This is dedicated to a McDonalds in Mentor... =)
The American Way: Eat Fast Every Day
This book is an account of what really goes on in the fast food industry. Many fast food chains have been popping up all across the nation. It is hard to drive for a few miles and not see a sign for a McDonald’s or Burger King. At almost every highway exit you can find a symbol for the nearest fast food chain. Many travelers on the road see the lights and signs with prices and think what a good idea; its quick, the bathrooms are clean, and the food is inexpensive. It is almost impossible to go a day without seeing or visiting a fast food chain. In Fast Food Nation, author Eric Schlosser states that “Fast food is now served at restaurants and drive-thrus, at stadiums, airports, zoos, high schools, elementary schools, and universities, on cruise ships, trains, and airports, at K-Marts, Wal-Marts, gas stations and even at hospital cafeterias” (Schlosser 6). With fast food found almost everywhere, the average American is enticed to consume more fast food. They are lured by catchy advertisements and slogans. Throughout an entire week the typical American eats about three hamburgers and four orders of French fries.
Some of you are living a pathetic life; first of all, you may think that taking out your anger or frustration on a fast food worker will make your day a little bit better. Just because we are working at a fast food franchise does not mean we’re stupid. Working in a fast food restaurant is harder than you’d imagine.
We are people with feelings. However, you decide to take your frustrations out on fast food workers such as myself that are just trying to make an honest living and go home. You may have issued a verbal assault on me, guess what? I didn’t care then and I don’t care now, everything you said about "calling corporate" and "telling my supervisor or store owner" went in one ear and right out the other. All you did by saying all that is give me the urge to mess with your food.
Yes, this book is for the guy that yelled at me for the seats being too small to fit in because he ate too much McDonalds. I do not have any control over the seating arrangements at the air-port. However, I do have control over your Double-Quarter Ponder Value Meal with a Diet Coke, of course. This book is for the lady that yelled at me when the coffee was too hot; although, I believe that she wouldn’t be pleased if I gave her a cold coffee.
This is for the guy that wouldn’t pull forward in the drive thru because he was too busy talking on his cell phone. Your food could have been hot, fresh, and delicious. But, you were too busy talking on the phone to realize that the drive thru line was moving. Sir, now you complain your fries are cold because they were sitting at the top of the bag while we waited for you to pull up to the window.
Oh, and I’d like to thank you for ignoring me as I said “Have a nice day!” Before I forget, I’d also like to thank you, Sir, for listening to me while I read back your order to make sure it was correct just to find out later you called to complain that it wasn’t your order. Thank you for confusing me because you’re talking on your cell phone while you order and I do not know if you’re talking to me or the person on the other line. Thank you.
“Mam, you demanded to speak with a manager, because, one of the crew members was too busy taking another order over the headset to deal with your request to make sure we put the cream in your coffee. Mam, you had just pulled up to the window and you haven't even paid yet, chill out! We can change anything at anytime it’s really not that big of a deal. While you’re complaining about us not putting the cream in your coffee it would have been quicker to put it in yourself. But, you'll freak out yell at me and yes we put the cream in your coffee alright?”
McDonalds, and other fast food workers, do not want to start problems with you, they just want to do their job, go home, and get paid. Honestly, in the words of Keith, from Mentor Ave McDonalds "You broke the cardinal rule; don’t mess with people that handle your food."
The Cardinal Rule
McDonalds. One thing comes to my mind when McDonalds is mentioned. It is not the food, the advertisements, or even the service. It is the customer. I am proud to say I am a fast food employee. But why am I proud to be a fast food employee? Who wants to work in fast food? Is fast food just a job minors get because they cannot find a ‘real’ job? Why would anyone want to work at minimum wage flipping burgers? Well, first off McDonalds doesn’t flip their burgers.
On a daily basis I interact with hundreds of customers. Most of my experiences are good; however, along with the positive interactions with the daily customers we also have the not so good situations. Do you ever wonder what the employee thinks of you when you are the customer? Well, from working at fast food I know exactly what employees think about our customers.
For the most part, customers are nice. They come in, know what they are going to order, payment is made and the employee behind the counter is thanked. While they take their tray to their car or table they don’t make rude comments or leave a mess behind. Furthermore, the nice polite customers do not talk on their cell phone or complain even if the employee may have messed up. However, there are some people that when you see them walk in door you want to hide from them. These are the people that the fast food employee cannot stand to work with because; in a couple minutes the employee knows that they will have to listen to the customer wine about a little problem. These people that complain are the ones that need to realize the cardinal rule of fast food. This rule is very well known among all fast food employees. DON’T MESS WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE YOUR FOOD! It’s that simple. If one is not happy they do not need to yell, they can simply be polite, and kind and their problem will be dealt with in an orderly fashion. It sounds so simple to have a quick easy interaction while ordering food, however, it is impossible to go a day with out at least one grumpy customer. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about the complaints. The irony of it all is the workers of fast food are thinking how we are going to grow up to be better than the customers while, the customer is thinking we are going to grow up to be nothing.
