Hold the cheese! Hold the dairy!

Please don’t charge me more; but, also, do not make me an exception to a policy. Establish a sound policy, and make sure it is taught. By taught, I mean chain-wide, not store-wide or shift-wide.

It took several trips to the local Jack in the box on three different shifts to find anyone who could successfully navigate their own nutrition chart to identify items with buns that did not contain dairy. The charts were plain enough; but, did not directly reflect many of the items. Matching the items to the menu, and the application of some consistency at the grill was more difficult.

One employee in three shifts, He is a bright young man and I have pointed out to him, that unless someone is whispering in his ear about a great future in the national chain, there were several ways to move up. He should have no worry in the future world.

The dairy-free bun at Jack’s is called the signature bun. It is still not clear that all shifts operate the same way with how they build things. Some of their menus have “Buttery” in the name, and in addition to what appears to be this bun, they spread it with butter before final heating.


Other shifts have assured me that I don’t need to say “do not brush it with butter”… still, I’ve been told otherwise. Personally, I am on a lettuce wrap diet these days; but, my son has an intolerance that we consider. Fortunately for us, we’re doing a lot less Jack in the box these days.

I want to talk about how this store handled the situation created by my actions which started out with a comment make through the link on Jack’s receipt. There was a complaint in there about not just how things went on my latest visit with a comment specifically about the manager’s attitude. A new manager was brought in to the main shift, and when he met me, he made me an exception to the “rule” of changing customers extra for the signature bun. The rule being that it was a line item with a price, in this case, one dollar. I have always insisted that it was a substitution and not an additional item. It’s not like I get two buns.

There are currently two ways this request can be communicated to the kitchen. The most acceptable way is the way it was done the first night someone confirmed that the non-dairy choice was “the signature bun without the buttery brush”, The two instructions where indicated with a question mark, sometimes two, on the receipt, and a verbal communication to the cook. Nobody ever assumed two buns. The signature bun on a sandwich at Jack’s isn’t an upgrade. Lot’s of companies have signature buns…


Okay, bad example. I’d pay a buck for one of those.

Back to the story, the new manager came in the day shift. According to a confidant, he had initiated an order in the store of “don’t mark”. It was his policy, supposedly that he had established, of not marking. The result, the substitution of a signature bun for a particular menu item, cost $1. What resulted was that I, as the customer, was put in the spotlight of all food-handlers in all three shifts, as an exception to the dollar charge. Honestly, the night shift continued to mark. If ever there was a target for spit in a sandwich, you might think that I’d be it. There was absolutely no reason to call me out on it. Over the next three or four months, this new manager waited on me directly many times, even taking over another employee’s register to handle me. He made a great point of me not being charged the dollar, a couple of times grabbing receipts out of hands to inspect, one time over-riding the register and yanking a dollar and placing it in my fingers before I could even see… the mistake had been made.

He’s gone now. He left Jacks after five years. The young man that first helped us establish a non-dairy choice, is still there in an off-hours shift. He’s still as polite and helpful as ever. From where I sit, the wrong guy left. Jack’s if you’re listening, he shouldn’t be hard to find.

I was in today right around what must have been a 2:00 shift-change. Two of the ladies who are familiar with “how I’m handled” were there, as one was waiting on me for what may have been the first time. It didn’t take any effort on my part for the method to handle my order to be communicated. My receipt was marked.

It would be so much more conducive to doing business if I were simply the customer and not the guy always needs his order marked. McDonald’s apparently has a signature bun now. I’m quite sure their signature bun isn’t Jack’s signature bun. Lettuce wrap for me, please. Bacon and cheese? Yes. Please. But, not when I don’t ask for it.

In closing, let me say, Jack in the box, your signature bun isn’t anything special. It doesn’t even have milk it it! (J/K)

30 year career in data, analysis, architecture, transformations, migrations, replication, using Oracle, Sybase, SQL Server, DB/2, XDB, Informix, Ingres, Seed, SQL DB/4381, and others. Nobody buys a database. People buy solutions. AWS is my network.

Leave a Reply