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Fast food, slow customer

OK, I admit it. I am guilty of this one. I go into the fast food restaurant and when I get to the counter to place my order, I am suddenly overwhelmed by the menu.

Now, there is no excuse for this. It is not like I have not seen it before. In fact, I probably have it memorized in my subconscious. Even if I didn’t already know what I wanted, once you have decided which food group — beef (sausage at breakfast), chicken, or fish — it doesn’t much matter what you pick because they are all just different combinations of the same ingredients; lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard, pickle, bacon and cheese. One company tried the ultimate breakfast sandwich a couple of years ago. They just put everything on a roll. Pure genius.

I am not the only one. Just watch the customers line up, impatience written all over them until it is their turn. Then it is as if they have looked into the face of Medusa. The rest of the line cannons into them, jostling them into action. An order is finally blurted out. Oh, wait! Can I get that with grease drippings and  an extra bun?

u      u      u

The order comes out faster than you can change your mind these days. They have these double-sided grills that cook the meat patty in about one minute. Damn. I meant to ask for no ice in my drink. Can you take the ice out please? That way I will actually get some drink. For here or to go? Uh, I don’t know. For here, I guess. No. Wait. To go. I mean part to go and part for here. How much? Just a second. I think I have a coupon.

 And here comes the change guy. It is near the end of the week and the paycheck is just about shot, so out come the coins, pennies and all. This would not be acceptable if it were not for the dollar menu.

The dollar menu is a puzzle. It does not make sense from a business point of view. Can they really cover expenses with $1 on those “selected” items? Or was I ripped off on my cheeseburger for all of those years before?

 At the other end of the spectrum is the credit card. I have to say that this seems like a bit much, although the cashier at a local supermarket told me that, incredibly, she gets purchases for under $1 on credit/debit cards on a fairly regular basis. I was on line behind one.

Now, let’s see if I have enough change for my senior coffee. Uh, do you take Discover?

Bill Abrams resides (and dreams about Big Macs)  in Pine Plains.

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