The fast food employees go though a vigorous training before they are allowed to make food or serve the customer. However, the first day of work is overwhelming. There are many training methods and procedures that are taught it is hard to remember everything that is being crammed into your brain. You’re taught temperatures, times, proper procedures, basic operations to keep a customer happy. On the first day of work a customer cannot expect perfection from a new employee. The register has millions of keys and buttons and it can often be very confusing for someone who is not familiar with the process. It becomes very frustrating when a customer babbles on their order without hesitation and the employee does not know where a certain button is. But please, if you may encounter a new employee do not get frustrated or upset it will only cause the employee to hate their job and quit. Just imagine if every one quit, there would be no one to serve fast food. In the past year I’ve worked at McDonalds throughout that year about twenty employees have worked there maybe a day, a week, or maybe a month or two before getting frustrated. This aggravation causes the employee to walk out, quit, or give their two weeks notice. Most of the time employees are shocked to what really goes on in the fast food industry. Many people think that fast food is an easy job but it requires a lot of labor. Also, customer relations may cause an employee to walk out.
Although many employees may come and go there is always a solid senior staff. These employees can handle many situations and customer relations and not get too upset over a little confrontation with a customer. In fact, these employees are the ones you want to watch out for they know what they are talking about. More experienced staff usually work full time this gives them the ability not only to learn the menu but they also learn and know all the proper procedures.
When a customer comes back about a complaint over half of the time he is wrongfully accusing the employee for messing up when in fact it may have been his wrong doing. The fast food employees you talk to probably have a lot more knowledge about the corporation and procedures of the store they work at than the average customer. Many of the employees probably attend high school or college. Everyone needs a job to get by and afford basic supplies such as food, rent, their schooling, and maybe even car insurance. It is ironic that the teens working in fast food are portrayed as idiots, when the real idiot is the customer who can’t order what is on the menu the right way. It is very frustrating to be treated like I have no idea what I’m talking about. People assume since I’m a fast food employee that I don’t know what I’m doing and furthermore, they assume that I have no intelligence because since I’m in fast food I must have not gone to school. In reality I’m in college I don’t know why all people assume I’m going nowhere when they see me in a McDonalds uniform. I’d like to ask all the customers of the fast food industry to please listen to what the employee has to say. It is our job to make you happy and well it would be nice if the employee got the same respect that the customer got. Please, listen to what the employee has to say, do not over react every problem has a solution and everything can be fixed.
The majority of fast food employees like the ones you’ve just read about. The employees are very forgiving and actually do enjoy there job. However you will not always have an encounter with a understanding and forgiving employee. Not all employees have the same outlook especially employees who have had their job for an extended period of time. Many senior employees and even management become sick of the customers coming in day after day with excuses and lies. I would just like you too look at the situations with a little bit of a different outlook.
