UPDATE: It’s been almost 24 hours and I’ve had time to cool down and think about this, and you know what, I wouldn’t change a word of it. And for Firehouse Subs executives reading it, it’s the highest tracking story of the day all over America. Here’s just some of the cities it’s been read in today:
I have been contemplating taking a copy up to the Mesquite and Rockwall stores for the franchise managers, but I figure they’re already having enough problems with corporate to know how they’re losing business because of bonehead thinking.
How Firehouse Subs Lost My Business and Pissed Me Off
If this wasn’t a family oriented blog, my first response to who ever is running the Firehouse Subs Twitter account would be F*** YOU.
Firehouse Subs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In 2011, while I was doing work in Huntsville, AL, I discovered the #8, Philly Steak and Cheese combo from Firehouse Subs. One day I even had one for breakfast. Yeah, I don’t make real good food choices and I have a waistline to show it, but I was away from home and that sandwich became a form of comfort food. I always got the combo, a tea, and then a bag of Lays sour cream and onion potato chips.
When I got back home to Dallas, I was disappointed. We didn’t have any here. Then one opened in Rockwall on I-30. And yeah, I would drive 30 minutes from Mesquite to Rockwall at least once a week or so to have one of these sandwiches. Well, not every week. I did take my three girls. Once. They didn’t like what they got at all and all three have refused to go back. But not me.
Then, about two months ago, the sun came up on Mesquite, Texas and they opened a Firehouse Subs off I-635.
For about the first week or so, I went in about twice a week. Same thing, a #8, no shrooms, but all the other stuff, a tea and a bag of Lay’s sour cream and onion potato chips. Yeah, I still make bad choices when it comes to health, but this sandwich is that good. At least to me, and the chips just bring out the flavors of the meat.
Then, about two weeks after the store had been opened, the Lay’s sour cream and onion chips disappeared. They have the baked plain and then a bunch of others that just don’t work as well. I think I might have gotten Lay’s BBQ once, then just got the plain, but it wasn’t the same and I soon stopped going as often. I asked one of the staff what was up and they said they were out of them. Weren’t sure why.
Then I went to the Rockwall store again and they were out, too.
That’s when I sent a Tweet out to Firehouse Subs saying basically, “what’s up?”
Well, it appears that not having sour cream and onion potato chips is a corporate decision.
Whoever runs their Twitter account wrote back : “ Don’t fret friend, change can be good. We have two new chips Lay’s Kettle Cooked Regular & Kettle Cooked Jalapeno Cheddar.”
But here’s the part, Firehouse Subs, I don’t WANT kettle cooked regular and certainly don’t want jalapeño cheddar chips. Not with your sandwich. Not plain. Not ever. This isn’t a real-life reenactment of freaking Green Eggs and Ham.
So today, wanting a Philly and cheese sandwich, I settled, and went to Subway. Now, before anyone at Subway starts thinking they need to get all excited, I don’t much care for Subway either. I can barely stand that nauseating smell that haunts every Subway store in the world, so I don’t go there often anymore either. But after a long morning, needing lunch, and wanting a Philly cheese, I went to Subway in Mesquite. The store was steamy, messy, cramped and I wanted to get out of it as soon as I walked in, but they did have what I wanted–the sandwich and the corresponding chips.
So, I sent out a tweet saying I was at Subway, getting a sandwich and complimentary chips that I cannot get at Firehouse Subs because they don’t think customer feedback like this is important.
A friend of mine from Mobile tweeted a few minutes later that I was being “picky.” And yes, while I have devoted more time than is deserved to this–I’M PISSED NOW–I’m even more upset that Firehouse Subs chose to “Favorite” my friend’s Tweet.
Then they added a bullish** quote about “change being the only constant human experience.”
I just answered back with a quote of my own.
THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.
But in the words of Celo Green, Firehouse Subs, Forget You.
You’ve lost a customer. And now there’s a blog suggesting that whoever is running your Twitter account can frankly kiss my ass.
I figured that at the rate I was going, I would visit one of your stores at least twice a week, maybe eight times per month, and I was averaging about $11 per visit. That’s $88 per month and $1,056 a year, give or take. But it’s me who isn’t going to be giving or taking anymore of your food. Even if you got Lay’s sour cream and onion chips, it’d take a lot more than that to get me back in the door given the responses on Twitter.
The restaurant chain was started by fire fighters. I respected that and thought the thematics and marketing was pretty clever. But there’s something else that should be considered. As firemen, you don’t get to pick which kind of a fire or emergency you get to go to, but as a customer at your restaurant, I do have the option of deciding if I’m going to patronize your business.
Maybe you can stay in business by pissing off your customers. I don’t think that’s a sound practice, but hey, knock yourself out. Maybe there’s a massive rush out there on Lay’s Kettle Cooked Regular & Kettle Cooked Jalapeño Cheddar chips that I don’t know about nor will ever understand. Regardless, I hope this has all been worth it to you.