EppsNet Archive: Fast Food

I Can Still Eat

5 Sep 2014 /

Hi everybody! It’s me, Lightning! My owner bought each of us a chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A. He’s a fast eater but I ate my whole sandwich before he was even half way done with his!

I’m very old now. I can hardly see, hear or walk. But my eating ability has not dropped off AT ALL!

— Lightning paw

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Eat Mor Chikin

1 Jun 2014 /

I like Chick-fil-A. I like that they put people with a mastery of English at the drive-thru, and I especially like that, unlike every other fast food outlet, they never ask me if I’d like to try the latest menu item.

Carl’s Jr. is the worst offender in this area. They seem to constantly have new items on both the breakfast menu and the regular menu so no matter what hour of the day I show up, they have something to force feed me.

“You have a huge picture of that item right here on the menu. It’s not like I’m unaware of its existence. Why can’t you just let me order what I want to order and stop badgering me?”

It’s rude. They don’t do it face to face because they know it’s rude. They don’t “would you like to try” you if you get out of your car and go in to the restaurant, but in the anonymity of the drive-thru it’s okay to badger me and waste my time.

Cows at Work


Minimum Wage Proposal: $0.00

10 May 2014 /
Fast food strike

You can’t make ends meet on 8 bucks an hour? I can see where that would be a problem. When did fast food jobs become jobs for family breadwinners? Fast-food jobs are for high-school kids.

You want to make $15 an hour? Simple: get a job that pays $15 an hour. What’s stopping you? Other than your lack of skills, education, motivation and accomplishments? If no employer is willing to pay you $15 an hour, then guess what? You’re not worth $15 an hour. You need to do something about that.

Why is $15 an hour the magic number? Why not $16? Or $17? Why not $50 an hour? At $50 an hour, everyone would make a nice 6-figure income and poverty would be a thing of the past, right?

If you raise the price of a product or service, the demand for the product or service goes down — at least a little bit. Is there a counterexample where raising the price of something makes the demand go up? I can’t think of one.

Let’s go a step further: If you set the price of a product or service at an artificially high level, e.g., double the market value that people are currently willing to pay, the demand for the product or service will fall off a cliff.

Example: Instead of setting a minimum price for labor, imagine setting a minimum price for cars: $30,000. What would happen? No effect on the market for cars that already cost $30,000+, but the market for Honda Civics, Toyota Corollas, etc. would dry up. No one wants to pay X dollars for something that’s worth a lot less than X dollars.

A lot of low-skill jobs have been or could be automated out of existence. Think about that the next time you pay a machine at a parking garage or tool booth, or use an ATM, or check out your own groceries at the supermarket.

I was in a sandwich shop the other day and there were no humans taking orders. Instead, there were several tablet-sized touch screens with card readers. Swipe your credit card and select your order.

Fast food restaurants can’t get rid of everyone overnight, but there’s nothing like doubling the cost of labor to get business owners looking at all possible labor-reduction options.

P.S. I didn’t cherry-pick that photo. It’s from a Salon article that’s actually supportive of a minimum wage increase.


Japan, Day 8: Walking in Tokyo

29 Dec 2013 /

Things you notice when walking in Tokyo . . .

1) There are lots and lots of people . . .

Walking in Tokyo

Walking in Tokyo

Walking in Tokyo

Walking in Tokyo

Walking in Tokyo

Walking in Tokyo

Walking in Tokyo

Walking in Tokyo

2) Most of them are not very tall . . .

Giant among pygmies

Giant among pygmies

3) Because there are a lot of people in a small amount of space (even though they are small people), Tokyo is built to take advantage of vertical space. For example, I’ve never seen a two- or three-story fast food restaurant in the U.S. but they’re common in Tokyo. Businesses that usually are two or three stories in the U.S., like department stores, in Tokyo are eight or ten stories.

Tokyo is a vertical city

Tokyo is a vertical city

Is that a McDonalds up there?

Is that a McDonalds up there?

Sake

Sake

Ueno Park

Ueno Park

Flying back home tomorrow . . . sayonara!


A $15 Minimum Wage is Not Going to Help You

6 Dec 2013 /

Fast Food Workers Will Strike On Thursday In L.A. : LAist

Fast food workers staged a one-day strike for “living wages.” More specifically, they want the federal minimum wage to be raised from $7.25 an hour to $15.

Fast food

(Photo credit: H Dragon)

You want to make a living wage? I’ll tell you how to make a living wage. I’ve had a lot of jobs and this method has never failed me.