One might just think, you order the food, employees make the food, and then the food is eaten. It's exactly like that if you don’t complain to an employee. But somehow if you manage to piss of the crew members another step is added in between making the food and serving the food. Trust me you do not want the extra step. It is better off taking the food you’re trying to say wasn’t good. There have been many examples of poor customer to worker interactions in my few years working with the company, some ways are handled different than others. For example suppose someone has just complained to a descent senior worker they may just brush off what ever your problem was and make you happy. However, there are the employees that actually enjoy when an angry customer comes in. You can tell almost as soon as the customer walks in the door how they're going to act. They come in with a snarl on there face, they themselves just had a long day at work and feel as though if they make someone else’s day worse. Somehow they'll get some sort of personal satisfaction out of it. But why would someone become happy for running another person’s day? I don’t know the answer to this question. I’m not sure if you’re the ass hole reading this book, you tell me. Why does one feel the need to take their anger out on a fast food employee? I’d like to warn everyone not to mess with the people who make your food. The following content does contain some actual events, you choose what to and what not to believe:
A customer pulls in through the drive-thru and proceeds to tell the employee his order after he was greeted and told he’d be helped in just one minute. The man continues to shout his order though the speaker. He orders five McChicken sandwiches and three Double Cheeseburgers. The kitchen staff prepares the food, but, they don't have enough McChicken to complete the five sandwiches. After all on a slow day employees do not make a lot of food because we want the customer to receive fresh hot food. The employee who took the gentleman’s order approaches him at the drive-thru window and asks politely if they could please pull forward that it would just be a 3-4 minutes before they would receive there food. The customer refuses, with many cars backed up in line behind him. The manager then asks the customer again if he could please pull forward explaining that his food would be taken out to him as soon as it was ready. The customer still refuses claiming that if he has to wait, then so does everybody else. The employee who has taken the order then goes back to the vats where the chicken is cooking to check on it. The employee notices that there is still a minute remaining on the timer. With a line full of customers waiting for their food because some asshole decided he was more important than everyone else the employee takes a pair of tons and removes the McChicken early. The employee proceeds and throws it the trash. Another crew member of the kitchen staff then removes his gloves, shakes hands with his testicles and then pulls the McChicken out of the trash throws it on the ground and plays soccer with the chicken patty with the other kitchen members. The crew members then place the chicken on the sandwich, wrap it and the employee who originally took his order personally hands it to the customer and say, "thank you and have a great day." The employee does not act rude or mean in fact the employee acts as if the customer’s attitude did not even affect how his sandwich was prepared. As soon as the man drives off the employee wipes off his completely straight face and got to laugh about it later.
Women are Evil
You think that just male employees are the ones that may taint your food? Think again! Girls are just as quick, if not more quick about mistreating someone’s food. If I had a nickel for every time I saw a girl with long fingernails scrape the gunk out from underneath there nails and onto a Double Cheese Burger, I'd have a lot of nickels. Another thing that they like to do involves tampons, a curling iron, a rubber glove and your food... I’m not going to disclose what that is, but, you do the math.
Why do overweight people feel that if they pick fights with McDonalds employees they get some satisfaction for being overweight. I’ve had an overweight customer tell me that the furniture in the restaurant should be remodel because they were “handicapped” and don't fit in the seats. No, they really were not handicapped; they were just fat and shouldn't even be eating at McDonald’s let alone complaining about the seating. You see the employees wearing head sets giggling? One may think they must be laughing about some joke of some sort. They’re not. One may think that they couldn't be laughing at you, but they are. There’s this lady that I’ve recently met that happens to be overweight, at first no big deal, you're at McDonald’s what do you expect? The second she started being rude for no apparent reason is when she got a nick name. She happens to be a Wal-mart employee so she is now called "the Wal-mart monster" and every time she comes in everyone shares a laugh at her expense.
Often customers have complaints about the orders being messed up, no big deal. Nobody has any problem fixing the issue until you start complaining about past experiences, phrase most often used, "every time I come in here..." as if every time, that worker happened to be working and it was there fault each time. I don’t understand why someone would return to a restaurant if they received bad service. I certainly wouldn’t unless I wanted to try and scam them for free food. Just because someone acts like a jackass doesn’t mean they get special treatment. Sure, everyone may appear extremely apologetic and seem completely sincere. None of the employees actually care, and just because you were a scum-bag "special treatment" gets a whole new meaning. I once saw a kid sneeze in an M&M McFlurry that was offered as a token of apology for a customer. The employees then watched the customer eat the flurry, and enjoyed every second of it.
Pick and choose what you want to believe out of the scenarios, but, if I were you I would choose to believe them all just to be safe. So, next time you decide to tell a fast food employee "I understand, that they don't work for NASA" reevaluate yourself, and realize that you probably don't work for NASA either. You work for some sort of office, doing paperwork, possibly in middle-management. You’re unhappy, your wife is cheating on you with the guy you pay to cut your lawn (and apparently sleep with your old lady). You’re three kids are all strung out on drugs, you probably don't even notice yet. Enjoy being unhappy.
May I have your attention please?
Saturday, the first day of the weekend, the kids are all off school and are out shopping with their mom. Since the kids have been good she decides to take them to McDonalds for a treat. Saturday is the busiest day of the week for a lot of reasons. Basically we get slammed with a lot of families that take their kids out to lunch. However, we occasionally get HUGE orders. And by huge orders I mean fifty dollar or more by one customer. Have you ever heard of a phone? Call in your order so you don’t piss off the staff there is nothing like getting more behind during a Saturday lunch rush. Furthermore, you get a discount for calling ahead. So please if it’s a weekend day or actually any day please call in your order so we don’t run out of food. Trust me it’s not fun to behind on a Saturday.
