Saturday, November 10, 2018

America's Worst Burger King?

Tillamook Burger King on a "busy" Friday in November
An adventure challenge for the brave... This is just my opinion, although many locals in the city of Tillamook have expressed similar frustrations, but the Burger King located in this town might actually be among the worst in America. I don't know. Could be the worst in the world... or the worst fast food franchise of any kind on earth. Or maybe it's just fine and my experiences (and those of the reviewers below) are atypical. Maybe you should visit and decide for yourself.



So here's my general take, starting with the location itself...

If you are seeing it, it's too late


Access

You can't get there from here. Well, not literally, but if you sit in the parking lot for even a few minutes you'll see car after car slowing down, signalling, and then giving up.  Why? Because the only road of note in Tillamook county is US 101, and this fast food restaurant has no access from 101. Yes, you read that right. You can't get there.

Technically, you need to turn 3/4 of a block before you get to the Burger King (or even see it, if you are headed southbound on 101)... or 3/4 of a block after you spot it if you're northbound on 101. I don't know how anyone finds it, really, but they do - because in the summertime it's pretty busy, And those aren't locals (who know how to get there) because this Burger King has quite the reputation,

OBVIOUS DIRECTIONS: If you want to see for yourself - and who wouldn't want to check-out America's Worst Burger King, just to see how bad it could be, you'll be looking for Wilson River Loop Road off of US 101 on the north end of Tillamook. There's a signal light there, if that helps. WRL road marks the southern end of the local Fred Meyer store, and you'll want to turn west on this road (left if northbound, right if southbound) -  then take the next left. You'll go behind and around Denny's to get to the Burger King. Is it worth it? Maybe if you're feeling adventurous... you know, you're the type of person who likes to walk naked through a jungle infested by disease-carrying mosquitoes... and cannibals. I kid. Anyway,  you might have a good time!

The Service

I don't want to be mean to anyone. These problems usually precipitate from the owners, and last I heard this one was owned by a corporation with hundreds of them, located several states away. They may have forgotten this one even exists. From what I've seen, it doesn't seem like they have decent local management, and I suspect the pay is quite low, too. As a result, they are chronically understaffed. So much so that the dining area is sometimes closed because they have no one to work the counter.

The seemingly low pay means that nobody wants to be there: they don't make enough money to pay bills, and the only people left are stuck there because they can't get a job anywhere else... in my opinion. So you have mostly unmotivated teenagers AND very elderly workers who are only there because some giant corporation or predatory investment company stole their pension, so now they're penniless and have no choice because they're too old and too slow to get hired by anyone else.

On a recent visit we were served by a pleasant elderly woman whose name was, I think, Mary. Mary was struggling a bit but her name was familiar. Based on her apparent age, I speculated that she might be the actual mother of Jesus.  ...Or maybe not, but you can't expect someone who can barely get around to do anything in a particularly speedy manner.

This is fast food, but you should expect wait times of 20 to 45 minutes to actually get something if there is anyone else being served. On a good day. I said "something" because it seems like you may not get exactly what you ordered. And I don't mean they forgot to take the pickles off. I mean, if you order a number 2 you may or may not get what's supposed to be in a number 2. On this occasion, I did not.

Sample Google Reviews:

"Have been to this location twice while my family were here for my husband's job... The service is so slow. Even for a lunch rush I shouldn't have to wait in line with 3 cars ahead of me. Friendly but slow. Too slow to be considered something quick to eat."

And

"Sat in the drive thru yesterday for 43 minutes several cars came and went deciding the wait was too long - and for fast food it was...when I finally got my order, then opened burgers our sourdough bacon burgers bread was dried out and not toasted, bacon raw, no sauce on one of them, Also fries and rings cold."

And

"Order was forgotten and disappeared off the board. Seating area all tables were dirty and garbage overflowing. Ice machine empty." (OBVIOUS NOTE: Sorry to tell you but they don't really have an ice machine. Basically, they have a tub on top of the drink machine which they fill with ice from a bucket from time to time. Where that bucket has been before it was used for ice, no one knows. The possible contamination routes seem abundant so I suggest you get your drink without ice).

And

"Omg---slowest burger king I have ever been to,..not even busy...I've never seen such a thing."

And

"Been in the drive thru for over 20 minutes, and that's AFTER I ordered. This place is consistently the worst ever."


I could go on and on but you get the point, and these aren't the worst reviews. One angry customer suggested that the employees fill their pockets with boxes of frozen nuggets and walk into the sea. And to be fair, there are many positive reviews there, too...possibly left by the management but we don't know. I mean, there's always a chance you'll get good service, especially in the off season when it's mostly empty because locals seem to know that it's not their best choice.

An off-season Friday afternoon
ADVENTURE ALERT: Look, you could just go to Tillamook's Cheese factory, but everyone goes there. You could go to the much-better-run McDonald's just down the street, but you can do that at home, right? This is an adventure! Will you get your food the same day you order it? Will it remotely resemble what you ordered?  Let the fun begin.  Afterwards, you could go to Zazzle and get  a t-shirt made that says "I Survived Tillamook Burger King" ... impress your friends.

CONCLUSION: You could just be brave. Make sure you have plenty of time to kill and that your health insurance is paid-up before you go, and take the plunge. However, I refuse to accept responsibility for any negative consequences. You're a big boy/girl and you're able to make your own decisions. You only live once, after all, and this Burger King will make life seem that much longer.


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