Here it is: Before accepting a job offer, you always ask yourself, “Does this job pay enough for me to live on?” And if the answer is no, then you don’t take that job.

If you want to earn $15 an hour, do what I do: get a job that pays $15 an hour. Who’s stopping you?

If no one’s willing to pay you $15 an hour, it’s because the skills, intelligence and motivation that you bring to the table don’t allow you to do anything that’s worth $15 an hour. You need to do something about that. You need to be able to deliver $15 of value to an employer. Figure that out.

Setting the minimum wage at $15 is not going to help you. If you set the price of something at more than it’s worth, people are not going to buy it.

Imagine this: My friend Paul Epps is a programmer. Let’s say we passed a Minimum Wage for Programmers law that says that programmers must be paid at least $200,000 a year. Is that good news for Epps?

No, it isn’t.

His boss calls all the programmers into a meeting and says, “Well, according to the new Minimum Wage for Programmers law, I can’t hire any of you for less than $200,000 per year. You know what that means?”

“We all get a big raise?” Epps suggests hopefully.

“No, it means you’re all fired. Get out of here.”

Or imagine this: We pass a Minimum Price for Restaurants law that says you can’t get a meal in restaurant unless you pay at least $15 for it. What will that do to sales of Quarter Pounders and Jumbo Jacks?

People will stop buying those things. Many restaurants serve meals for which customers are willing to pay $15, but a fast food burger isn’t worth $15, even with fries and a drink, so people will stop buying those things.


At the Drive-Thru

14 Sep 2013 /

“Hi, would you like to try our new [insert product name here]?”

“Do you think I’ll like it?”

“Uh, I don’t know.”

“Then why are you recommending it? Don’t you want me to be happy?”


The Aliens Have Landed in Irvine

8 Sep 2013 /

It’s about one in the afternoon at the Irvine In-N-Out Burger. A guy who looks to be in his early 20s comes in wearing a backward baseball cap, dark sunglasses (which he never removes) and — despite a temperature in the high 80s — a pullover sweater.

Aliens

To simplify the storytelling, let’s call this guy Alf.

Alf waits in line, places his order, then immediately walks over and stands in front of the pickup counter. The place is packed, and I can tell from looking at the number on my own ticket that there are about 10 more orders ahead of me, and since I ordered before him, there are about 15 more orders ahead of Alf, so there’s no reason for him to be standing at — in fact, leaning on — the pickup counter.

After a few moments, the kid at the pickup counter asks Alf what his number is.

“Eleven,” Alf replies.

“OK, we’re calling numbers in the 90s, so it’s going to be a few more minutes.”

Alf then sits down on a bench to the left of the pickup counter, where he waits patiently until they call order number 6, which happens to be my number, at which time Alf asks the kid at the counter if his order is ready yet. It’s the same kid he talked to before, and the kid knows Alf’s number is 11, so he says, “No, not yet.”

When the alien invasion come to your town, you will know them by the following signs:

  1. Inappropriate attire, e.g., sweaters in a heat wave, dark glasses indoors, caps on backwards . . . no, scratch that last one. Some Earthlings do that too.
  2. Ignorance of the most basic social scenarios, like how to order and pick up fast food.
  3. Inability to count.

Taco Warmer

7 Sep 2013 /
Day 320

Photo by supjchwa2

“Jack in the Box tacos have to be eaten when they’re hot, so when I buy them at the drive-thru, I also buy a bag of french fries, set the fries on top of the tacos and use them as a taco warmer to keep the tacos hot until I get them home and eat them.”

“Do you eat the fries as well?”

“No, I don’t eat the fries. I just use them to keep the tacos warm.”

“The french fries keep the tacos warm?’

“Right.”

“What keeps the french fries warm?”


At the McDonald’s Drive-Thru Window

2 Mar 2013 /

The girl hands me my lunch and says, “How are you doing sir thanks for waiting here’s your order bye.”

“Too fast. I didn’t even tell you how I’m doing yet.”


Stick to the Script. Don’t Ad Lib.

10 Mar 2012 /
Carl's Jr. sign

I’m at the Carl’s Jr. drive-thru, and in keeping with the time-honored fast food tradition of having the person with the worst command of the English language and/or the most unintelligible accent work the drive-thru, the guy says, “Welcome to Carl’s Jr. Would you like to try [unintelligible] patty [unintelligible]?”

“What?”

“Welcome to Carl’s Jr. . . .”