In fast food we have the policy that the customer is always right. We have this policy so that employees are always polite to the customer. The first thing we do when we have a complaint is to listen to the customer. We sincerely apologize even if it may not be our fault. We try to address the problem in a fair way. If someone comes back with a half eaten Quarter Pounder Meal and claims that it didn’t taste right, it puts the cooperation in a difficult situation. Why should we have to make a whole new sandwich when the customer has eaten over half of the one he wants to give back? Yes, it’s okay to return the food if you’ve not eaten a lot of it and there is a mistake. One of my pet peeves of fast food is however if you return a half eaten meal and request a whole new one. As an employee there is nothing I can do about the complaint of the Quarter Pounder that just didn’t taste right. I receive the food I throw the half eaten sandwich in the trash. I then have to request the kitchen to make a whole new sandwich for someone who wasn’t pleased with the first. This situation above makes me feel like the customer is a thief. I cannot say this to their face but it makes me upset that they are cheating the cooperation I’m working for. So next time before you devour your hamburger if you realize something is missing feel free to let an employee know just don’t wait until it’s over half way gone.
Regulars are something you see at McDonald’s. They are either very nice and others you want to hide from when you see. For the most part though, the regulars are the ones who will strike up a conversation with you. They order the same thing everyday; they never change anything about their order which makes it easier for us. Then there are the customers that are known for their attitude and yes, we give them nicknames too. There is a lady who comes though the drive though every morning I like to call her little miss sunshine. Not because she’s happy but because every morning she will come though drive-thru all grumpy and act like I’ve insulted her. She orders two large black coffees with a drink carrier. This is not an order you can mess up. I tell her that her total comes to three dollars and I ask her to pull up. As she pulls up I get her coffee ready, put two napkins on the carrier between the cups. It is our policy in drive thru that a customer gets one napkin per item. I receive payment and hand the customer their coffee. She then takes the receipt along with the napkins and crumples it up and throws it out the car window. I don’t understand why she has to treat me so rude. After all I am the one who has to pick up after her. Is it hard to ask for no napkins or a receipt? Why is it hard to be polite to a worker who has done nothing wrong? After about two days of cleaning up her napkins I stopped giving them to her so I wouldn’t have to clean her mess. I don’t know why but she still insists on treating me like I have no future working in fast food. Every morning I’d get to see her drive away with a frown upon her face. As I tell her to “have a nice day and to please stop back!” It’s funny how some regulars can make your day then some, ruin your day.
Besides regulars being known for their ease to carry on conversation or for their attitude we do have regulars known for their big orders. Many of the regulars we have that carry on conversation come in for a coffee and an occasional sandwich or fries. However, there is the occasional customer who will order five McChicken, four Double Cheese Burgers and a Large Diet coke. These regulars I like to refer to as the heavy users. They are addicted to the fast food. I know that they’re not ordering the food for other people because I will see them sit in the lobby and eat an outrageously large meal for one person. McDonalds is not a healthy place to eat food. It is especially unhealthy when you eat it in such large proportions on a regular basis. Obesity is a problem today. I don’t know why but in general the overweight people for some reason seem to always be grumpy. I always had the theory that they are always too excited for their food they forget to smile or say thank you. Then they quickly drive off as if the order took forever to pack. The order took twenty seconds to make. They also seem to always buy huge amounts of food that you would probably puke eating that much. Crazy enough, they order it to eat in the dining room, they finish it quick as hell, and then they leave without a stomach ache.
The one thing though that bothers me the most is people use fast food as a designated shitting spot. To add to that it is always diarrhea. Then we employees have to clean the mess you left all over the side of the toilet. At least be nice and give us a courtesy flush. You know when it is someone just using our toilet. They walk in quickly without saying a word and quickly walk out and two seconds later the stench covers the air. This is why we hate have bathroom duty. The toilets have been so disgusting, I’ve almost puked. So please, if you have to crap, wait till you go home or wear depends undergarments. McDonald’s bathrooms are checked every half hour and every now and again we do get very messy situations. I do not understand why there would be poop in a urinal in the men’s bathroom. Were they too impatient to wait for a toilet or did they really want to make a mess. Please treat the bathroom as if it was your own. Do not leave your dirty undergarments on the floor. If there is a mess, notify an employee before it gets worse. Also, if you are going to use a restroom in a fast food industry please purchase something from us. After all, we are going to be cleaning the bathrooms for you.
People are messy little creatures. How can you make more of a mess at a table with a small french-fries than what I can do at a pie eating contest. You people could be a little nicer and not leave a huge mess all over the table, and please, do put your tray above the trash not in it! This is why cleaning the dining room can take up to an hour. The messes people leave are just disgusting. If you cleaned up a little after yourselves, we workers would be much more in a happier mood.
