Recently, our middle-of-no-where town got a Panera Break Company (and this post is completely unsolicited by them). I love Panera Bread … it is as close to a European cafe’ that I have gotten here in Missouri. I love the atmosphere; I love the food; I love the bakery!!
Yesterday, I ordered our lunch from there “to go” (I am SO thankful for several gift cards generously given to us at Christmas by school families & friends). Anna had a doctor appointment to get to (30 miles away), and because she had a bad cold, she wanted soup. I didn’t have any at home – and no time to throw together something home-made, so we stopped by Panera on our way out of town. My “Pick 2” meal order should have included a sandwich, soup, AND a side of chips/baguette/apple (I asked for chips). We got our sandwich; we got our soup (broccoli cheddar, which btw, Miriam CAN NOT get enough of – we can’t shovel it into her fast enough for her liking!!) … but no chips. Not even an apple or a baguette. So disappointing.
Normally, I let things like this go … it’s a simple mistake. No big deal. HOWEVER, I’m not sure if it the fact that I’m now 40 years old and NOT GONNA TAKE IT any more … or it was just the spur of the moment idea – but I looked at my receipt and attempted to call the store from my cell phone. After 6 rings, no one answered. 😦
At the bottom of the receipt was a phone number for a survey. So, since I had 30 miles to drive with nothing to do, I called (although I guess I shouldn’t advocate being on the phone while driving??!??!?!). Anyway, there was a question that said, “Was your order filled adequately?” and I pressed the option for NO. They then gave me the option to speak/explain why. And I tried as nicely as possible to tell my sad story.
Fast forward to this morning at 10 a.m.: I got a phone call from the manage of our local Panera store, apologizing for the lack of chips in my recent order AND offering me compensation of a FREE MEAL! 🙂 I was secretly hoping that would happen, but I told the manager (Don, if you’re local; he’s SUPER nice!!) that I’d have settled for a bag of their kettle-y chips.
Well, since my SON woke up with a 102.8 degree fever this morning, he asked for SOUP for lunch … the really only thing that sounded good to him … and since I haven’t had a chance to buy or make soup since my trip to the doctor yesterday, it was off to Panera for a FREE LUNCH (who says there is no such thing!?). 🙂 Miriam was THRILLED to get more broccoli cheddar soup – and I was thrilled to not have to pay. Don happened to be at the register when we came in and I explained my situation to the order-taker … he apologized again and later came by our table to ask if we’d gotten EVERYTHING. He probably doesn’t want any more COMPLAINTS out of me!!
PS I can make broccoli cheese soup from scratch too … the recipe is here.