This week McDonald's is advertising free small coffees for all customers. As well, the Monopoly Game is also running with free prizes being periodically won by various customers including myself.
So I thought I would visit a McDonald's (450 Terminal Avenue, Ottawa) for some free coffee (this week's McDonald's promotion) and a free muffin (from the Monopoly Coupon I received from eating at McDonald's earlier). I approached the counter, passing by a large grey container on a McDonald's promotional counter, to place my order with what appeared to be a McDonald's on duty manager.
The Order: 1 Small Black Coffee and 1 Blueberry Muffin
The manager rang in everything and got out my Blueberry Muffin from the on counter display case. Normally I enjoy the Oreo Chocolate Muffin, but I didn't see any in the display case despite the case appearing almost full.
The coffee? The manager pointed over to the promotional display and explained coffee was free for the week. I was free to help myself. Normally to the McDonald's I have visited in the Richmond Hill and Aurora area (near Toronto) the free coffee is ordered at the counter and poured by the people behind the counter as if you were regularly ordering it. At this McDonald's, apparently the volume is so overwhelming you can pour your own.
I attempted to grab a single small cup and ended up with three. I had to separate the extra two cups individually before grabbing my single cup. I finally poured the coffee from the oversized bulk plastic coffee container you would find at any McDonald's special event. I looked for a lid, nothing, so I left figuring this location had cheaped out on the free coffee promotion.
The coffee was the usual tasting McCafe Coffee that McDonald's has been promoting for the past couple years with the free coffee weeks. However, this coffee was luke warm at best. Perhaps if this McDonald's, like its Toronto area McDonald's compatriots, would serve the coffee using it's existing counter staff, the coffee would be warmer and perhaps fresher tasting.
The blueberry muffin tasted like it had been in that display case all weekend and maybe even thensome. Usually, I find McDonald's muffins taste a little fresher than despite them being shipped in from who knows where.
This particular McDonald's, located inside the large Wal-Mart in the Ottawa Trainyards, I have been to at least three times now. I've never been really impressed as this location seems understaffed and overwhelmed when customers visit for meals. This leads to lengthy waits at the counter to order and obtain food. As well, issues with cleanliness with condiment and drink station, tables, floors and other eating areas also result It is a good thing that Wal-Mart store itself looks after the washroom as I highly doubt this McDonald's store management could keep it up to health standards.
Overall, this McDonald's needs help. Serving luke warm coffee from an oversized plastic thermos during a head office promotion sanctioned coffee will probably not attract future customers to switch from your competitor Tim Hortons to McDonald's on a regular basis. Issues with cleanliness and slow service also tend to turn off prospective customers from purchsing and existing customers from returning. Hopefully, this McDonald's can pull it's Ronald McDonald striped socks up and improve.