How it all started
Ray Kroc, an entrepreneur, is credited for making the largest fast food franchise in the world, McDonalds; however, how did Kroc stumble upon the idea for the fast food industry? In early 1954, Ray Kroc drove to San Bernardino, California to see what all the fuss was about with a hamburger stand owned by Dick and Mac McDonald. Why were so many people attracted to the little hamburger stand? Well, one of the reasons for the huge lines could have been for the first time, fast food was very affordable for ordinary people. A burger was only fifteen cents and four cents for extra cheese. A cup of coffee was five cents and a milkshake was twenty cents. The hamburger stand had a limited menu, but it was fast, affordable, and the food tasted good!
Basically, the McDonald brothers had done for hamburgers what Henry Ford had done for the cars. They revolutionized the idea of fast food and food on the go. Inside the small restaurant, three grill men did nothing but flip burgers, while two guys did milkshakes, and another two did French fries. Throw in some countermen and a packager and you have a mass production! Their concept came at exactly the right time. America was booming as families moved to suburbia. McDonalds provided a cheap, easy dinner.
I do not want to bore you with useless McDonald’s facts and dates. However, I’d just like to give you a short background on the McDonalds cooperation. I think that it is important to know how the fast food industry all started compared to now; furthermore, I’d like to put emphasis on how much the fast food industry has grown and changed. In 1955, Ray Kroc opened the first McDonalds in Des Plaines, Illinois. This is no longer a functioning McDonalds; it is a museum containing McDonald’s memorabilia and artifacts. When Ray Kroc opened his first restaurant, he taught his employees many of his beliefs and ideals. His philosophy is still taught to employees today; that is one of the main reasons why McDonalds is a very successful franchise. Kroc came up with the philosophy that the customer is the most important part of the business. Today, McDonalds is known for its service and cleanliness.
This past summer I was part of the "McChallenge." Only the best and most experienced crew members are chosen to be part of this extra employee activity. The upper management scheduled a date for the McChallenge between the all of the local stores in my location. Many weeks before hand we prepared and studied many dates, facts, and proper procedure on how to prepare McDonalds food. On the actual day of the McChallenge my store met up with six other local stores owned by the same owner, Ali Mandovi. The McChallenge is basically Jeopardy for McDonald’s employees. It quizzes you on many of the common procedures such as cook times, expiration dates, and McDonald’s history. At the end of a long day my store ended up winning first place. Some of the facts that we learned were actually quite interesting. We learned the dates that many of the foods were added to the menu. For example, the Filet-o-Fish was added to the McDonalds menu boards in 1964. The filet was created for Roman Catholics who abstained from eating meat during the Lenten season. The Filet became a very big seller and has remained on the menu to this day.
In the late sixties, Jim Delligatti invited the infamous Big Mac. Today the Big Mac is the most well- known item on the lunch menu boards. It is the first item on all menu boards world wide. When the Big Mac came out in 1968 advertisements came up with a catchy jingle about what could be found on the sandwich “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” In some countries they made a Mega Mac which was the same as a Big Mac but added two extra meat patties and an extra piece of cheese. The McDonald’s cooperation discontinued the Mega Mac because of the stream of lawsuits that has happened in recent history and its failure to be a best selling item. It wasn’t until the seventies that McDonalds had the idea of adding breakfast to its menu. In 1971 the Egg McMuffin sandwich was released in the US. Today McDonald’s has not only expanded their location but they’ve come a long way from their limited menu boards. The breakfast menu now includes many different McMuffin sandwiches, McGriddles, and hotcakes.
Red curly hair, floppy red boots, yellow overalls and a red and white pin stripe shirt; this is the image of Ronald McDonald as we know him today. However, in 1963 when Ronald McDonald first made his primer he looked nothing like this. Instead of red curly hair Ronald had a serving tray on his head, French fry like hair, and a paper cup on his nose. The first man to portray Ronald McDonald was actor Willard Scott. The evolution of Ronald McDonald has come a long way. The image of the silly clown has become an international icon for children. Ronald became the happy, friendly clown that promoted fast food. It’s ironic that McDonalds fired Willard Scott for becoming obese. I mean isn’t the spokesman for McDonalds suppose to eat the food? He is promoting the food? I guess the McDonalds diet wasn’t good when it got down to things in the end.
Furthermore, in 1963, McDonalds opened its first drive-thru in Sierra Vista, Arizona. This was an efficient addition to McDonald’s, making McDonald’s service faster and more convenient than any other fast food restaurant. McDonald’s revolutionized the idea of food on the go. McDonalds sold one billion hamburgers in less than ten years after they first opened.
