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Thread: Fast Food Cliches

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Fast Food Cliches

    Why do so many fast food chains offer their main burger menu items on buns with sesame seeds? Why aren't there other bun menu choices - whole wheat or sesame seed free? Those sesame seeds can be bothersome at any moment during its trek through your GI system. With some fast food chains offering more healthy menu choices, why aren't whole wheat buns an option? I can get apple dippers and milk in a cute jug, but no bun withou sesame seeds?

    *** sigh ***




  2. #2
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Why do so many fast food chains have *NO* vegetarian options when there are so many types of veggie burgers and meat alternatives available today?

    When I'm stuck with fast food at a highway rest area and have no choices... French fries and an iceberg lettuce salad does not a meal make!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess
    Why do so many fast food chains have *NO* vegetarian options when there are so many types of veggie burgers and meat alternatives available today?

    When I'm stuck with fast food at a highway rest area and have no choices... French fries and an iceberg lettuce salad does not a meal make!

    It would seem there is a very simple supply side cost-benefit market answer to that question (due to a lack of demand I guess).

    ...I guess 'Veggies' are just not profitable for Micky D's

    heck, they could not even make the "Mc Lean" turn a profit.

    and if they cant do it no one can, right
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  4. #4
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    I, for one, am horrified by the notion of a whole wheat bun. Some places do have the "kaiser roll," and that is considered a step-up from the sesame-seeded bun - it seems it is placed on the premium sandwiches (like double bacon cheeseburger deluxe or whatever).

    I do agree, however, with the over-arching idea that there is a need for more creativity in fast food items (though of course this is at odds with their mass production Taylor-Fordist approach). On a cautionary note, any improvement in quality or selection of fast food items would spell further death to already struggling private establishments.

    Usually the supposed creativity in fast food selections is only manifested in new packaging, further bolstering the type of arguments found in the works of, say, Ivan Illich. The worst example I can think of is McDonalds a while back releasing a "salad shaker" or something (I forget the exact name). It was a salad awkwardly placed in a clear plastic drink cup. It was supposed to be really neat to add dressing and then shake it. In reality, not much redistribution of dressing happened because the salad was stuffed into a cup and therefore not free to move about. Also, most of the dressing ended up clinging to the interior surface of the cup, frustratingly enough. The salad itself was of course still horrible. Strangely, I have become more ill from fast food salads than from any other fast food items (with the exception of KFC chicken, which routinely destroys my system).

    Another curious Fordist approach can be seen in the Carvel desserts. To achieve economies of scale they utilize molds for several different objects. For example, a whale mold can serve as Santa Clause (the tail becomes the hat) and a light bulb mold is used for any number of objects such as the unfortunately named "cookie puss".

    On a positive note, recently on the NYS Thruway I had a Double-R Bar Burger at Roy Rogers. I found the addition of ham to a burger to be an interesting idea. In addition, a higher degree of individual customization is permitted by means of a "Fixins Bar." I normally heap ponderous quantities of pickles and horseradish sauce onto the roast beef sandwich (which, by the way, unlike Arby's, is legitimate roast beef rather than some foam product). I support this smaller regional fast food joint, Roy Rogers, and find their private establishments (non-thruway locations) a slight step up from McDonalds et all. I suppose I should in all cases be rooting for non-chain restaurants but occasionally I find myself enjoying slightly more obscure smaller chains who are fighting it out against the major companies...and there is always some safety in going with some form of a chain in an unknown town versus, say, a diner (where potentially anything goes).

    Rob

  5. #5
    I always wondered why they don't do something to their grilled chicken. You could have cajun seasonsing, italian seasoning, mexican spices, etc. instead you get that bland, dry chicken breast with mayo. How hard would it be to "kick it up a notch?"

