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We went to MacDonald’s! I know that doesn’t sound much, but I haven’t had a Big Mac in, like, four years. There isn’t any fast food at all except in some of the bigger towns, and we’re not near a bigger town.

I had to have my eyes checked (they’re fine – my right eye has gotten better!) near to Mickey D’s, so I axed if we could go.

Gosh, it’s changed. It was all touch screens. I tried to order at the desk because Uncle B wants his Quarter Pounder just so, but the girl said the touch screens allowed all kinds of customization.

They did!

There seemed to be as many employees as ever, though. Maybe they were turning over a whole lot more food. While we were there, at least four men came in from food delivery outfits and picked up orders.

They all knew each other and they all were speaking Polish or Russian or some other gargly language (not a linguist, me). I reckon there’s some kind of Big Mac mafia.

One guy came in, ordered a Coke and drank it before leaving with his order. I reckon that was one frosty cold burger when it got where it was going.


Comment from OldFert
Time: June 7, 2022, 10:12 pm

Free refills on drinks?

Do they still use beef tallow for their fries over there or have the devolved to vegetable oil?

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 7, 2022, 10:23 pm

Since my Alzheimer’s bro-in-law adores McDonald’s and it’s one of the few things he remembers well, I take him a burger & fries & coke lunch twice a week. You think the touch screens are coo, I have a McD phone app that lets me do all the ordering and customization (e.g. no pickle, extra onions) from home before I leave. When I get to the restaurant “food” production module I use the app to tell them I’m there. I just sit in my car and when it’s ready (usually 2-3 minutes) they bring it out to me.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: June 7, 2022, 11:12 pm

I had a Mc’d burger for the first time in years a few months ago. It seems like Europeans are more fond of the clown than we are…it was a gross, greasy mess. Not a fast food guy at all, but I’d take Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr. or even Burger King any day. The only edible thing I’ve had from there in the past ten years in the sausage McMuffin with egg (AKA Fartburger in the Gromulin household)

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: June 8, 2022, 12:40 am

I love working for McDonalds.

First they taught me to use the touch screen to order!
I expect next time I go (right after hell freezes over) they’ll teach me to assemble any part of the burger the robots don’t assemble, bag it and take it with me.

I love working for the big box companies too when I do self scan checkouts!

Now, will you damn kids get off my lawn please?

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: June 8, 2022, 7:54 am

Sadly, Gromulin, Burger King is awful in the UK – always cold. Wendy’s was my favourite here (well, from among the fast food chains) but they fled the UK some long years ago and have only recently returned. I hope they’re more successful this time.

I take durnedyankee’s point about self-scanning and, curiously, just yesterday I had a conversation along those lines with an assistant in a supermarket just prior to our trip to McDonalds.

The store in question has reduced the number of manned checkouts and the few it still has seemed to be operated by people with an impaired sense of urgency (cf. Aldi, where clearly, slow checkout staff are taken out and shot if they underperform).

As the queues grew, two staff members, rather than manning empty tills, were despatched to approach people, offering to ‘show them how to use’ the self-service checkouts. Evidently, it hadn’t occurred to ‘management’ that many of us have previously tried them and hated the experience.

‘Would you like me to show you how to use the self-service checkouts?,’ said the young lady to the badger.

‘No thank you,’ quoth he.

‘Oh… why not?’

‘Because it’s being done to put you out of a job, isn’t it?’ said the stripey-faced mustelid.

‘Oh. I can’t really comment on that,’ she said, as dismal recognition crept across her face like a rainy sunrise.

The prosecution rests its case, M’lud…

Comment from Some Hamburger
Time: June 8, 2022, 5:18 pm

We Vegetables, like most of here it seems, aren’t really fast food people. Mrs. V grew up in Japan at a time before McDonald’s opened the country to burgers. As part of her American Naturalization process, I do occasionally make her what I call ‘Squealers’ which mix ground pork in with 85% ground beef. It makes a juicier patty.

We only do a few takeout burgers a year and those are usually from a chain called “Five Guys”. They are far bigger and greasier than Micky D’s offering, and offer a nice level of customization. Their big draw for me however are their peanut-oil french fries. Love those fries!

But back to burgers: as to the majors, I largely agree (of course I do) with Badger: Wendy’s first, and Burger King a distant last as their quality is too variable. In between we have several contenders only one of which I have actually tried: In and Out. Perhaps I didn’t understand the whole secret menu thing, but the burger I got from the menu I could read was rather sterile and spartan. The famous but untried include Jack In The Box, and Texas’ own WhataBurger and Sonic. I do love Sonic’s milkshakes though.

I am not sure that I object to phone app or touch-screen ordering at all. I always pay by card or phone these days anyway so it’s actually faster and more convenient than dealing with a human. I do object at the grocery store though as that requires me to perform work.

The burger-making robot is apparently taking longer to develop than we were led to believe. My personal opinion is that the machines can make the burgers just fine but you still need a human to restock them and -more importantly – clean them. I suspect that the expense of these staffing requirements cut back on the savings – perhaps enough to put burger-robots into “Flying Car” status as perpetually just over the horizon.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: June 8, 2022, 8:10 pm

For Some Burger.

Sacrilege to say in Texas, but I guess is okay since Whataburger now belongs to some chain out of Illinoying – their drive through burgers are cold, at least in the local store. Mrs D does like their jalapeno burger, but only if we order in and sit there.

Wendy’s – usually good – especially bacon related offerings like the Baconator.

In&Out – overrated but okay.

Sonic – meh, average.

Burger King – meh, but I cut them slack because they had a deal, 6 whoppers for $10 back in the unemployed times that kept the Durned Sons fed when we weren’t eating turkey or turkey derived left overs.

Yumboyack – jackinthebox makes a decent burger, really, and the menu is insanely varied.

Culvers, again, a decent burger.

Five guys – eh, overrated, except for the afore mentioned fries.

For an entertaining time, and good burger, including a tasty vegan burger offering, try Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth, or Plano. Be warned, I’ve heard that the one over towards your neck of the woods up on the lake is not up to muster, though I consider my reference source somewhat dubious I must admit. Be prepared for things like fruit compote and unusual cheeses in the offerings.

I don’ t eat enough fast food burgers these days, but the sons like to drag us to quick food when they offer to buy lunch.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 8, 2022, 11:19 pm

I prefer grocery self-checkout unless I’ve got a really large collection of goods. I don’t mind that I’m doing extra work by bagging the goods myself because I can make sure the bread doesn’t end up under the canned goods, and the potato chips, er, I mean “crisps” are in a bag by themselves. Also, frozen things together, refrigerated things together, dry goods wherever.

You’d think that fifteen lousy minutes of bagger training (after the week long diversity and sensitivity boot camp) per employee wouldn’t be too much to ask of the grocery store management, but it seems it is. Maybe they’re using that time to train their employees that it’s “people of color” and not ever, ever, ever “colored people”…and “Wog” or “Muzzie” isn’t just a firing offense, it’s a flogging then beheading offense.

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