The Ronald McDonald House
The first Ronald McDonald house was built in 1974; furthermore, the charities were founded in honor of Kroc. The Ronald McDonald Charities were designed to get rid of children’s welfare and focus on the health and well being of children. The Ronald McDonald house was built in 1974. The ideas of the charities were formed from the parents of 3-year-old, leukemia patient, Kim Hill. Fred Hill, former Philadelphia Eagles football player, went though about three years of treatment with their daughter. Throughout their numerous visits at the hospitals the Hill family often stayed in the lobby or next to their daughter over night. They made makeshift meals out of vending machines, they had very little time to go home and prepare a supper.
The Hill family began to notice that they were not the only family ‘living’ in the hospital. Many families traveled great distances to bring their children’s to the medical facility; however, not all people could afford to stay in a hotel rooms along with the medical treatment. The Hills searched for a solution. After all why should someone have to go though so much trouble just to get medical help?
Fred Hill got the support of his Eagle teammates and raised money to support themselves and other families that had difficulties paying off bills or even affording to go out to dinner. Jim Murray, the Eagles’ general manager, the team offered to support Dr. Audrey Evens, head of the pediatric oncology unit and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Evens dreamed of a comfortable temporary residence for families of children being treated at her hospital. Murray enlisted Don Tuckerman from the local McDonald's advertising agency, which with the support of McDonald's Regional Manager Ed Rensi, launched the St. Patrick's Day Green Milkshake (now known as the Shamrock Shake) promotion. Funds raised went toward purchasing an old house located near the hospital. Today the Ronald McDonald charities have been founded in over 48 countries with more than 400 million dollars. Not only do the charities help children and families in financial trouble but, the charities expanded and offer school scholarships and aid.
Crock of Shit
Kroc’s good intentions have now been looked down upon by a select few. Many years a go Kroc was surprisingly not the good guy he can be portrayed as today. Instead of being looked up upon by modernizing and super sizing our nation he was looked at as quite an asshole. He was looked at as easily angered and very greedy. Ray Kroc writes in his diary:
What a god damn rotten trick! I needed the income from that store. There wasn't a better location in the entire state. I screamed like hell about it. But no way. They decided they wanted to keep it, and they were willing to pull the plug on the whole arrangement if they didn't get it.
He then wrote “I opened a McDonald's across the street from that store, which they had renamed The Big M, and it ran them out of business.” He in fact hated the two men who created McDonalds and he often took all the credit for their work. Kroc is upset that the McDonalds brothers have opened their own restaurant called The Big M. I feel that Kroc uses his business skills to get rid of all threats around the area. He immediately retaliates by opening his own McDonalds right across the street from Dick and Mack McDonald. Since Kroc’s restaurant has cheaper prices and quicker service people are more interested in the better service at the McDonalds. Kroc’s plans of opening a McDonalds across from the Big M were very successful. He eventually put The Big M out of business defeating any competition around Kroc’s franchise. Ray Kroc’s name was synonyms with a ‘crock’ of shit. The fast food process has drastically changed over the past years.
Today there are more than 30,000 McDonald's restaurants in 119 countries. If we were to go back to 1954 when the first McDonalds stand was opened we’d be shocked on how long it actually took for the food to be made and served to the customer. Today, hamburgers are no longer flipped. They are grilled on a two sided grill at extremely high temperatures. It takes only 38 seconds to make eight pieces of regular meat at a McDonald’s store. Because of the changes and procedures, McDonalds has become the fastest and most efficient fast food corporation in the world.
Don’t Be a Fat Bastard
Have you noticed that when you walk into a fast food restaurant everyone seems to be a hundred pounds over weight? To me it seems as if healthy, skinny people have become the minority. According to Morgan Spurlock’s award winning documentary Super Size Me, the World Health Organization has declared obesity a global epidemic: “It is estimated that obesity will surpass smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in America” (1). Due to the increase of fast food chains, advertisements, and convenience, many fast food franchises have been wrongfully blamed for America’s weight problem. Many people do not want to accept responsibility for themselves; therefore, they blame their lack of self-control on the fast food industry. An online article titled “Junk Food is an Unhealthy Recipe for Life,” states that obesity can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Also, overweight people have the risk of getting high cholesterol and high blood pressure (2). Knowing the risks of overeating, many Americans still eat fast food and junk food. Many overweight Americans blame fast food industries for their obesity; however, they should be responsible for their own actions.
