Thursday, April 16, 2015

Life in the Fast Food Lane

I really need to stop frequenting fast food "restaurants." Bad service, bad food, bad management. Local franchises reap the benefits of national advertising but don't participate in special deals when it means costing them money. Seems like whenever this happens the management or owners are minorities. Employees are demanding raises and $15.00 per hour yet don't do the work or service customers enough to deserve it. 

Just yesterday four fast food experiences were all unpleasant. In our office the water cooler discussion turned to tax day specials. Arby's was offering free French fries or potato cakes. Burger King had BOGO Whoppers. A free cookie at the Great American Cookie Company. Co-worker Amanda ventured out to the Peachtree Parkway Arby's but the cashier had no knowledge of a tax day special. I tried the Duluth Burger King. The drive through lady knew nothing of a tax day deal.

Instead I drove through the gone out of business Wendy's parking lot to the Taco Bell next door. The drive-thru line was uncharacteristically long. I thought about going in, but lately I have found that these places devote more employees to the drive through at the expense of the more committed walk in customers. When I finally pulled up to the window I discovered the cause of the delay: the regular more organized young lady was out. In her place was a friendly older man much more disorganized. While taking my order he was distracted and asked the same question three times. When he finally was given my bad of food he held it away from me while asking me a question he could have asked earlier. By then I was already in a bad mood. At least the usually crammed full trash had been emptied. But the Beefy Frito Burritos were tiny, but what should I expect for $1.19?

After working late I swung by the Peachtree Parkway Wendy's for what I hoped to be a quick snack, but the line of cars at the drive through was long and slow moving. After my lunchtime experience but against my better judgment I parked and went inside. There was not a line to order but two customers were standing around waiting on their order. No cashier to be seen, though several employees buzzed about near the drive through window. Finally a woman with multiple piercings and tattoos shuffled over to take my order, which I delivered slowly and deliberately. Eventually the waiting customers received their orders. As I stood around I saw the cars that had been in front of me drive off with their orders. When my order was finally ready the woman delivering the bag to the cashier looked away at the last moment, delaying the handoff and almost causing a dropped bag. No urgency or attention to detail. When I finally was given my order the bag did not include a spoon for my Frosty. She also neglected to offer me my receipt. Back on the road I discovered mayonnaise had been put on my sandwich even though I hadn't ordered it.

The lone shining exception is Chickfila. Always fast and personable service. They get your order right. Healthier and higher quality food. Bigger portions. Trash cans are empty and the restaurant is clean inside and out.

REID: Lets you and me open a restaurant !!!!!! Actually, I've always wanted to open a fairly nice restaurant. I thought about opening a Christian restaurant and have Christian entertainment. Use singers, quartets, choirs, etc. They used to have these kinds of restaurants using Southern Gospel quartets. I used to go quite frequently, and always enjoyed them. The music was always pretty good, but the food was not.

Then I thought about having a restaurant where each week would be a different location in the world. Have one big picture window, where the scene would change each week. You could look out and see the Eifel Tower in the background and other Paris landmarks. One week you could see the Las Vegas strip and so on. Also the inside would have different motifs also. I think I got this from my Pre-School days when I had to change the room every week to a different motif.

I always stop by the Public at Peach every day to pick up grocery items. Yesterday, I thought I would pick up a piece of their famous fried chicken. When I approached the counter, they had the best looking fried catfish. So, I chose two nice pieces. Brought them home and fixed some cheese burger mac and cheese with some slaw. Great lunch. Dinner at church was pretty good, lemon chicken with noodles, and salad. Passed on the key lime pies.
ME: The only way we could open up a restaurant is to have Lang be the head chef. Supposedly more restaurants go out of business than any other start up. I have often wondered what food I would serve if Ceil and I opened up a restaurant. Perhaps breakfast. Of course burgers. Different kinds of potatoes: hash browns, tater tots, baked, French fries, onion rings, sweet potato fries, fried okra, hush puppies. Grits all day long. Different vegetables like the OK Café. Sports and music memorabilia on the wall. Coke products and a specialty brand of coffee. If not BBQ then BBQ chicken and also Brunswick Stew. Meatloaf. Soups of the day: chili, vegetable, potato, tomato. Philly cheese with beef or chicken. Pancakes. Perhaps open near the new Braves stadium, where restaurants are busy year around.

These days coffee shops often feature entertainment – usually young singers making their first public solo performances. Perhaps small acting troupes could put on short skits or plays. I think there’s a BBQ restaurant in Roswell (the Swallow on the Hollow?) that has evening entertainment.  

Yesterday Ceil was gone all day letting Matthew do his thing. They didn't get home until 7:30. Another slow night.

The 6-1 start energized Braves fans into a false sense of expectation. Now after the Tribe dropped two straight to the supposedly superior Marlins fans are forgetting their earlier predictions of a 100 loss season. They forget that Miami beat up on the Braves number 4 and 5 starters. On June 1 the Braves will call up Wisler to take a spot in the rotation. Add Mike Minor to Teheran, Wood, and Miller and the Braves will have one of the best and deepest rotations in baseball. And with the wild Jamie released the already above average bullpen gets even better. Jamie's replacement Sugar Ray came in and made an immediate impact, striking out the first batter he faced, pitching four strong innings, and even collecting a hit in his first major league at bat - giving him two memento baseballs for his mantle.

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