The Coast News Group
Chin's delivery has given us problems recently with their newly hired call center.
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We’ve stopped getting Chin’s delivered

I love the food at Chin’s Szechwan. We’ve been regulars at their restaurants for years, knowing the quality is consistently good and the atmosphere conducive to great socializing with our friends.

We cheered when they opened their Carlsbad location. Regular readers heard me praise their food and service, and how their manager saved our holiday dinner when DoorDash screwed up.

COVID, however, forced us to re-think our dining strategies. For the past two years we’ve done lots of takeout, but rarely do we sit in a restaurant anymore.

So why would a family that eats Chinese food 3-4 times each month go elsewhere? Chin’s apparently hired a call center to take our orders.

Our questions were being answered by someone many miles away. We’d ask them about special orders, and they couldn’t answer. Given their inability to ask the chef for details, this wasn’t surprising.

With six locations, some efficiency expert probably convinced management they’d make more money by centralizing and computerizing their order taking.

They may even be right. And perhaps I’m just being persnickety, but when someone’s working from a script and they’re giving out incomplete information, I protest.

So we tried ordering from Chin’s a few times and kept having problems. And then we stop ordering from them.

Sure, we’ll still go to the restaurant, or walk in, place an order, and come back later to pick up. But calling them and hoping they get things right? No thanks.

Requests for comment to the column went unanswered.

Today we’re ordering from other area restaurants. It’s broadened our horizons and exposed us to new ethnic offerings. Only Chin’s lost in this equation, which probably wasn’t part of their plan.

Regardless of how much automation we have in our lives, people still prefer personal connections and feeling like they’re talking to the actual people they’re buying from.

Meaning if you’re thinking about centralizing or automating your ordering process for a business that is highly service-oriented, you might want to think again.

Because I can guarantee you there are competitors watching your every move, and the moment you give them the opportunity, they’ll not only try to steal business from you…but they’ll succeed.

Actually, nobody stole our business in this case. Chin’s just gave it away.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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