Fast Food Ruining Youth

by - Story: 24225

Fast Food is ruining the youth of today.

I know – we used a splashy headline to grab your attention. And you are probably wondering, what does the life of Two Gourmands have to do with fast food? Well, every once in a while, other activities do cut into the time we have to eat and so it does happen that we partake in the stuff. So, with that said, I have a story to tell you…

We were on our way to see James Bond, and just needed a quick bite to tide us over. Mcdonald’s was the spot on the way, so that is where we went. I wanted to choose something with less meat, so I chose a BLT. We grabbed it to go, and dashed off. Imagine my surprise when I bit into it to discover there was no tomatoes!

This brought to mind one of those Seinfeld episodes… remember the one where Jerry says to the car rental agency clerk: “You know how to take the reservation, but you just can’t hold the reservation!” Well, with food whose name actually gives you the list of ingredients, it seems a bit amazing to think the person assembling it could forget one of those three ingredients. That is one third of the sandwich, after all!!

We did have a good laugh about how silly it was, and I decided I would have to make do with popcorn at the movie. But when it turned out the movie was sold out and we were heading back through town, Martin decided he should take it back so they would know their mistake. That seemed a fair enough thing to do. Perhaps a new staff member was just not getting it right yet.

Martin went in and spoke to the supervisor on duty very kindly, to advise her of the problem. Again, surprise was the reaction, as she said, “Yes, I know – we are out of tomatoes.” Okay, so now this is not just a case of simple human error, this was deliberate! Now let’s not forget that McDonald’s is the ultimate franchise business which so many other companies are shaped after. Their whole concept has always been about the system. Where was the system when it’s okay to serve only two thirds of a product?

Martin did state the obvious: were you and your staff not going to tell people ordering that the T in the BLT was not going to be included? How could you in good conscience sell the sandwich at the same price when one third of its contents were missing? The young woman’s only answer was did he want his money back. He left shaking his head, answering no, he didn’t want the money as he was never going to be coming back. They had permanently lost a customer.

I was shocked and dismayed when he recounted the tale to me in the car. What a sad state of affairs it is when young people beginning a career are trained that customer satisfaction is not important, and that standards do not matter. In what job can you manage to forget one third of it and not suffer any consequences? These young adults, who quite likely have their first job at the McDonald’s in Kelowna across from Orchard Mall, are learning that the recommended way to do their job and to deal with customers is to ignore everything and just blindly carry on, doing the most basic job they can. I sincerely hope they are not there long enough for that philosophy to affect the rest of their life, and that there will still be hope for them to have some inspiration and drive as they continue on in this world.

I didn’t mind putting the occasional penny into the fast food coffers before, but I don’t think I can stomach it anymore. If I want a dose of good old “greasy spoon” food, I will look for a Mom and Pop shop where hopefully there is some vestige of integrity and dignity left in the work they do.

I wonder what Ray Kroc, the founder of Mcdonald’s, would do to fix this simple tomato problem?

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories