Thursday, May 24, 2012

Yes, I want fries with that.


Dear Fast Food Restaurants,
French Fry season is just about full swing, when busy families like ours simply have no other choice than to buzz through your drive through.  Not that we don’t enjoy it, because we do.  You have done an amazing job making your food mouth-watering and delicious, and I stand by my sentiment that anyone who says they don’t like french fries is just a just a downright, two-faced liar.  We are Americans and have been raised to crave salt, fat, and sugar.  There is no one better than you to give it to us.
As I said, we’re just about in that time of year when our family dines more frequently than we should at your establishments.  It seems we’re always running from this game or to that event, often times changing clothes in parking lots.  The back of my vehicle has been filled with the necessities of the season, from baseball gloves to concert attire.
My point is that I personally struggle to keep my family going to where they need to be and have them as ready as I can at any given moment.  This also means that they need to eat swiftly and cleanly, because chances are we have about 4.2 minutes to eat our dinner without spilling on themselves before rushing to wherever we need to go next.
It is for this reason that I beg of you to please, please, please stop messing up our orders.  If we order a drink, please give us a straw.  If we ask for a burger, please remember to put it in the bag.  If we have an order with two bags, please remember to give us both when we stop at the second window.  If an item requires a fork, please stick it in there so I don’t have to eat with my fingers and drive.  And for Pete’s sake, think about it—if I order three kid meals, don’t you think we just maybe could use a couple of napkins???
Like many people I know, we have tried to combat your forgetfulness with our own stockpile of supplies acquired also by your mistakes, such as when we order two coffees and you give us five straws.  These extra straws are stored away in what I like to call the “supply cabinet” of the vehicle, the glove box.  I have also squirreled away extra napkins, salt, ketchup, barbeque sauce, plastic silverware, and those little coffee stirrers which have at times doubled as any necessary utensil.  Without this hoarded accumulation, we would be in trouble more often than not.
My request today comes with more than just complaints, it comes with a solution.  Obviously the simplest answer would be to just stop botching up the orders and have extra training in condiments and accouterments.  I know this isn’t always possible, so here are my slightly brilliant ideas: 
Treat your value meals the same way you treat kid meals.  Instead of putting in a little toy that will inevitably end up wedged between the seats of my car or tossed out with the wrappers, make the adult meal’s prize be a nifty little baggie containing all of the necessary items to enjoy their meal on the go.  
And I know this is asking a lot, but add a third window as a last-step check point for your patrons.  It could simply be a place where we could stop and politely review our order so that we don’t find ourselves steaming mad, screeching tires through your parking lot and storming into your restaurant and ripping sixty four napkins out of your dispensers (because that’s how many come out at once—are you aware of that?) or worse yet, bounding up to the counter to demand the french fries that you forgot to put in our to-go order.  Because, as I’ve mentioned, they really are pretty delicious.  Even when you only have thirty seconds and a coffee stirrer.

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