When you see this - keep walking

Went to Earth Day Dallas this afternoon. Took the train there so as not have to deal with traffic. Was a nice ride. Only mistake was that we didn’t eat before we left, so we were hungry when we got there.

Walked around some, with an eye towards finding something to eat. We didn’t see much to begin with, so when we saw Freebirds World Burritos stand, we figured we were in good shape. Not so much. They advertised a “veggie burrito”. Shame on us for not asking what was in them. They were $5 each, and $3 for a bottled water. We sat in the shade, and took off the aluminum foil wrapper. The tortilla itself was a nice green color, I figured cilantro lime or something of that nature. I hadn’t ever tried their Burritos before, so I was hopeful I had another good choice for a vegetarian meal. I bit into it and got white rice and some black beans, a piece of cilantro. Bit into it again, got white rice and some black beans. My wife said , “well maybe the sign said vegetarian burritos”. I said I didn’t think so. She was having the same experience. I was hungry and continued to eat. Got another bite of sticky rice and even less beans than previously. I HAD to say something.

I went back to their stand, and said to one of the ladies behind the counter, “these burritos don’t have any veggies in them”. She said “that’s right”. I said, “But I would expect veggie burritos to have veggies in them”. She said “Oh, well not everybody likes that.” I mumbled “What?” She said something to the effect that they have to appeal to many people, and not everyone like veggies in them. I said “vegetarians do, that’s why we get veggie burritos”. She then started to tell me something about “the standards”, and that they can’t offer them with veggies. I was getting completely confused. “You see,” she continued, “we can’t put everything in them, like some people don’t like onions, so we don’t put them in, because we have to please a lot of people”. I’m sure I had a pretty stupid look on my face at that point, as I couldn’t believe the nonsense she was passing on to me. I muttered an “ok?” and walked away, throwing the rest of it in the garbage.

Then my wife went over. She tried to explain to them how she felt that the way they had advertised it was misleading, and while she was sure they wouldn’t change it, they really should. At that point, a man that was in the booth next to them talking to someone else (I guess he was someone in authority, as he was wearing a “Freebirds World Burritos” T-shirt) spoke to my wife for a few moments. She left, came back over to where I was (tweeting to my massive 89 followers to be sure not to eat there if they went to the festivities) and threw the rest of hers away. The man came over to us and offered to give us our money back. “You see, in the store, people can choose what to put on them”. I told him that really wasn’t the point. I wasn’t having any of it. I told him I appreciated his effort, but I pay for what I eat, and that my disappointment was over the top as a result of this, and getting my money back wasn’t acknowledging what was going on. My wife told him again that while she was sure they should change the way they advertise them, she was pretty sure they wouldn’t. He didn’t say one way or the other, but just wanted to try to make it right. I thanked him again, but told him no thanks. He politely said, “well ok, enjoy the rest of your time at the event”. We thanked him and moved on.

Freebirds – I guess technically having beans in the burrito makes it a “veggie” burrito. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make it that  in my mind, or in the minds of many other people I know.  Please also take the time to train your people on site how to respond to complaints like this, rather than have them ramble on about something that I’m guessing they don’t understand themselves. It certainly made no sense to us.

You’re in business to make money – I get that. Don’t take advantage of a situation like this and sell something that for all intents and purposes is not what it’s advertised. Heck, if you can’t bother to do it right, don’t do it at all. I wasn’t looking for a mouthful of sticky carbs, I was expecting some sautéed vegetables.  Was it worth it to you for the 10 bucks? It wasn’t for me.  

The good part is, that before we left, we went to Chipoltle and got what we wanted – for less money.  

Earth Day Dallas is open tomorrow, Saturday, 4/23/2011. If anyone reading this happens to be going, if you see this booth in the picture above, do yourself a favor and keep walking by. About a block up there is an area with food trucks with much greater choices. If you do stop at their booth, please be sure to tell them that I DIDN’T send you there.

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