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Sunday, July 02, 2006

meet me at camera three

Dear McDonald's,

You are cordially invited to get over yourself.

I recently took a road trip with my children, and road trips are the ONLY time I let my kids eat at your establishments. I saw the Super Size Me, and it grossed me out no end. I only eat your cheeseburgers now because the infant I'm currently incubating wants one. But I digress.

I understand that since the hard-hitting reporting of your french fries NEVER CHANGING THEIR CURRENT STATE and such resulted in a hit on your business. Even so, let's get something straight: People do not patronize your 'restaurants' because they are looking for a fine dining experience. They go because that's where their kids want to go. What does this mean? It means you should put a playplace in every one of your 'restaurants' (okay, maybe not in Park City or Vail, but all the others).

Allow me to illustrate: I'm in the car with my children driving across, let's say, Illinois, and we've been driving for atleast 2 & 1/2 hours without stopping. It's time to stop for not only a bathroom break, but also for lunch. We see a billboard with nothing but your Golden Arches indicating that we should prepare to exit the freeway to get our toy (that happens to be accompanied by "food"). The kids are getting both restless and excited. We find the 'restaurant' and park. Kids are practically running because, hey, they need the exercize after all that driving, and when we get inside...No Playplace. Instead, you've recently remodeled with a fireplace and a lounging area, a khaki motif complete with high tables surrounded by barstools. Are you freakin' kidding me?! You are not A Fine Dining Establishment. You're not even Starbucks. Your mascot is a clown. My kids want, nay, they NEED to run and jump and crawl around in colorful plastic tubes. (But not the ball pits because we all know about the psychos that throw their used hypodermic needles in there to give the kids diseases.) Give a mom a break.

While we're at it, please review the hiring of the staff in Creve Coeur, Missouri. The girl that took my order was, amazingly, sleeping while working. I know, it sounds absurd. And it was. I was waiting for the mix-up...waiting...and there it came: Orange Juice instead of Orange Drink with the Happy Meals. When I brought it to her attention, she rolled her eyes to the high heavens and told another girl that I said Orange Drink but meant Hi-C. Um, excuse me? Who calls it Hi-C??? It is Orange Drink. From McDonald's. McDonald's Orange Drink. That's what it's called. That's what it's always been called. We don't need Sleeping Beauty to get all huffy and act as an interpreter for the obvious.

Please. Just a place for kids to play. And bring back Grimace.



Carina said...

You object to this?

I think it's so funny that McDonald's is going for the "Wifi" crowd with "iPod-like" design. Ha. Just give me my monopoly piece and leave me alone with my hashbrown.

Lyle said...


Cater to the kids and you can't go wrong.

I could just imagine McDonalds offering free wireless internet service.

Lyle said...

AzĂșcar- I checked out the link after I posted the previous comment. Egads!

QueenScarlett said...

I don't eat at McDonald's ... unless there's nothing around... I had one In-n-Out craving in the Bay Area and there wasn't one immediately around for I had to settle for a cheeseburger from McD's....

I've found that their marketing is schizo... they can't figure out who their audience is...and have tried the ghetto audience...and then the dorky business pinky waving audience... and now the ipod audience? Wow... fire the Ad agency and get Target's Ad folks.

I used to love McD's fries... until they messed with a good system. Now with all the Trans Fat and nastiness... ugh. Have you noticed that depending on the neighborhood - fast food is either clean/decent or scary?

La Yen said...

Anyplace that serves McGriddles is not fine dining.
That being said, I live for road trips, because it is the only time I can eat a McGriddle without W making fun of me.
Also, sometimes kids pee in the ball pits. So between the wonderful world of AIDS and the Babyruths, avoid the pits.

dalene said...

I remember driving through the drive-thru of Micky Dees with take out I'd just gotten for myself from someplace--any place--else.

Then I put a 10-year moratorium on McDonalds.

But then came their bacon ranch and asian chicken salads. And so I abandoned Wendy's--who never get the order right anyway.

I'm with you on the "back to basics" plea. The other day I took my neice and nephew--who do McDonalds in Portland daily--and my neice asked for the McChicken sandwich. The guy called out a Spicy Chicken Sandwich. "No, McChicken." I said. "It's the same thing," he said.


Emmie said...

Have you seen their salad commercials where a woman is doing yoga and a soothing, sultry female voice says: "Let's elevate our senses"? I have one (hyphenated) word: Puh-leeeeeze. If I'm going to elevate my senses with a salad, there ain't no way that salad is coming from Mickey Dees.

Bek said...


J==you officially make #15. That number is in reference to all the people who have told me in the last two weeks that they are expecting (although, you are farther along). Congrats!!! I am so very, very happy for you. Sorry you plan backfired (sort of). You sure suprised me!!

And a boy!!! Horrah!!

Note to self--plan a trip to Africa and the entire world gets pregnant.........

Pappy Yokum said...

I almost lost my cookies laughing at your description of the sleeping order taker. It reminded me of a similar experience I had yesterday.

I will never understand how big companies can pay so much for "the best" marketing people and yet they seem to frequently forget to target their audience - their real audience, not the one they want to chase but shouldn't.

Sarah said...

The ultimate paradox is the McDonalds Salad. They should be ashamed of themselves. I totally hear you on the no play area thing. Let's start removing Ronald's fingers until somebody in Corporate gets the message...