Dear Editor,

As a loyal Royal Farms customer, I was excited to hear that a new store would be built at the roundabout in Chestertown in time for the start of the 2017-2018 school year, however, upon my first visit when I returned to Washington College in August, I was thoroughly disappointed. The Elm declared Royal Farms as its Hero of the Week in late September, but my experiences at this store have primarily been detestable and dissatisfying.

It is unfortunate that a company widely known for being “Real Fresh. Real Fast,” and delivering “World Famous Chicken” would open a new store without the proper training and resources. This new store is shiny and bright, and bigger, and more convenient than the store across the river in Kingstown, but don’t let that deceive you. Over the course of a week in early September, they ran out of fries, chicken, and other fresh foods. The hot chocolate and cappuccino machine was broken, there were no lids for fountain drinks and slushees. My friends and I, excited about this new store, were soon frustrated.

The employees do not deserve our gratitude if they do not show gratitude for our business. They often complain and appear miserable, and sometimes they have full conversations on the phone while I am checking out. I am a RoFo Rewards member, and the employees have, on multiple occasions, given away my free beverage rewards and points to customers in line behind me since they have not been trained properly on operating the registers.

I voiced my concerns to the Royal Farms corporate office and received an email response that was riddled with grammatical and spelling errors that left the message practically indecipherable.

I gave the store more chances. I probably visited it 15 times between late August and the end of September in hopes that things would improve. It has maxed out its strikes, and I came to the realization that this store is taking advantage of our community. It thinks that it can pocket our money without delivering quality products and good customer service in return simply because we’re college students who probably don’t care. Until these issues are remedied, I will be taking my business to the Kingstown location across the bridge, which, like the company’s 175 plus other stores, offers a consistent experience with great food and exceptional customer service.

Jake Vassalotti

The Elm

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