2019-02-06 / Editorial

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: A THIRD SERVING

Diana Royal

With the opening of Wendy’s (hooray for Frosty lovers!), I can’t not say what I’m about to say. Please for the love of all things fast food, do better than these clowns around here!

Yes, I said “clowns” because fast food in Waynesboro is a joke. I hate to even rank a poor clown amongst this group of establishments here in Burke County. Also, I use the term establishments loosely.

Let’s recant some things I’ve mentioned here before: McDonald’s ice cream machine is always “down” by 8 p.m. (many times it’s way before this); Popeye’s has a mysterious “Po’boy machine” that breaks every now and then when someone doesn’t feel like making some toast; KFC/ Taco Bell uses the “please pull forward” method every day, all day even when there are no other cars in the drive-thru; Sonic can’t even hear your order because their music is way too loud. This is just the short list. If I actually attempted to write down every issue I’ve had, I would run out of space before I got to my point.

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, a new level of sorry digs itself into the ground, screaming, “Here, hold my onion rings and watch this!”

I recently ranted on Facebook about a trip through Burger King to get my granny a Whopper. It’s her favorite kind of hamburger, and I try to bring lunch to her as often as I can. Well, imagine my surprise when they say to me, “We can’t make Whoppers today.” So I then ask for a regular cheeseburger. “We can’t do that either. Our broiler is down. But you can order chicken.”

So this place that calls itself the King of Burgers cannot sell a single hamburger. Okay, stuff happens, right? Let’s give them a break you might say. This. Happens. Once. A. Week. I hear about it all the time. They’ll greet you over the intercom with a, “Welcome to Burger King. I’m sorry that you cannot order a burger but can I interest you in some chicken nuggets?” Or they may tell you how they don’t have enough staff that day to operate the broiler. “It’ll be fifteen minutes before I can take your order.” I wanted a Coca-Cola the other day and since I hadn’t actively begun boycotting them yet (Dairy Queen - I still love you; you’re just a longer drive from the house), I drove through BK because that’s the only one that didn't make me want to claw out my own eyeballs.

“Welcome to Burger King. I’m sorry but we can’t make Whoppers today because our broiler is down. We are thawing out some double cheeseburgers though.” I ordered my Coke, perplexed by 1.) the notion that apparently, on this day, only Whoppers get cooked on whatever the heck this broiler is, and 2.) they actually used the word “thaw.” I said thank you to the girl twice, once when getting my change and then when she handed me my drink, and never once did she acknowledge that I spoke to her. In fact, as I started to pull away, she was singing a song and barking like a dog.

BK is on my boycott list now.

The level of low is still digging y’all.

Prior to my Taco Bell boycott, I wanted a bean burrito and some cinnamon twists one evening. I placed my order and was asked to pull around. (Shocker.) “Will you please put some Fire sauce in my bag?” I asked. “I sure will,” the girl replied. As I pulled around, I see two other vehicles waiting for their food. Two more join me before it’s over. The same girl from the window walks up and asks me what I ordered, and as she hands me my bag, I ask out of habit, “Did you put the sauce in?” She says, “She sure did.” (Who is this mystery "she" that she’s referring to?) I know already it’s not in there because how could she know if there were sauce in my bag if she didn’t even know what I ordered? I call back to her when I verify it. “Ma’am, there’s no sauce in my bag.” She tells me to pull back through the drive-thru. Low and behold, there’s a car at the window. The driver keeps looking back at me like she’s having a conversation with the girl. I wait. Two minutes. Still, the car sits. Five minutes. She pulls forward a car length at the same time a hand comes flying out the window with a couple packs of hot sauce. I couldn’t help myself. “What is your manager’s name?” She tells me his name is Gary, and I continue. “What is the problem here? Y’all aren’t even busy, and every single car that comes through here, you ask them to pull forward. Why are you doing that? Are y’all just trying to beat the clock and make yourselves look better?” I imagine I probably seemed like a crazy person, but in the twenty minutes I spent in the drive-thru that night, I could have cooked my own beans and rolled a dozen burritos.

And you know what her response was? “We have to cook the food.”

Something is wrong here.

My daddy tried to buy his breakfast from McDonald’s on Friday morning. They weren’t even open and didn’t know when they would be because only one or two people showed up for work. They told him they had no idea when anyone would be there or when they’d finally be able to begin operations for the day.

I know this isn’t just some curse that’s befallen Burke County - there are terrible work forces all over the place, but what can we do to fix ours? I don’t see these same issues happening in locally owned and managed businesses … or at least not on such a large scale. Y’all fight back. Report these franchises and make them train these kids. Maybe they’ll care when they see we care. Got suggestions? Share them with me. I know I’m not the only one who gets so frustrated by this.

If that Frosty machine breaks …

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