I recently visited the brand new branch of Five Guys in Reading and if I’m being brutally honest I’m not sure whether It lived up to the hype that had been building from everything I’d heard.
Let’s start with the good…The best bit of my whole visit was being served by Hollie…Or Holly, sorry if I’ve spelt it wrong…She went out of her way to help me when I had lots of bags and after having a bit of a bad day her cheery disposition really perked me up!
Now the brand does offer some great and unusual choices of burger toppings… grilled mushrooms, green peppers, fresh (i.e., spicy) jalapenos and the usual onions and pickles. You can also choose to have your burger “All The Way” which is with every topping…I highly recommend this for the full Five Guys experience!
The fries were great: thick-cut so they’re still fluffy and potato-y on the inside. The location is slightly out of the way of the main shopping centre area so you would need to know it’s there, but it’s a good addition to the centre, after we waved goodbye to the miserable Pontis cafe that used to be there.
The high-tech drinks dispensers are a joy… they make it possible to have all kinds of different drinks from one machine, which sounds like every other drinks machine but trust me…It’s much more fun!
Now for the bad… I was originally tempted in by a promo girl handing out leaflets, who told me that it was “real fast food!, So fast it only takes 2 minutes”…I was sold! Although 10 minutes later I was still waiting for my burger and a bit annoyed as I’d booked a taxi to pick me up which had already rung me once to see where I was…Luckily they agreed to wait.
Now for the ugly… In the 10 minutes that I stood waiting for my food, 4 members of staff were served theirs. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that they are able to eat there for their lunch and they probably get a lovely staff discount…But I’m the customer…I’m paying for a service which I’m not receiving because the staff are too busy serving the other staff. Normally I wouldn’t mind, but bearing in mind I’d already been lied to about the waiting time and the fact that there were close to 15 people ‘on duty’ in the kitchen at one point just really agitated me!
What made it so much worse, was that there was a member of staff stood next to the kitchen, chugging down a jumbo coca cola, who by his accent, telling everyone what they were doing wrong and just his general demeanour, I assumed to be someone who’s come over to the UK to “show us Brits how it’s done”…There is never an excuse for poor customer service…ever… and this guy clearly should have been leading the way!
I would return, purely for the food, not the service…unless of course I can manage to get the fabulous Hollie again!