Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The unofficial rating of stores and restaurants doing pickup during COVID-19

Disclaimer: The rating is only for those stores where one of us has actually used their pickup service.

Kroger (10/10): Amazing. They have it down to a science, at least at our Mt. Orab store. The only thing I can nitpick (-1) is that the wait time has gotten longer as more people use the service. But (+1) they have waived the service charge for the duration of the COVID crisis.

LaRosa’s (10/10): Pull up, give your name, get your pizza, bye bye.

Sam’s Club (9/10): It's slick and it's quick. The only issue is it's hard to tell when you're out of something.

Chipotle (9/10): Would have been 10/10 but the last time Joe went there they didn’t have our order ready. Still, the food was awesome.

O’Charley’s (9/10): The only issue was they were out of some menu items. But they called to get me replacement items. And from my point of view the meal wasn't going to be made or broken by a Wedge salad. 

The food was amazing.

UPDATE NOW (3/10): A second trip to O'Charley's confirmed Joe's gut reaction on the first trip "I felt like I got lucky on the delivery - they didn't really seem to have it together.

They had a system issue. That caused a 30 minute delay - beyond the 30 minutes the system told us we would have to wait. The steaks were almost raw, the salmon was cold and they gave Beth the wrong food. The only reason I didn't rank them below Lowe's was they gave us $10 off and two bags of rolls. 

Meijer (6/10): They don’t have a spot dedicated for pickup item parking (-1) so you have to text back and forth with your Shipt shopper. Also, they charge for the service (-1) from the first time and every time. That said, our Shipt shopper was very nice, and sent texts back and forth when they were out of what we wanted. 

Meijer recommends tipping the shopper. I don’t mind that. As I said, she was very nice and she did a good job. Between that and the fee I was $10 behind Kroger before we ever got started.

Lowe’s (2/10): When Joe went to pick up our new lawnmower they put the box next to the car and said “Sorry, you have to load it yourself.” That would have gotten them a 4/10, but the woman who told Joe he had to load it had an attitude like “Duh! Didn’t you know that?” (-1). 

Fortunately Joe is an engineering student and was able to figure it out. 

Also, the time I went to pick something up it took two phone calls. The first one went to the land of the quick busy signal (-1). Mind you, that’s what happens half the time I call Lowe’s for anything.

The only advantage to pickup at Lowe’s is – you get your items. There was a line halfway around the store when I did pick up. It was 6:45 and the store closed at 7:00. I’m not sure what all the people in the line were doing, but it’s safe to say it wasn’t math. Maybe I’m the only one who does Algebra when I’m waiting in line (There are 15 people ahead of me in line. Ten minutes ago there were 17 ahead of me. It is currently 6:45 so my ETE – estimated time of entry is – 8:10pm. I'm out.).

But I digress.

The final advantage to pickup at Lowe’s: People in line stand about one foot apart and don't wear masks. Not getting COVID-19 in their line is an advantage of pickup, but does not earn them points.

Arby's (0.5/10): We went there recently and ordered two fish sandwiches. They gave us one fish sandwich and one Greek Gyro. How is that even possible? They don't look the same, they don't taste the same and they don't even share a single ingredient. You screw up half my order you get half a point.

Final note. It's local, but it still counts:

Roothouse Aquaponics (11/10): We order and pay online. We walk over there. As we walk up the driveway someone meets us with our order. And the lettuce, cilantro, microgreens and tilapia are delicious. Way beyond what you can get in a store. Bonus point (+1): Sometimes the dog comes out with his ball and we play catch.

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