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Fast Food Ploys

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I admit that from time to time I go through the drive thru, especially if I'm pressed for time and need a quick meal. But have you noticed that they pull all kinds of "tricks" on you to spend money and make it a fast meal?

I went to burger kind and ordered a value meal. They asked me if I wanted it medium or large... naturally I said small but why was small not an option?

Often if you pull up to the drive thru and pay they ask you to pull your car up ahead and then they will physically walk outside and bring you your bag of food. What gives? These drive thru employees are on a clock and if it takes longer than some allotted time something bad happens to them?

If you want to order just a sandwich they always always ask you "do you want the meal?"

What kind of tricks have you noticed?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 19
It's the nature of upselling and any business based on sales will do it.

Quality restaurants do most of the same things with specials, recommendations and so on. Basically pushing high profit meals. In fast food as in all restaurants, high profit means drinks so a meal combo is pushed at fast food to include the drink.

Pulling the car forward is a courtesy to others in line behind you and I'm all for it. Again, the more people they can serve quicker, the higher the customer satisfaction and likely return rate of patrons. A slow moving line is a big peeve to all customers.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Not exactly - there was nobody behind me at all. When I asked about it the attendant said they are on a timer. The timer keeps ticking while the car is parked in front of the window. So they ask you to pull away as if to show that they served you within a few seconds. They then walk outside and hand you your bag. At other places they have also asked me to stay at the order intercom and not drive up until they tell me to.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 19
I don't know that I'd term the behavior you mention as "ploys" or "tricks".
Those terms, to me at least, denote underhanded and nefarious acts.
It's just procedure.
Some places though, have medium and large sodas, but no "small".
While still not a ploy or trick, it is nonsensical.
If you only offer two sizes, wouldn't the lesser volume one be "small"?
How can you have a medium with only two choices?
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #5 of 19
Never had that experience. It's always been when there are cars behind you. One local small chain does BIG lunch business. They have 6 parking spaces for drive through waiting and they're usually all full but one or two as they cycle the drive through line. That line would be a disaster without the dedicated waiting zone.

I've seen some places with the timer, but it runs 'til you're actually served, not just pulled away from the window.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 19
Maybe the timer meant that your food was actually cooking then and it was going to be "fresh". :crazy:
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #7 of 19
I can't believe that y'all are eating at fast food restaurants!

doc
post #8 of 19
You'd be suprised what I'll eat.
But I would never show up at your house with a mickey dees bag to feed you.

I've really cut back on the fast food, but now and then will take my daughter to Wendy's so she can get the nuggets and a frostie.
The torture is smelling the fries all the way home.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #9 of 19
There are some good ones, usually local burger joints and small city-wide chains.

I think McDonalds does a respectable french fry and the Egg McMuffin is of decent quality if a bit pricey for what it takes to make one.

They serve a niche and function and good quality food can be had.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #10 of 19
Corporate policy that filters down as franchise policy is to have as few customers as possible wait in line. So if you order something that isn't already in a holding bin chances are you will get "parked". The timer actually interfaces with the monitor system that is used to decide when and how much food to put on at any given time. Park 2 out of 10 or 20 customers and you kept the majority happy that they got their food fast.I did a year as breakfast and lunch grill cook for a McFood in the 80's :lol: the scary part is the pay was better than most of the other jobs available in the area at that time.
post #11 of 19
The reason for this is the keypad on the POS register. There is a "button" for the sandwich only and a "button" for the meal combo of that sandwich. This saves time and provides the bean counteres with statistical data, which is used to figure out purchasing trends as well as inventory controls
post #12 of 19
Having worked at T.G.I. Friday's in my youth, I know just how much upselling is done there. We used to have 'secret shoppers' who would come into the place and report if we DIDN'T upsell the drink special.

This was really fun because we were located near a retirement home, and there was nothing more fun then trying to get some 80 year old woman who was on a limited budget to get the ultimate Margareta at 11AM.

They never had us push any food items, just the drinks, and pretty much every shift had a drink or 4 to push. They did have us try to upsell the food though, if they asked for a salad, ask if they wanted extra bacon and cheese $$, if they wanted a baked potato why not have a loaded one instead $$?

Due to this experience its obvious when its done in other places and even the finest restaurants will almost always push a wine selection.
post #13 of 19
why is that? On my way home at 2am when I am finally hungry after working 12 hours and the only thing open was a Krystal there was nothing better than a steaming hot Krystal or 6...... As a chef you would be surprised at what most of us eat.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #14 of 19
Agreed Chef.
There is a difference between what we would feed someone else, what we would eat when we are looking for a nice dining experience, and what we will eat when all we want to do is fill the void.
I make no apologies.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #15 of 19
I think that can apply to anyone who puts in long hours. Last semester I had a class that went until 6pm and its a 45 minute drive home. I typically would go hit one of the local fast food places because the last thing I wanted to do was make supper when I got home. Besides, a nice greasy burger and fries is tasty once in a while :lol:
post #16 of 19
The classic up-sell is "Would you like fries with that?".... a rather obvious one :)

What I find weird is not to do with fast food at all, it's say, for example, when you're calling your bank or credit card facility, electricity company etc, you get thru what you are asking, problem is solved - then they ask "Is there anything else I can help you with today?".

I always feel like asking for a serve of fries.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #17 of 19
Therein is why I said "I can't believe y'all are eating in fast food restaurants.

First, when I worked in a restaurant, we got to eat on the job, or on break, so there was never a reason when we finished cleaning up the place at 2am, to go looking for something to eat. For a treat, we'd sometimes, rarely, go to the donut shop, as they were up making fresh donuts at 2am.

No offense intended. Just surprised was all.

doc
post #18 of 19
What's a break?
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #19 of 19
No offense taken doc. Just after being in the kitchen for 12+ hours the last thing I would want to do is cook for myself. It was always convenient and I was never hungry until after I left the building. I cant speak for everyone but I will say that a group of us would get together at a FF restaurant or a greasy spoon and eat at 2 AM just about every Sat and all of us were either chefs, sous or managers.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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