Service of Custom-Made Fast Food at Pain Quotidien

May 15th, 2023

Categories: Customer Care, Customer Service, Fast Food, Restaurant

On my way to pick up a friend who had a few pulled teeth and surgery on her jaw requiring anesthesia, I remembered how she liked the yogurt at Le Pain Quotidien. She didn’t realize what she was in for. The day before she suggested that after the procedure we have tea at this, her favorite place. Knowing we’d not be going for tea after such an ordeal I didn’t want to alarm her, so I said “sure.”

Dashing in to buy some—a last minute thought because there’s very little that she will eat under any circumstance, soft or not–I stopped when I saw the granola on top. I knew that granola would be an insurmountable hurdle for her that day and probably that week. As luck would have it, a young man—Martin–was adding sandwiches and straightening the offerings at the branch on Third Avenue and 44th Street.

This isn’t a deli where the counterman or woman can leave out the onions in a salad or add mustard and mayo to a roll or slice of rye. Salads and sandwiches are made to grab and go. I hesitated to bother Martin and am glad I did. Turns out he is a chef. I asked if it would be possible to remove the granola and explained why. He agreed about the circumstances and didn’t hesitate. He said he’d have to ask the manager about the price and disappeared in the back.

Minutes later he returned with just what I’d requested.

I’m not a fussy eater and have never asked for an adjustment in an establishment like this. I was happily surprised at how accommodating Martin was. Do you have similar examples of custom treatment at a fast-food restaurant?


7 Responses to “Service of Custom-Made Fast Food at Pain Quotidien”

  1. Helen Said:

    My favorite place on the planet is Village Fare in Brookline. I especially love the Greek salad with grilled chicken. They know me so well that when I call the gentleman who answers says Hi Hon! There’s enough grilled chicken on my salad to feed several people. In fact they are going to be supplying the food for Georgie my parrots 40th birthday party end of June! They’re like family.

  2. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: Ha! I’m laughing because just yesterday we had the very opposite experience. Ordered KFC, a day in advance as suggested, for our backyard Mother’s Day festivities (so hosting mom wouldn’t have to cook) and despite asking for all extra crispy we got only original recipe. But so glad your experience was better.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I suspect KFC was inundated with orders on Mothers Day while I had the advantage of arriving at Pain Quotidien at an off-hour when the restaurant was pretty empty plus I was there in person which may also have made a difference.

    That said, if any restaurant offers options such as “extra crispy,” they should fulfil or remove the preference from their offerings.

  4. TC Said:


  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I couldn’t agree more. I covered this topic in a previous post Here’s an excerpt:

    “I bought one Danish pastry the other day and paid with my credit card. The gadget that accepted the card asked me three times if I wanted to add a tip. What part of NO did it not understand? I paid top dollar for the treat and didn’t think that placing it in a small bag warranted a tip. I’m not usually a grinch. But the prices here are high enough that owners should pay workers a decent wage and not foist on customers the responsibility for paying counter help. In any case, I tip in cash.

    “A friend who inspired this post resents being charged for ice in a cup when she’s ordering other food. She was hit with an ice charge from a takeout place the other day. I know her: Her orders are never small.”

  6. Jeanne Said:


    They deserve your business. Good for Village Fare!

  7. Lucrezia Said:

    I don’t recall making special requests. My visits are rare, but the staff seems friendly and reasonably efficient.

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