    Same with burgers. How about an option for real cheese? Pepper Jack? Cheddar? Swiss?
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RSW
    On a positive note, recently on the NYS Thruway I had a Double-R Bar Burger at Roy Rogers. I found the addition of ham to a burger to be an interesting idea. In addition, a higher degree of individual customization is permitted by means of a "Fixins Bar." I normally heap ponderous quantities of pickles and horseradish sauce onto the roast beef sandwich (which, by the way, unlike Arby's, is legitimate roast beef rather than some foam product). I support this smaller regional fast food joint, Roy Rogers, and find their private establishments (non-thruway locations) a slight step up from McDonalds et all. I suppose I should in all cases be rooting for non-chain restaurants but occasionally I find myself enjoying slightly more obscure smaller chains who are fighting it out against the major companies...and there is always some safety in going with some form of a chain in an unknown town versus, say, a diner (where potentially anything goes).

    Rob
    I thought Hardee's replaced all the RRs.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by H
    It would seem there is a very simple supply side cost-benefit market answer to that question (due to a lack of demand I guess).

    ...I guess 'Veggies' are just not profitable for Micky D's
    Hey, I'm not asking for a veggie stir-fry or pasta primavera!

    Actually, Subway has veggie burger subs available, and I can always have a cheese sub, but the highway rest stops don't have sub shops.

    I'm lucky if I can find a bottle of fruit juice. (All the convenience stores -- even drug stores -- are now carrying nothing but fruit 'drinks' with 80% high fructose corn syrup...)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    You shouldn't even begin to imagine me (knowing my med situation) trying to eat at such places, except Subway.
    Oddball
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally posted by Breed
    I thought Hardee's replaced all the RRs.
    Marriot sold the RR name and many indeed converted to Hardees (some others to Wendy's, Boston Market, and some to McDonald's). By popular demand Hardees then converted some back to Roys. Offshoot Marriot brands like HMS Host secured various thruway contracts so you still have these anomaly Roy Rogers out in NYS and Mass turnpikes. You also have individual Roy Rogers operators scattered about, still sticking with the brand name despite being essentially franchisees with no franchiser.

    Recently, though, the Plamondon brothers (sons of the originator of the Roy Rogers restaurant concept - a fella who worked at Marriot back in the day) purchased the rights to the Roy's name and are re-establishing a franchise and growing it in the Southeast.

    Rob

  10. #10
         
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    Quote Originally posted by Breed
    I thought Hardee's replaced all the RRs.
    There are several in Virginia still

  11. #11
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess
    I'm lucky if I can find a bottle of fruit juice. (All the convenience stores -- even drug stores -- are now carrying nothing but fruit 'drinks' with 80% high fructose corn syrup...)
    Now there is a bandwagon I will get on with you

    Orange and apple are usually still juice (even at quick-stops or what have you)

    Northland (I think that is it, I will check my fridge when I get home) is a good brand. 100% juice, not added sugar. But they are at the Publix (or what have you again)
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  12. #12
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    It typically isn't shown on the menu board but Burger King does sell a veggie Whopper. It is basically a normal Whopper without a meat patty but you do pay less for it.

    If you really want to mess them up, order a Whopper with Cheese, hold the cheese and see how they react.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    [QUOTE=AubieTurtle]It typically isn't shown on the menu board but Burger King does sell a veggie Whopper. It is basically a normal Whopper without a meat patty but you do pay less for it.

    Not always. Every once in a while, while I was in college, Whoppers would go on sale for 99 cents. At that time, I was a veggesaurus, so I would get a veggie Whopper. Without the beef, the local BK charged $1.29. It cost 30 cents to disturb their train of thought I guess.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    [QUOTE=Coragus]
    Quote Originally posted by AubieTurtle
    It typically isn't shown on the menu board but Burger King does sell a veggie Whopper. It is basically a normal Whopper without a meat patty but you do pay less for it.

    Not always. Every once in a while, while I was in college, Whoppers would go on sale for 99 cents. At that time, I was a veggesaurus, so I would get a veggie Whopper. Without the beef, the local BK charged $1.29. It cost 30 cents to disturb their train of thought I guess.

    so much for 'having your way'
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Seriously: I do not eat at fast food restaurants, and haven't since college days.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  16. #16
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I had "fast food" today. Less than 5 minutes for a falafel in a pita with homemade humms and tahini sauce with diced cukes and tomotoes. Cost $4.29 CDN out the door, add a bottle of perrier from the grocery store next door and I was under $6 and I am still pleasantly full 4 hours later. There are so many local options for good food fast there is almost no need to eat the crap, except on the road, when it is the only thing you want to trust.