With the increase of fast food restaurants, one does not see an increase in exercise buildings or gyms. Studies have shown that the typical American is eating more; however, no research shows that American’s are exercising regularly. A person may go to McDonalds because he is in a hurry and does not have time to prepare his own lunch or dinner. He drives though a pick up window at the nearest McDonalds, orders a number one, and requests for it to be “super seized.” While they are driving, he sips his Coke, nibbles his fries, and chows down on that Big Mac. He then hurries up to go to his job, evening classes, or activity. Later that night he gets home, turns on the television, and watches the news. In this story, the consumer of the super sized meal did not exercise. In fact, if his schedule was too busy to cook his own dinner, how could he have be any time for exercise? To burn off a super sized coke, fry, and Big Mac, he would have to walk seven hours straight (Spurlock 1). It would take less time to prepare a healthy meal at home than to eat fast food and work it off. In an online article titled “Are Fast-Food Establishments Making America fat?” author Todd G. Buchholz expressed his thought that American’s have had an increased consumption of calories, and have not had any physical activity increase, leading to their weight problem (1). Why doesn’t one work out? Is it because their busy schedule doesn’t allow for any exercise, or could it be because they do not want to pay for membership at a gym, or buy expensive equipment. No matter what the ‘excuse’ one may have for not exercising it has been a cause to the global obesity epidemic. Instead of spending some money of exercise equipment when one still has the chance to keep their body in shape and slender they would rather spend thousands of dollars on liposuction which is more money than a membership at any gym. Why does one eat fast food? It’s easy to say one was too busy but there are also quick healthy easy meals. Although, society has become very fast paced and on the go there are always healthy alternatives. One does not have to get caught up with the on-the-go meals you can prepare a quick salad or sandwich which trust me might be faster than going though the drive thru.
Fast food corporations should not be blamed for children’s weight problems, the child’s parents should monitor how much and what their children are eating. I work in the drive-thru at McDonalds about five days a week. I’ve become very familiar with regular customers. Most of the people that come in the morning just stop for conversation and coffee. However, I always have two parents and their child go though the drive-thru on average two to three times a week. The mother and father are slender healthy Americans. They order their child a number one, Big Mac Meal, with a large size Sprite. Although the mother and father are in good figure, their child is very over weight. I believe that today parents should not spoil their child. Although, the girl in the anecdote above may really have been hungry for lunch there are healthy options such as a nicely packed lunch with a sandwich and an apple. Parents either make their children’s lunch every day for school, or they give their child an allowance to get food in the school cafeteria. Many parents claim they do not have time to make lunch, so they take the easy way out and purchase the lunch provided by the school. This is often a poor choice made by the adult figure. If parents pack their children’s lunches, they have the option of packing all healthy food and a lunch with low sugars and fat. Most lunches provided by school cafeterias contain deep fried or unhealthy junk food. Obesity in America has become a national concern, particularly in children. Many parents, however, are fighting to have healthier food choices in school cafeterias. As Peg Tyre, Sally Abrams, And Jennifer Lin pointed out in the online article “Fighting ‘Big Fat,’” lawmakers around the nation are trying to pass laws to limit how much junk food is sold in schools (2).
Advertisements towards children became popular in the late 1980s. This was because both parents would be working and would have less time to spend with their children; therefore, parents would spend more money on their children. Schlosser claims, “A survey of American school children found that 96% of children could identify Ronald McDonald. The only fictional character with a higher degree of recognition than Ronald McDonald is Santa Clause” (4). This fact shows the effect that marketing has had on children. One major marketing idea McDonald’s came out with directed towards the younger generation of America was the kid’s meal. This meal included a small fry and a hamburger or small portion of nuggets, but, the most appealing part of the meal was the toy that came with it. The McDonalds cooperation calls their kid’s meal the “Happy Meal” because it makes kids feel good. Not only do they get food they enjoy, they also get a toy to play with. According to the documentary “Super Size Me,” McDonalds has become the leading distributor of toys. Studies show that McDonalds has distributed more toys in a year than Toys-R-Us, one of the nations leading store chains (Spurlock 1). Although fast food chains have marketed to children, that does not give people the right to press charges for their obesity problems. If a child is overweight at a young age because of fast food products, the blame should be put on the parent or legal guardian. Children do not have means of transportation or money to go out and buy their own food. It is the guilty parent or carefree guardian who feeds their kid junk food. Furthermore, fast food may not be the sole contributor to a child’s weight problem. Due to many new technological advancements such as television, computers, and video games, children are not spending as much time outside or exercising. To keep weight down, one must exercise.
