Friday, October 21, 2011

Just Driving Through

Saturday morning I was out and about and went through the drive-through at a Chick-fil-A to get an iced tea.  I chided myself for not parking and going in.  I began thinking about situations when a drive-through is really necessary and/or beneficial.  Having just left instructions for Nathaniel to pick up some chicken feed, I thought of the feed store.  Now there is the ideal situation for a drive-through!  I don't understand why all of them don't utilize this feature.  How heavenly it would be if I could place my order from my vehicle, pay at the window, and have the feed tossed in the back of the truck from a loft.  It's one thing if you can actually enter an establishment and pick up the goods yourself, but if all you can do is pay for them, then why go in?  I can just imagine what the order taker would say if my dream were to come true:  "Welcome to Old McDonald's Farm and Feed!  What can I get for you today?  OK, ma'am, that will be two 50 lb. bags of laying pellets, one 50 lb. dog feed, and two bales of alfalfa.  You want salt blocks with that?"

Speaking of McDonald's, as I was getting ready to pull out into traffic, I happened to look to my left.  I saw the golden arches sign with a message entreating me to "try the new English Pub Burger".  Feeling rather saucy, I rolled down my window and replied, "Yeah, RIGHT!"  I know it was a silly thing to do, but I really did feel better afterward.   I have no idea what a real English Pub Burger tastes like or whether such a thing even exists.  This morning I googled "McDonald's English pub burger" looking for a picture of it.  Apparently this product is being test-marketed in the metro Houston area right now.  Illinois got to try it first.  Lucky them.  The funny thing was that I read the first six "hits", and they all talked about the new burger as food.  They pointed out that it has cheddar and American cheese on it, which they thought was funny because it's supposed to be an English burger.  I thought it was funny because I don't believe an English pub would use fake cheese, no matter what you call it.  I wonder if the marketing strategy isn't more about changing cash-strapped consumers' perceptions of McDonald's from a tacky "happy meal" kind of place to something slightly more intimate and sophisticated.  Maybe bringing out this English Pub Burger is really tied to the introduction of its latte and has nothing to do with whether the burger is actually English.  Maybe McDonald's wants you to think of their restaurants as your coffee shop and your English pub.  Good luck with that.

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