I'm guilty of shopping at chain stores, even though I know I should support local. This has become especially noticeable now that we live in a small town. We have a charming town square...
And plenty of small businesses, both in our town and the much larger neighboring city. When we first moved here, we ordered pizza from a mom-and-pop pizza shop. It went about like this...
They told me when I called they normally don't deliver on Mondays, but they'd make an exception because they weren't busy. When the pizza guy showed up, he realized he'd forgotten the credit card slip. He handed me the pizza and drove all the way back to the store to get the slip and bring it back. It was just...a mess. The store closed a few weeks later.
Last weekend, we tried again. This time it was barbecue. We called the most popular restaurant in town and got the message that they'd be closed until July 18th.
So we tried another local barbecue place that specializes in to-go orders. I Googled them, sure I'd find their website. Nope. All I found was a Facebook page that didn't even have a menu. How does a to-go place not have information online?
That's okay. We'd just call. I searched for the phone number and then found a picture of the business's front window. Once you get past the bad grammar, you see that they have their phone number posted in bold letters on the window:
We called the number. It had been disconnected. I looked at the business's Facebook page and saw a post from someone mentioning it. The business owner said he'd lost his cell phone and offered an alternative number. My husband called it. It went to voicemail, where a barely coherent voice told him to leave a message.
We decided to go with a chain restaurant.
I try to support local businesses, but they don't make it easy. As someone who regularly writes articles geared toward small businesses, it bothers me to see so many business owners fouling it up. For the record--if you're going to run a restaurant:
1) Have a website.
2) Have your menu on your website.
3) Have a working phone number.
4) Have a proofreader check your sign before you open your doors.
Do you ever get frustrated with poorly-run businesses?