Monday, December 10, 2007

Jimmy John's ...no me gusta!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Jimmy John's is not the place for me. I'm not one to use this blog to go on a pessimistic rant, but I'll make this one exception. A couple of weeks ago, a Jimmy John's restaurant opened across from North Park, next to the Starbucks. I wasn't pumped about its opening because 1. their subs are below average and 2. I wanted a Potbelly or Chipotle to open up instead.

The fact that almost anyone could go to their local grocery store, buy an Italian bun, iceberg lettuce, and sandwich toppings and get an end result as good or better than their subs is only one of my annoyances with this establishment. Another would be the atmosphere of encouraged obnoxiousness found on their signage and in their employees. I've never been a fan of too many antics to try and force a customer to "have fun" in any business.

I'll take a Southwest flight, but I don't want to play any games with the flight attendants while we scramble for plane seats. I'll go to Cold Stone, but I'd rather not leave a tip, lest the entire staff breaks into a song for the tipper. I refrain from ordering a shake at Potbelly because it often results in a screaming match between employees to make sure the shake is being made...size, flavor, you name it, they'll scream it. Call me crazy but I just like to get my food and get out.

The other day I thought I would give Jimmy John's one last fighting chance, and - I kid you not - I walked into a nightmare of all my pet peeves realized. The door hadn't even closed behind me before about 10+ workers (squished behind a small counter) all gave me a big hearty hello all at once and then continued to say "welcome," "hi," "how are ya," "hola," in extremely random and intolerable silliness. With what I'm sure was a look of confusion on my face, I proceeded toward to counter, to read over the menu and see what I wanted. At this point, the man who must have been the manager literally came from behind the counter to stand beside me doing a song and dance the entire way up. He ended with extended jazz hands and a request for my order. I said I wasn't ready yet, could I look at the menu? "Want to tell me and then I'll tell her!?," (referring to the girl at the register) he asked with bubbling excitement. WHAT!?!?! Then he told me that I should get a #12. When I decided I wanted a #4, the girl asked if I wanted cheese for an extra charge. A $1.20 extra charge. I told them I'd just go somewhere else.

You'd think they would have turned off the antics when I wasn't responsive to their attempts in the beginning. Maybe they are just supposed to be weird. It's just so not my style. What I want to know is 1. do people actually like Jimmy John's food and, more importantly, 2. do people really enjoy the strange mix of customer service on steroids and "fun" in the workplace when you're just trying to get a meal? It just seems a little ridiculous to me - maybe I'm just super boring.

8 comments:

Amy and Andrew said...

I hear you. Call me crazy, but whatever happened to good old fashioned professionalism?

Alli said...

You know, I have to admit that I like the Beach Club at Jimmy John's. Usually when I'm going to Jimmy John's though, I'm going to one downtown at lunch hour-maybe they are too busy then to be obnoxious? I'm not sure...

In any case, any place that offers avocado on a sandwich doesn't rank TOO low on my list...

linnea said...

okay...although i do agree that i would rather have a chipotle there (no more double parking at broadway and belmont!) i have never had that sort of experience at jimmy johns. i've always loved their food (especially the tuna salad) and i love the french bread and the avocado spread and sprouts. i guess you can make the same thing at home but just like many other places, you are paying someone to just do it for you. i would also choose jimmy johns over subway and potbelly any day.
if its any consolation, the only time that i have ever been to the new starbucks next door, their employees were the most obnoxious i have ever met. they were talking to me like i was their new best friend and asking me all about my plans for the weekend. maybe there's something in the water in that building.

Sally said...

yeah, I find jimmy john's to be totally overrated and also would have appreciated a chipotle there instead...

as far as the antics - if i want that i will go to ed debevic's or wherever... i don't need all the craziness for an average sandwich...

oh chipotle...

Liz said...

I actually like Jimmy John's sandwiches but I could do without the craziness of getting food there. I've never experienced the song and dance at one but I have had people yelling at me that I was taking too long and that everyone needed to hurry up.
I like the idea of a chipotle being in that spot instead but then I would have to buy all new clothes from gaining so much weight from eating there every day. :)

melissa said...

sounds like we all share your sentiments of wanting a chipotle nearby...i'm with you on crazy antics, although i can't complain too much about jj's - i've only eaten there once and although i was completely unimpressed, wasn't attacked by their crazy-psycho employees, either. sigh.

Anonymous said...

sarah. that manager with the beard, after i told him that i dont like root beer, he told me that he is going to have root beer babies-lots of them and went on and on. drove me crazy.

but i do like me some jimmy johns.
and i still cant quilt:(

-hannah l.

Sarah said...

Hannah, that is EXACTLY what I'm talking about! It was that same guy who was the ring leader this time too!

I'm still trying to plan a quilting retreat/weekend maybe in March or April sometime. I'll keep you in the loop.