Off Topic: The downfall of Brueggers

Nothing new happening on the game front these past 2 weeks, games have been on hold for various reasons. In the mean time, I’ve got a complaint. When I was growing up, Bruegger’s Bagels was a fixture of the local community. As elementary school students, we went on a field trip to see how bagels are made. Over the years, weekly purchases of a dozen bagels was nearly a tradition. Some of the best breakfasts you could buy were from Bruegger’s, and always a nice clean place, with friendly employees and a delicious smell.

As life moved on and I moved about, I stopped going to Bruegger’s (also, I moved to an area with less of them around). So today when I was looking for some breakfast, and passed a Bruegger’s, all of those nostalgic, overly rosy memories came back and I stopped inside. It was a disaster. To start with, it didn’t smell like baked goods. Instead, the inside smelled like any other sterile generic food joint that you can find with your eyes closed. An odd mixture of corporate approved air freshener and lemon cleaner. Then the service was awful. I wasn’t even sure the person taking our order was listening to us until he started grabbing our food. He didn’t look at us, barely said a word, and never acknowledged a thing we said. The cashier wasn’t much better. Here’s a hint employees, when I ask how you are today, I’m not just talking to hear myself talk.

And then there were the prices. Breakfast for two people, an egg, cheese and turkey sausage bagel and 1 bagel with cream cheese, an iced tea and a milk cost over $10. More than $10 for something that when I was a kid might have just barely broken $6. Even worse than all of that was the food itself. Tasteless bagels, the same rubbery (possibly reconstituted) egg and soggy sausage from a steam bin that you get at any generic fast food restaurant, cheese that just barely had taste, cream cheese that was bland (and globbed on rather than spread) and lousy drinks. In less than 15 minutes, all of my fondness for Bruegger’s was crushed under the weight of corporate compromise.

What went wrong Bruegger’s? Was it your decision to lose focus on your core competency and start serving “panninis” and other generic crap? Was it some misplaced desire to cut costs by serving generic fast food swill? What happened that turned Bruegger’s from a local staple with quality food to just another generic fast food place? I don’t know, but apparently I’m not the only one who’s noticed. A google search for “Bruegger’s going downhill” turns up a number of reviews and comments that this appears to be happening across the country. What I do know is that I won’t be going back to Bruegger’s again, a sad end to a great place.

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