America blames fast food advertisements for their weight problem. However these advertisements never promote their product for being a healthy food item. Lawyers have filed lawsuits against fast food industries blaming the marketing technique for enticing people to eat more and encouraging overeating (Tyre, Abrahms, and Lin 2). Three billion dollars was spent on fast food in1972. Today the amount we spend has reached over 110 billion dollars (Spurlock 1). As children in elementary school, students are taught that sugars are not healthy for you but you should only have up to one serving a day. Gym and health classes are a requirement for all elementary schools and high schools. In these classes we learn the importance of a healthy diet and exercise. However, as adults people forget about these important lessons. Too easily people pick up the phone to order pizza or drive through a fast food restaurant for supper. Parents now take their children out to fast food on a regular basis. Many children become accustomed to going out to eat on a regular basis. Many children pick up traits from their parents. When the children grow up they may have picked up bad habits from their parents. They may continue the routine of eating fast food. Due to the increase of money spent, many people may use it as an excuse for their obesity problem; however, these advertisements do not promote their item for being healthy. The ultimate decision comes down to what the consumer wants.
Since the first lawsuits against fast food industries, companies have gone to extreme measures to post labels and ingredients on wraps and boxes. McDonald’s now offers a healthy choice menu, which offers fruit salads, side salads, and yogurt. When McDonald’s was opened, Ray A Kroc, the founder, had a philosophy that is still used today. Kroc’s viewpoint was QSV&C; an acronym used to ensure the customer was welcome and comfortable. The Q stands for quality; this was to guarantee that the customer would receive a fresh, hot, quality product. S is for service. The McDonald’s cooperation today teaches their employees how to be courteous and greet the customer with a smile. The employee’s good service and hospitality is what makes some people return. V is for value; this is to make certain that the consumer feels welcomed and gets their values worth of what they paid for. Finally, the letter C stands for cleanliness. Employees are trained to make sure garbage is changed and bathrooms are cleaned. After all, no one wants to eat in a dirty place. The QSV&C philosophy proves fast food businesses are not purposely harming people; they are simply selling a product designed to make a profit.
“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is a common expression used to convey the message that one is responsible for their own actions. This expression portrays the image of one making a poor decision and laying the blame on something else. Fast food companies should not be held accountable for one’s poor choices ultimately the decision comes down to the consumer. According to the online article “Oh, Temptation,” fast food is not addictive and does not contain any substance that could induce a physical craving. Furthermore, one makes a personal decision on what he or she is going to do or eat. Therefore, the consumer should be responsible for their actions. Self-control is the cure for obesity. Most Americans agree that lawsuits will not help America with their weight problem. (Tyre, Abrahms, and Lin 2).
The main objective of a business is to make money. A lot of money is invested into advertisements and campaigns to ensure the success of a business. The business wants to sell a large volume to increase profits. Financial decisions and accountability to their shareholders is the bottom line for most American businesses. The American consumer’s objective is to have quality service for what they paid for. Fast food franchises should not be penalized for providing good service and doing their job. Overweight Americans need to take personal responsibility for their actions. The blame for their problems should not be put on to the fast food corporations.
Businesses will do anything for money, it’s their job. They will go as far as killing their main money makers, the consumers. This is true when regarding the tobacco industry. One reason why tobacco ads target kids is because if they can hook the consumer at a young age they know that they will be addicted for life. The same is accurate for fast food. Many of the advertisements attract kids with the Happy Meal toys, trying to get a new life long consumer of fast food. But is it the industries fault? We are the ones getting ‘suckered’ into the advertisements and products. We are the consumer. The cooperation does not force us to buy their product. It is their job to advertise and attract us to the object. We however, feel the need to point the blame at someone else and blame the cooperation’s.
This customers and fast food employees are actually a vicious cycle. You complain because we screw up, then they complain when we are grumpy. Then we screw up because we are grumpy, and then they complain once again. Maybe someday we could learn on how to brake this cycle. For now though, customers are dumb to employees and employees are dumb to customers. Until this cycle comes to an end I’d like to remind you to always remember the cardinal rule. Do not mess with the people that make your food!
Are we what we eat? To a degree both engrossing and alarming, the story of fast food is the story of our society. Fast food is filled with saturated fats and sodium. Today the majority of Americans are overweight and out of shape! Could fast food be the cause to the obesity epidemic? Today our society revolves around fast food franchises. This short story reveals many shocking and alarming facts that every fast food consumer should be aware of. Author Kathryn Brickman, writes about her personal experiences working in a fast food chain, interesting facts about the food the customer consumes, and the history of the fast food industry.