Monday, January 23, 2017

And Another Thing: Drive-thrus are not for me, and no, I don’t want a meal

I won’t make it a big secret that I prefer the convenience of picking up some dinner at a restaurant rather than cook at home. I don’t mind cooking; it’s really just the time factor that gets in the way. Oh, and the planning. Trying to figure out what to do for dinner at 6:14 p.m. isn’t ideal for cooking up some creation on the stove.

So anyway, I eat out a lot. Sure it’s unhealthy and isn’t helping me trim my figure, but it’s just a reality. Which brings me to the topic: Ordering fast food.

First of all, I always walk into the establishment to order my food. I park my vehicle in the parking lot, physically exit, walk into the building and step up to the counter to place my order. Is this exhausting? No. But apparently fast food is even more convenient if you order in the drive-thru lane. I know I’m probably in the minority here, but drive-thrus are just dumb to me.

Is it really that much quicker when there’s 10 cars in line? Then you often have to sit there past the window and wait for someone to deliver the food to your car anyway. (I also do not understand why people eating their parked cars in the parking lot is a thing. Just go inside and sit at a table! Or go home and eat!) The other side though, from a person that orders inside, is that the drive-thru can slow things down at the counter. I’ve waited to have my order taken while the drive-thru gets serviced first, or so it seems.

It’s also expanded to drug stores and banks. My family and I make jokes about what else could have a drive-thru setup, making it easier for lazy people to never have to leave their cars. “I’d drive into the building if I could,” we say, in a sing-song voice.

My apologies if you prefer using drive-thrus and don’t consider yourself a lazy human being. Like I acknowledged, I know I’m probably in the minority here.

Here’s the other thing about these joints that really grinds my gears: Meals. The old saying about fast food places was: “Would you like fries with that?” Well, that’s turned into: “Would you like a meal?” I don’t know who started it, but every menu board has a numbered list of meal options, the main food item with a side/fries and then a drink. What a deal! You’ll probably save 29 cents or something, too.

It’s like a reflex for workers to ask this question, even before you’re done ordering in some cases. I know what I want. When I ask for a cheeseburger and a medium drink, it means I don’t want any fries so why would I order a meal? I'm also not completely against these meals; I'll get them sometimes.

My dad ordered a cheeseburger, medium fries and a drink at McDonald’s recently. Right away, the fella asked about a meal. And then: “Well, the meal comes with two cheeseburgers, is that OK?” Um, no. He didn’t want TWO cheeseburgers. One unhealthy patty with melted cheese is enough.

I’m a fan of Arby’s, mostly for the curly fries. I’ll often order a sandwich with the snack-size fries, because it’s only $1 for the fries and there’s less of them, so it’s a way of tricking myself into thinking I’m not being as unhealthy as I could be if I get the larger order with a meal. Of course, ordering this way will usually get me the meal question.

This all may seem super petty and stupid, but that’s why this is filed under the “And another thing” category. Feel free to tell me in the comments why drive-thrus and fast-food meals are amazing.

Full disclosure: I have not worked in one of these drive-thru establishments, so maybe I shouldn’t be complaining about something when I don’t know the process firsthand. More power to those that do this work. But this is a blog, so I’ll share my opinion about it.

Now I’ll go order my single cheeseburger with a small fries. No, I don’t want a meal.

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