As much as I love lunch, I absolutely hate lunch places with a system. I went to Chop't yesterday. It’s a salad joint and their gimmick is that they chop your salad up for you. I had no time to survey the situation before I was swept into their loud line. I was in a slight panic not knowing what it was I was supposed to do when I approached the front. I was able to reach a paper menu before being swept forward, but it did not include any specific instructions. I quickly scanned the menu of suggested salads, not knowing how to order a custom one, so when I reached the front of the line and a harried employee asked me what I was having, I had an answer for him. And that’s where the orientation ended. Having reached this point, most customers seemed to know how to proceed.
I had to wait for someone to bark “Ma’am” at me to know I was to proceed forward to the salad making area, at which time I was once again asked what I wanted. I had forgotten the name of the salad I selected so had to do another quick scan, which was met with an impatient sigh. The ingredients were all laid out on a cutting board and then, this is the magic part, the employee proceeded to actually chop my salad into bite-sized pieces. I would even venture to say that these were smaller than bite-sized pieces. It’s as though the creators of the restaurant knew how much time and trouble it takes people to actually chew their food, so they actually began the mastication process for us. Thank you, Chop't!
After being presented with my salad, I was to then proceed yet again through the line. A nice young guy ahead of me, pre-chewed salad in hand, asked me if I knew what to do at this stage. I did not -until I heard the familiar, impatient “Sir” and “Ma’am” coming from someone else in the line. I proceeded to someone near the front of the assembly line and she asked me what I had ordered. Oh boy. I had to scan the menu again, only to, once again, be met with an impatient sigh. At this point, I was so stressed out I had practically lost my appetite. Although I had cash, I felt that the time it would take me to extract it from my wallet would be cause for yet another sigh, so I quickly and efficiently handed over my debit card. At this point, I was afraid to ask for a beverage, fork or napkin. I sighed, and figured I could find these things back at my office.