Wendy’s: Nothing special

So, we went to lunch at Wendy’s on one of our recent mid-week breaks. We were in Jurong Point and remembered that the latest fast food chain to hit Singapore, Wendy’s, has and outlet there. We decided that we should go take a look. Let’s see how it went.

First off, we can’t find it. We knew it was somewhere in the new wing and it was on the first floor, but we couldn’t find it in the building. So we decided to look outside the building and there it is, in between the new Jurong Point 2 and the Boon Lay MRT station. It’s just a small building on its own. Very small building.

We went it and looked at the menu. Not bad. There’s the usual suspects – beef, and chicken, and fish. The signature dish seems to be the beef burgers. The pricing is pretty decent (by fast food standards), roughly the same price as MacDonalds and Burger King. Alright, we’ll order a beef and a fish.

Let’s take a look at the queue first. Simple answer: Great! It’s the single queue system. The single queue system is the one you always see at banks. There’s only very long queue and multiple counters serving customers from it. The advantage of this system is that customers are always served in the order they arrive (FIFO) and no one will feel frustrated over picking the wrong queue. The opposite would be the usual multi-queue system that’s used in MacDonalds, KFC, Burger King, supermarkets, etc. Another great advantage of the single queue system is that the average waiting time for customers is actually shorter. For more information about queuing model, take a look at this wiki entry.

And we finally got to the counter to place our orders. This was where Wendy’s lost a lot of points. Their staff were clearly inadequately trained. There was no smiles from the service staff (SS) whatsoever. Then, when asked what was the difference in price if we were to change the drink from our combo meal to a Twisted Frosty, SS simply replied, “I don’t know.” Followed by awkward silence. SS did not even bother to find out the information for us. Only when we requested, “Will you find out for us how much the difference is?”, did SS proceed to operate his cashier machine and finally replied, “40 cents.” Very disappointing service.

Next, the seats. It’s terrible. Clearly, this particular outlet is targeting the rush hour crowd. There isn’t any proper tables and seats. Instead, there are numerous bar counters where people sit in a single row on high chairs. And then there are a few standing tables for eating while standing. This is not somewhere you would want to go for a nice relaxing meal.

Now, the food. We ordered a quarter pounder meal and a fish fillet meal (can’t remember their actual names), with fries and a Chocolate Oreo Twisted Frosty. The quarter pounder tasted decent but rather bland. The large beef patty did look appetizing and that’s about it. The fish fillet was chunky enough but it didn’t look nor taste much different from a BK Fish. The fries were quite terrible in our opinion. They were dry, hollow and too tough, not to mention our fries baskets weren’t fill to the brim (probably poor staff training again). Chocolate Oreo Twisted Frosty was nice but indistinguishable from MacDonalds McFlurry (except the chocolate ice cream). Overall, we gave the food a barely passing grade.

Here’s more about the poor staff training.

The first incident, there’s only about 3 groups of customers (including us) in the restaurant at that time. The unoccupied table and high chair next to us was covered in spilled drinks. We saw a cleaning staff standing near the in-store dustbin. We saw him looking in our direction, taking note of the spilled drinks. Instead of cleaning up the mess, he simply stood there. And continued standing there. By the time we left the place, he was still standing there. Clearly there’s work to be done and he’s not doing it.

The second incident, there’s a lot of noise coming from the kitchen. Things were repeatedly dropping on the floor. The sound of metal pots and pans knocking into one another. These sound were loud enough to be startling. The staff really needs to handle the kitchenware better. Again, not the place to go for a relaxing meal.

The third incident, our Twisted Frosty cup was broken and leaking. This was maybe the first time we’ve ever encountered a leaking cup from a fast food restaurant. It was really unexpected. I went back to the counter to report the leaking cup (still 90% full), half expecting them to give me a new replacement Twisted Frosty. I thought it would be a gesture of goodwill if they do. Nope, I was wrong. They simply gave me a new cup for me to stack my old leaking cup into, thus preventing the melting ice from dripping onto the table or floor. In effect, I’m still gradually losing my Twisted Frosty to the leak while I eat. Oh well.

And so that concludes our first visit to Wendy’s, full of negatives and just some tiny positives. We seriously don’t know what’s the hype all about. We might give them another chance probably at another branch, but the general first impression is a terrible one. Normal food, normal fast food pricing, terrible ambiance, terrible service. ‘_’



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