    The only time I'l eat at McDonalds is when I am hungover and need some "home fries" to settle my stomch
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  17. #17
    Cyburbian silentvoice's avatar
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    Believe me, you won't miss McD until you go to a small town like mine, totally cut off from fast food restaurants.

    oh how i crave for a filet-o-fish now! >_<

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess
    Why do so many fast food chains have *NO* vegetarian options when there are so many types of veggie burgers and meat alternatives available today?
    Three words for ya:

    Noodles and Company

    I'm a die hard carnivore, and their vegetarian dishes rock - especially the Indonesian Peanut Saute'

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    Seriously: I do not eat at fast food restaurants, and haven't since college days.
    I despise fast food joints... but with kids, they are a right-of-passage.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    Three words for ya:

    Noodles and Company

    I'm a die hard carnivore, and their vegetarian dishes rock - especially the Indonesian Peanut Saute'
    Yum! I'm envious. The only time I eat like that is at home. You (and Donk with the falafel) are lucky to have these places nearby.

    Ethnic restaurants are the most reliable when I'm on the road. But I had no problem finding vegetarian options in Scotland, even in small towns.

  21. #21

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    Hate fast food. Especially with all the excellent taquerias and Thai noodle joints. There is one "gourmet burger" independent, Monsoon Burger, that blows away all the fast food and even the upscale burger chains (Pot Belly Burger=Very Bland for $6.)

    Many swear by California regional chain In-and-Out. They're ok, I guess, but I don't see the excitement.

    Boy my mouth is aflaming right now though. I guess dumping chili-laden fish sauce on the Thai noodles may have been excessive (Yum, though)

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    McDonald's does have a vegitarian burger called the McVeggie or something like that. My veggie wife had one at Heathrow Airport in London. Its the type of "product" that isn't a regular menu item but does get brought out at certain times and certain places.

    Even though I know fast food is crap, this thread is getting me hungry for lunch at 9:17 AM.

  23. #23
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    This is a fascinating topic. It kinda deals with a perception v reality thing - you'll notice, say, McDonalds shows sesame seed buns on lots of their sandwiches in advertisements but in actuality they offer many sandwiches that don't have sesame seeds. The relatively few sesame seeds that one finds on their bun can contribute almost nothing to the flavor, so apart from the texture their contribution is purely for aesthetic reasons (adding sesame seeds to the buns probably adds .01 cents to the unit cost which quickly adds up to $$$$ when viewed on an economy of scale that the fast food industry operates on). I would wager that McD's marketing folks took photographs of identical sandwiches side by side one having sesame seeds and the other not and showed them to subjects in blind studies and asked which product looked more appetizing. I'll bet the sesame seed buns rated more positive responses. It would be interesting to see if McD's runs any tv ads showing buns that don't have sesame seeds, even though they offer several seedles bun sandwiches.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  24. #24
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    There are several in Virginia still
    I ate breakfast at one in Leesburg before a job interview a couple of years back and honestly didn't know it was the same thing as Hardee's until stepping inside and reading the menu. Biscuits and gravy.... you know you just can't resist.

    Beyond breakfast, and some Taco Bell, I can't stand fast food other than the Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich (hold the mayo). Not only does it usually taste bad it also tears my stomach up almost every time I try to eat it. Yes, the local ethnic places are a much better option (especially the noodle joints... Yum!) and living in city gives me option to eat at them as opposed to McDonald's and company. But while on the road there's usually nothing else to choose from. Ever seen a falafel stand on the West Virginia Turnpike?
    Last edited by biscuit; 12 Nov 2004 at 9:34 AM.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess
    Yum! I'm envious. The only time I eat like that is at home. You (and Donk with the falafel) are lucky to have these places nearby.

    .
    It is over 2 hours away.

    Make a point to stop in there almost every time I am in teh city though becasue it is so good. Plus I get a take out order of hummus, tahini, pickled carrots, pickled beets, babaganoug(sp?) and a few other items.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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