When dissatisfied with a restaurant experience, Mark Spadaro isn’t willing to stop until he gets what he wants.
The retired Navy man drove to the Oak Harbor Jack-in-the-Box Aug. 9 to pick up a large order to bring home to his family. The fast food feast was going well until his daughter, Virginia Lockard, 28, bit into something hard.
“She was eating a chicken fajita pita,” Spadaro said. “She said ‘like, what is this!,’ and spit it out.” Holding up a small piece of plastic about the size of a peanut she asked, “Dad, what is this?”
According to Spadaro, he and his wife along with their daughter lost their appetites when they saw the foreign object. He brought the leftovers back to the restaurant, where the manager offered to refund only $3.79 for the fajita.
Spadaro showed the receipt for the entire meal, which cost $29.46, and said he wanted all his money back. “She said $3.79 and I said it cost me that much for gas to come back here,” he recounted.
According to Spadaro, the local manager told him she had seen similar plastic pieces before. He theorized it may be part of food processing equipment.
“It’s tough,” he said. “I worry about the kids who might bite into one.”
Not satisfied with the local offer, Spadaro took his food back and called the Jack-in-the-Box regional office in San Diego. He was transferred to the quality control department and received an apology, plus the promise of a full refund to arrive in the mail within 10 days.
Before the refund arrived, Spadaro received a FedEx box containing a special envelope in which to place the mysterious piece of plastic. “They said they’d never heard of it before,” he said.
The local Jack-in-the-Box manager said she is not allowed to talk to the media, but Spadaro said his experience should be known by others.
“Our community needs to know about this so they’ll be accountable for it,” he said.
Jack-in-the-Box director of corporate communications, Randy Carmical, confirmed Spadaro’s story in an email last week. “We sent the customer a stamped, self-addressed FedEx box for the object for investigation but have not received it yet,” he said. “We did refund for their meal and are working to resolve the situation.”