I don’t ask much of fast food. I only ask that, in fact, it be fast.
I don’t expect that this kind of meal to be either satisfying or nutritious. Frankly, I don’t even expect it to be food. If they’re serving me an amalgamation of processed chicken lips bound together with some kind of recycled and reconfigured (though deliciously flavoured) cardboard mash…well, it’s my choice to eat it. But they’d better get it to the counter in a hurry, that’s all I have to say.
Yesterday, in the middle of the afternoon, I walked into a fast food joint (something relatively rare for me) and became quietly agitated at the pokey service. These people were slow. And there was barely anyone in the place. I don’t know if they speed up during peak periods but I doubt it. I watched one employee methodically delaminating a stack of cheese slices and her pace was positively Darwinian. The clock is always ticking for me in any kind of lineup. These folks finally got the food to me mere moments before my discontent became verbal.
There is a famous family incident where I once lost my temper at a fast food restaurant. It was at one of the ‘biggies’ and it must have been at the end of a particularly frustrating day but the slowness of service caused me to crack…right at the counter. I launched into a Shakespearean-like plea to surrounding patrons. “How can they call this fast food?”, I projected clear through to the dishwashing pit. “I could have gone home and cooked myself a fine meal in the time it has taken you people to scrape together this pathetic excuse for sustenance!”. My wife, who was standing beside me, was mortified. I believe she tried to ‘shush’ me…which only increased my agitation. ‘This is not fast food”, I continued. “This is slow food. If I’d wanted the benefits long cooking, I coud have stayed home with my crock pot!” The manager..probably someone named Skipper..was unable to douse the flame of my frustration. I stomped out of the place (still hungry) much to the relief, I’m sure, of the staff and the everlasting embarrassment of my spouse.
If you work in the fast food industry you should be hustling. It’s as simple as that. Get it out there hot and get it out there in the here and now. Don’t ever let the customer catch you sleeping. And the standard should be that if it takes more than 5 minutes before the food (or what passes for it) is in my hands and into my mouth….I get it for free.
Somehow I don’t see a franchise in my future.