I'm sure we've all experienced poor service at one time or another. Sadly, the bad experiences seem to outweigh the bad in the world today.
Blame it on burnout, stressed out workers. Blame it on poor training and lack of follow up. Blame it on lack of any work ethic which results in a workforce of people who don't care of they perform well.
Unfortunately, all of these things play a factor in the workplace today. Too many huge companies that don't take care of, or pay attention to, their employees mixed with workers that feel unappreciated lead to poor service, slow response times and lost revenue.
Even employees with strong work ethics are being dragged into this vicious cycle of unstructured, absentee management enabling lazy, inefficient workers.
Employers seem to micro-manage everything or step back and refuse to manage at all. Most employees would probably say an approach somewhere in the middle works best.
In this story, a Cracker Barrel employee actually liked his job and was offering good service but was fired for it. Perhaps the management should take his lead and allow their employees to "comp" customers on occasion to build customer loyalty & satisfaction. I'm not saying every shift but allow them 1 or 2 comps a month that don't require approval and then require manager approval after that. Sure would make employees feel more vested in the company of they had some empowerment to do things for customers if they think it's warranted.