When Fast Food is No Longer Fast

I’ll admit it, there are times when I crave a Big Smac or McChickenParts at our local fast food joint. It’s inexpensive and easy; you just drive up, tell the “speaker” person what you want, pay for it, pick it up and drive off.

Until now. The Crankee Yankee and I decided to take a day off and drive up to Franconia Notch the other day. It was a beautiful sunny day with a crisp breeze blowing, and the leaves were sporting all their fall colors.

We didn’t want to take the time to go out for breakfast, and decided to just stop by our trusty fast food dive and pick up coffee and two breakfast sandwiches. The Crankee Yankee went in, then ten minutes later, came back with nothing but a scowl on his face. Evidently the fast food powers that be have decided to “upgrade” to kiosks instead of ordering from humans.

The premise for this is that you can choose what you want from the kiosk; there are buttons for “hamburger,” “cheese,” “tomato,” “pickles,” and so on. This is, I guess to save you from having one of those pesky humans mess up your order. In this way you “design” your meal by interacting with a machine, including paying when the order is complete. No human interaction until an actual person brings your food to your table.

If you’re into that sort of thing, fine. But the hitch is when the place doesn’t have enough actual humans behind the counter (as was the case that day) to make your food and bring it to you. Yes, I said bring the food you ordered on a machine out to you just like the regular non-fast food places do. How very bistro.

Really?! Isn’t the idea of fast food basically that it should be, well, fast? Anyone who has read my posts knows that I am old-fashioned about devices, digital doo-dads and the like. I do have a desktop computer and lately I bought a tablet. Oh yes, and the Crankee Yankee and I both have flip-phones, not smart phones.

There’s nothing wrong with smart phones and other devices; people can have what they want and it’s no skin off my nose. What I do mind is when the choice is taken away; now it’s “robo meals” or nothing. I’m sure that the whole “kiosk” thing is great for business and the old bottom line, but it’s a bit sad that it’s either this way or no way.

I swear, if I end up in a nursing home where a friendly “people-bot” comes trundling up to give me my daily meds, I will pull my own plug.