So, Burger King. Despite being a foodie, I generally don’t bother with fast food joints. For some reason, I popped into a branch of Burger King one Sunday afternoon in Essen, Germany. (Ah, the irony of wanting to grab some food in a town called Essen.) Those of you who do not speak German will not get the pun.
Note the month.
It is now November.
On entering the restaurant in question, I noticed that the female member of staff at the counter had huge hair, going right down to her trouser belt. IMHO – not hygienic. There was also a hair on the counter. No, it was not mine. This one on the counter was long and black. I am a natural redhead, with a standard short back’n’sides haircut.
I decided to go elsewhere for a burger and coffee. As this is a health and hygiene matter, I decide to let Burger King customer service know they have a problem in their
branch restaurant. Reference xxxxxx duly logged.
“You’ll hear from us within 14 days,” they assured me. “Our staff should have hair covered or tied together, of course.”
Over a month later, nothing back from the branch. Another chaser call to BK customer service. Turns out my Gesprächspartner is also a pad’s brat like me. We end up having a pleasant chat about Hanover and various garrison towns. He assures me he will escalate, and I will hear from the
branch restaurant within a week.
Another month came to pass. Another phone call to my fellow pad’s brat.
In the meantime, I had been to the same restaurant in September. Still the same hair hygiene problem. Recidivist offenders. This second offence was reported to my friend at customer service.
Early October (finally) a reply from the restaurant. What sweeties!
- They thanked me for my email. (How nice!)
- Customer satisfaction is important to them.
- Hygiene too.
- They have briefed their staff again about standards required. (Wonderful to hear.)
Next visit was at the start of October. Male employees only – all wearing baseball caps.
Fast forward to first Sunday in November.
Go back in time. Two female employees, one at the counter, one in the food preparation area. Long, voluminous hair, right down to the trouser belt in both cases.
This time, email to the environmental health people at the council, to the restaurant and also to BK customer service and my fellow pads brat.
This morning, another chase call to my buddy, who assures me, yes, heads should be covered and/or hair tied back. He assures me he will escalate again to area manager and higher.
This afternoon, a somewhat quicker reply than the last time. This time, a rather curt reply from the CEO of BK Germany. I am honoured. He’s a Dr …. Not a medical doctor, but a lawyer. I understand that every German lawyer is a Dr Schmidt, etc. He tells me that head covering is not necessary, and that the environmental health people (who came to visit the branch because of my complaint to them) say so, too. Fortunately he says they will still welcome me as a guest. How cute!
Another call to my pads brat friend. Wir verstehen uns so gut, dass wir uns duzen! Herrlich!
Our man assures me once again that HQ rules on hygiene state hair should be tied together. “You don’t want a hair in your burger, after all?” Hey, you’re dead right there, Kumpel. Very perceptive.
Yet more keyboard-bashing from Disgusted of
Tonbridge Wells Düsseldorf. First, reply to Dr Burger King, the CEO, quoting federal Government directions on food hygiene, bcc’ing BK customer service, FAO: my fellow pads brat. Then a mail to forward Dr BK’s reply onto the environmental health office at the local council, ask them to confirm or deny Dr BK’s assertion. Schatz is a Dr med. She thinks uncovered heads in a kitchen is disgusting and unhygienic. Who should I believe on hygiene matters? A medical doctor, or Dr BK? You decide.
Watch this space for instalment 976 in this sorry saga. Hair we go again…
Have a hygienic day, won’t you!