When I drive up to your drive through, clearly ahead of the 10 pm closing, and I'm told by the staff that you're closed. The staff was standing in the parking lot smoking. My watch and car clock, both set to satellite time and therefore accurate, said it was before closing. Your well-lit store and prominent street sign said you were open. Everything said you were open - except for your staff, apparently eager for an early closing and a quick cigarette.
Did I mention that they were clearly far more annoyed with me for disturbing their early break than they were courteous to me?
Did I mention that this was the third time I'd come by before closing, only to be told that you were closed?
Three strikes and you're out applies equally to baseball and burgers - or in this case, to sandwich shops.
You spend millions in advertising to attract customers, but it only takes a few lazy crew members and a manager who turns a blind eye on early closing to lose customers you already have. But don't worry. I'll be sure to tell everyone I know (via this blog) ...it's the least I can do to repay your staff's courtesy and attention to service.
ADDED NOTE: I got an email from Arby's after I used their online form to file the complaint you just read. It was nice that they sent me a note. Not swift that they thanked me for my input instead of expressing concern that I'd had a bad experience - perhaps then suggesting that they'd get to the bottom of this for me. But then ... showing that they REALLY DO NOT HAVE A CLUE when it comes to customer service, they posted a harsh and aggressive confidentiality notice on the bottom of the world's most innocuous "customer service email" ... really swift there, guys.
Here it is - we report, you decide ...
Dear Arby's Guest,
Thank you for the feedback you shared with us regarding your recent experience at one of our restaurants.
At Arby's, your point of view and your experience matter to us.
Arby's Guest Support
Notice: This e-mail message and its attachments are the property of Arby's or one of its subsidiaries and may contain confidential or legally privileged information intended solely for the use of the addressee(s). If you are not an intended recipient, then any use, copying or distribution of this message or its attachments is strictly prohibited. If you received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete this message entirely from your system.
PS - nobody can send you an unsolicited email with any expectation of privacy - so not only is this strategically stupid, it's also legally indefensible.
I'm just saying ... go to Arby's at your own risk, knowing how deeply the staff and corporate management care for your comfort and convenience.