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Bad news for messy eaters


fresco
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With profits squeezed, fast food operators, including McDonalds are trying to save costs by instructing counter staff to rigidly limit the number of napkins doled out to customers:

Paper companies in Wisconsin, which produce most of the nation's paper napkins, have developed dispensers that allow customers to take just one napkin at a time.

http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/1-0...004-301517.html

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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Oh, this is just so *wrong*!! Hiding the napkins behind the service counter?? And what do they plan to do with the bathroom paper dispensers?

In recent visits to the Wendy's and Sonic drive-throughs I'd noticed that I'd been given (atypically) a single napkin - which is really insuffient, if you figure one napkin is needed while eating fries, and one after eating a hamburger with extra ketchup!

Has this become a fast-food chain-wide Best Practices so quickly?

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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"hiding" them and introducing human interaction is certainly the wrong way to approach the issue.

installing dispensers that dispense one at a time is the right way to approach the issue.

i wonder which they'll adopt as the standard? i wonder if they'll even adopt a standard?

napkin dispensers, the ones that haven't had any sort of re-design in the last 100 years or so, suck. you can't get one out. you can't get 3 out. they're overfilled by people who don't care, and you end up taking a clump of them out even if you only want 2 or 3.

Edited by tommy (log)
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I gotta say, it's a pet peeve of mine when fast food gives you a stack of napkins even when all you got was say, one sandwich. You're given one napkin at every other restaurant type in the world that I know of. Why does fast food bring out the slob in us? (Where do I begin?) When you order a burger at a sit down restaurant, do you still expect 12 napkins?

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I gotta say, it's a pet peeve of mine when fast food gives you a stack of napkins even when all you got was say, one sandwich.  You're given one napkin at every other restaurant type in the world that I know of.  Why does fast food bring out the slob in us?  (Where do I begin?)  When you order a burger at a sit down restaurant, do you still expect 12 napkins?

Doesn't a lot of fast food drip, involve lots of ketchup, and perhaps most important to this discussion, appeal to families with small kids?

But yes, I'm with you on liking the idea of a lot less wasted paper.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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Well, I suppose they could switch to cloth napkins, wash them and re-use them.

That will catch on right after cloth diapers make a comeback.

--mark

Everybody has Problems, but Chemists have Solutions.

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When you order a burger at a sit down restaurant, do you still expect 12 napkins?

no, i expect a cloth napkin. these are much more effective. and if they only have paper, i'll ask for more napkins as needed. i don't know that fast food "brings out the slob" in anyone. by definition, it's finger food. and it's usually greasy, salty, ketchupy, etc.

i've been to very few fast food places where they're handing out napkins, much less stacks of them. they're usually a self-serve type of item.

Edited by tommy (log)
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Two or three per meal ordered sounds about right to me. Anything less is parsimonious...........and unkind.

Redesign the damn dispensers, already!

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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i've been to very few fast food places where they're handing out napkins, much less stacks of them. they're usually a self-serve type of item.

I've been to fewer restaurants that have cloth napkins *and* burgers, unless they're lamb burgers or gourmet burgers, and then they're probably not slathered with condiments.

At the fast food places I (rarely now) go to, they give you a big stack of napkins and then they also have dispensers. Sounds redundant to me--I think it's the best idea to give you a couple, see how you manage with that, and then make it an option to ask for more at the counter.

Maybe they should have a "bring your own napkin" thing, along with "bring your own spork", because they always seem to mess that up too.

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I've been to fewer restaurants that have cloth napkins *and* burgers, unless they're lamb burgers or gourmet burgers, and then they're probably not slathered with condiments.

the "sit down" places i go to usually have cloth napkins. and many have burgers, although that's not important. there are pubs and whatnot, where you are sitting but might not get a cloth napkin, but generally speaking, i think, when i think of "sit down" places in NYC and NJ, i'm thinking cloth napkins. and one usually does the trick!

Edited by tommy (log)
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Bibs. Why not just one large bib per person? With printed logos on them. Or Ronald McDonald's face. Except that it might make you lose your appetite. But then, hey! What a way to solve the obesity/fast food dilemma!

You know, I'm going to regret this post because someone's going to jump on this and make a fortune....and not share it with me.

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Bibs. Why not just one large bib per person? With printed logos on them. Or Ronald McDonald's face. Except that it might make you lose your appetite. But then, hey! What a way to solve the obesity/fast food dilemma!

You know, I'm going to regret this post because someone's going to jump on this and make a fortune....and not share it with me.

Didn't the lobster joints beat you to it by a few years? :rolleyes:

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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The issue would be moot if the dispensers actually dispensed...maybe they could just teach the staff to not overfill them..that would help cut down on the waste drastically.

Also, Fast Food also equals eating while driving, and I need more napkins when I'm attempting to keep food off my clothes.

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I gotta say, eGullet is a well-behaved bunch. I once worked at a pizza joint in arguably the second wealthiest part of Nashville, and at least 50% of all customers would grab a stack of napkins, and I'm talking about an inch-thick stack, like 40-50 napkins. It aggravated the hell out of us employees, as we'd have to refill the napkin dispensers constantly. Frankly, I don't blame the fast food companies one bit.

I have seen recently more of those napkin dispensers that work more like an upside-down Kleenex box, or a bathroom paper towel dispenser, where you pull off one at a time. Now that's progress.

Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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How about no napkins at all?

Anyone else notice this at concessions at outdoor sports venues? I'm fairly certain the speedway's management here in Daytona actually bans them. I'm sure if pressed they'd spin it as a safety issue when actually they don't like paying for them and cleaning them up post event.

PJ

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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