery is for those who live within two miles of the branch and spend a minimum amount.
As a regular customer of this restaurant, I have eaten there, taken away and taken advantage of the free delivery service. I consented to receive SMS messages from the restaurant advertising any offers that they may have. The April offer was that they were offering a token allowing £5 off the bill for the next time I dined in the restaurant for every delivery they made to me.
A couple of weeks ago, I walked into the branch, made an order for greater than the minimum spend on the free delivery, showed them the SMS I had received and asked for the token. I also said I would wait for the food to save them making the free delivery. I was told that that I could not have the token if I took the food away, it was only available for delivery. I said this was nonsense as the delivery was free and I was saving them some effort in making the delivery. Another member of staff, overhearing the conversation, confirmed that this was the case. I was not in the mood to argue at that point in time, so I raised my eyebrows, went home and awaited my free delivery complete with token.
This may have been the end of the matter, but the company also has a Facebook page. On one of their updates, (April 14) they promoted the April offering. I thought it was worthwhile me making a comment on this. So I stated:
Can someone explain to me why this idiotic thing occurred last week? I walked into the Swiss Cottage branch to order a takeaway and asked for my token. They said they could not give it to me as the tokens were for delivery only. I therefore went home and awaited my free delivery. This seems to me a ridiculous state of affairs.
The response I received was as follows:
Hi Michael, it is a delivery promotion, if we gave a voucher for every take away we would be giving 1000’s out every week. We need to be able to control how many vouchers go out or we would not be able to cope when everyone wanted to dine in and use them. i hope this answers your question. Kind regards
This was not good enough for me. I wrote back:
Thank you for your response Mark, but it does not really answer the point I was raising. It seems to me utter madness that in order to receive the promotion that I had to obtain a free delivery. This was unnecessary on your part. It would have saved your delivery staff the time and effort of making a “free delivery” if the branch would had let me take the food away.
It reminds me of another ludicrous story I heard recently from a friend. He had a computer with a separate keyboard and, while under guarantee, the keyboard broke. All he wanted was a new keyboard, but the company that supplied him refused to do so. They gave him a whole new computer with a new keyboard instead.
However, I should note that I would be wrong in my accusation of corporate madness if you have different prices for delivery as opposed to takeaway. Can you confirm if the prices are the same or different.
This received the following response (spelling errors left in place):
Michael, thaks for your response, I do see your point of view but there are many reasons behind our promtion, of which i cannot go into on here. 1 for example is we have a minimum spend which we do not have on takeaway. Anyhow, to answer your question, the delivery price is currenlty the same as takeaway.
Being slightly bemused by all of this, I asked for more information:
Thanks Mark, but the response of minimum spend is not sufficient in the case that I experienced as my spend was clearly above the minimum as I was entitled to free delivery.
I can understand you wishing to promote your delivery service and I accept there is a possibility that my complaint is relevant only to people who live inside the free delivery zone and spend greater than the minimum but for that category of person, treatment such as I received is simply bizarre.
There is the possibility that your delivery staff are underutilized and that they are sitting around doing not much and hence this makes use of them, but even still, in my case, it made no sense not to allow me to take the food away and receive the token.
You mention that you cannot elaborate on this public forum as to the reason for your position, I should therefore be grateful if you would send me a message explaining why the behaviour of your staff in relation to my request, which I assume was based on rules set down to them by company management, was not as idiotic as I believe it to be.
Given this communication was nearly a week ago and I have still not heard from them, I wonder if anybody here can think of any good reason why, in order to receive the token, they insisted on making a free delivery and did not let me take the food away.
Any responses would be gratefully received as would other examples of what may be perceived to be corporate madness.