Tough Love for Manny’s

First off, let me say: I’m a fan of Manny’s Deli in Chicago.  I first visited Manny’s in December of 2008.  I had heard that it was then President-Elect Obama’s favorite deli in Chicago.  I even posted my compliments and a video right here on the Turkey Sandwich Report.

So with that said, it pains me to drop this bomb: The Manny’s Express at Chicago Midway International Airport absolutely blows.  And when I say “blows” I mean that it sucked to the highest degree.  By far, the worst Sandwich experience I’ve had since Snarf’s ripped me off.   I made Manny’s aware of this situation via Twitter a couple nights ago.

Here’s what happened:

I was in Chicago, travelling back to Denver with a co-worker.  It was Dinner time when we got to Midway and had enough time for a quick sandwich.  We were flying Frontier and Potbelly has a shop just inside security but as usual, had a line out the fucking door.  We got in line anyway, gave it minute and then I threw out the idea of walking down the Southwest terminal to try our luck at Manny’s.  My co-worker, who probably trusted me on my Sandwich recommendations because I have a blog a Turkey Sandwiches, politely agreed.

We arrive down at Manny’s and notice there’s an issue.  Two people are pacing back and forth and visibly pissed because they’re waiting for their food.  I asked them what they ordered so I could avoid that choice.  But their choice of food wasn’t the issue.  The issue was the two workers behind the counter who couldn’t give a shit about getting that person’s hot dog out within a reasonable amount of time.  These people ended up asking for their money back.

We step up to order and my co-worker goes for Manny’s specialty: Pastrami.  I hedged my bet and got a slice of pizza that had been sitting under the heat lamp.  At least I could see what I was getting and knew I had a chance of getting it quickly.

Let me also take a minute to acknowledge the customer service, or should I say lack there of.  Let’s get this out of the way: Airport food courts aren’t exactly known for their “service with a smile” – but this was beyond ridiculous.  Much like the hot dogs that it took forever for them to make, they couldn’t give a shit about their empty beverage cooler or their slower-than-a-turtle sandwich preparation pace.

Right from the moment they pulled the Pastrami out for my co-worker’s sandwich, I knew we had a problem.  When Pastrami looks like bacon that has been sitting in a pot of coffer, there’s an issue.  But what they fuck do I know about Pastrami?  Not much, so I kept my mouth shut.  We get back to the gate, he takes about two bites and throws it away.  Total embarrassment on my part.  Here I am a “Sandwich Expert” and I had clearly led this guy astray.

To Manny’s credit, less than 5 minutes after I tweeted my disappointment of my experience, they dropped me direct message to get the lowdown.  So this is my message to the folks at Manny’s:

Your Deli at Midway doesn’t even come close to your Deli in the city.  If you can’t deliver the same experience then either close your shop at the Airport or name it something else so it doesn’t drag the Manny’s name down with it.  And if you can’t improve your food and service, you can expect Potbelly to continue kicking your ass for the foreseeable future.

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