Remember when fast food meant good food fast?

No?

OK, well, all I can really say is, it used to be a whole lot better than it is now.

In the 6 mile loop I do each day to drop off 2 kids at school/camp, go to work and pick them up again I pass 2 McDonald’s, a Burger King, Wendy’s, Quizno’s, 2 Subways, a D’Angelo’s, 3 Dunkin’ Donuts (yes! 3!) and a whole host of other quick service food establishments that you’ve probably never heard of. Not to mention all the national chain sit down places like Pizzeria Uno, Ruby Tuesday’s, Applebee’s, etc. In short, we have a plethora of dining choices. And, being the single, working mom that I am, we make use of the drive-thru option at some of them more often than I am proud of.

Wendy’s used to be my favorite. They had a Frescata sandwich with turkey, roasted red peppers and pesto spread that was to die for. And on days when I wasn’t as hungry, their side salad with a small chili poured over it was a tasty, low cal, yet filling meal for the bargain price of .99 each. Love that .99 menu. Then they dumped my favorite sandwich, and a short time later dropped the whole Frescata line. And now the .99 menu is called the Value Menu, and most items on it start at $1.39. That’s a 40% price increase people!

We visited a Wendy’s near our home the other night. The girls both got kids meals, I ordered the chili and side salad thing, and decided to add a sour cream and chive baked potato that we would all share. That used to be .99 too (guess how much it is now?). The person waiting on us was the manager, and therefore a little older than your usual fast food worker. First he informed me he was out of sour cream, but he could give me extra butter. Um, OK. Then as he was scrambling to gather all our food he came back again to say he was out of baked potatoes. What??!?!?! This was the dinner hour! I’m betting I would not be the only person in the next hour who would order a baked potato! Plan ahead much?? Also, when we arrived we walked right up to order, but it must have taken 10 or 15 minutes for all this to transpire, and several other groups got in line behind us. The service was horrendous. I wish I could say this was the first time.

McDonalds is probably my second favorite, foodwise – I love, love, love their Southwest Salad (back for a limited time only!). The girls love their chicken nuggets as well, but every time we go they screw up something. They forget the dipping sauce for the nuggets (I’ve finally learned to ask after they’ve handed me the bag), they give me crispy instead of grilled chicken on the salad, forget the drinks, and one time we got home with the Happy Meals and they had forgotten the chicken nuggets entirely! I was sooooo pissed!

I cannot think of a single smooth, perfectly executed transaction at a fast food place in the last 2 years, at least. And let’s face it, the standard for that is pretty low.

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2 responses to “Remember when fast food meant good food fast?

  1. We generally go to Burger King because they have the only indoor playground. Lately we’ve been to McDonald’s more, because their chicken nuggets are better. At both places I order the alternatives to the fries and soda, and at both places (we have one BK and two Micky Ds) every time I have to get them to replace the fries with the apples or applesauce. Although BK has now done away with the applesauce option, argh.
    We have two Wendy’s but we rarely eat there because they are interminably slow and there’s nothing there the kids will eat.
    I like Arby’s, but it’s expensive and slow.
    We sometimes go to Subway, but DeBoy won’t eat much there. The Queen likes it.
    We all love Quizno’s but it’s for special because it’s pricey. They’re fairly new (within the last year) so they still have quick service. The ones that have been around just don’t care much anymore.

  2. I always always always double-check the bag . . . before I leave the window. And if I don’t, inevitably they forget something.

    Seriously, how hard is it to put food into a bag!?

    Mel

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