Owner responds to Steak ‘n Shake’s self-service controversy


Early Wednesday afternoon, social networking website, Facebook, erupted with comments from the community voicing their opinion on the new self-service procedure at local Steak ‘n Shake, a chain which is known for servers delivering to the table delicious steak burgers and mouthwatering milkshakes. Thus beginning the controversy of a decision made by owner, Rita Morgan.

The controversy began when a photo was shared on a popular blog of the new self-service system. In the posted photo was a piece of paper taped to the door at local Steak ‘n Shake which stated the restaurant would be going to self-service. Further explaining the procedure in which customers would order at the register, receive a receipt, find a table, wait for their name or number to be called, and then proceed to pick up their food from the same counter the order was placed; much like any other fast-food restaurant.

The controversy developed as people began to disagree on whether this casual restaurant should go to self-service or stay the same.

“I did not want to change and make the decision to go to self-service. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but it was what I had to do after receiving so many bad reviews and being so badly ridiculed on a local ‘Cheers and Jeers’ page,” explained Steak ‘n Shake owner, Rita Morgan.

The negative reviews of Steak ‘n Shake’s lack of customer service and the long period of time people had to wait to receive their food have been constant since the restaurant opened their doors a year ago, thus driving Morgan to make this drastic decision to go self-service indefinitely.

“I care about my guests and I care about the community of Texarkana. I was not trying to offend anyone. I simply want every guest to be happy and have a hot meal,” said Morgan.

The debate continued with a vast array of opinions which also included disagreement with the hand-written note posted on the door. The note garnered negative comments from the community, as they deemed it unprofessional.


“The notice on the front door was intended for management and employees only. It was something we did in the moment in order for every employee coming in to understand how orders needed to be rang up and how costumers would receive their order. We were not trying to compare Steak ‘n Shake to Burger King or McDonald’s, we were just trying to explain how the system worked. It was not meant to be seen by costumers. Unfortunately the note was posted. It was very unprofessional and I take full responsibility for it.”

The decision to go to self-service raised many questions in the community, including questioning the training procedures for employees and whether the training was just simply unsuccessful.

“We have a training program that we try to follow. We train every employee with paperwork and then we test them out, it’s the same process for everyone. I wish I could say this training process has no flaws but that would not be true,” explained Rita. “I’m looking at myself in the mirror and I want to pull the team together.”

Owner, Rita Morgan, has high hopes the new self-service procedure will cut waiting time drastically, and the community of Texarkana will be able to enjoy delicious food without the wait.

Morgan also shared plans of hosting an “Open House” at local Steak ‘n Shake in order to provide the community with a chance to voice constructive opinions and suggestions which will help the success of Steak ‘n Shake, and allow people to enjoy dining in or picking up their meal through the drive-thru.


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