I have to laugh

fast food

I’m running late this morning. Not because I overslept but because the household menagerie had me up way too early. As a result, my brain is mush, my body hates me, and I’m contemplating going back to bed. The fact we are cloudy and overcast with occasional rain doesn’t help either. Oh well, if this is the worst thing that happens today, I’ll count it as a win.

One thing I have done this morning is scan the headlines and FB. It’s amazing the uproar folks are causing over the now recanted plan by Wendy’s to charge more during rush hour at their various locations around the country. When I first heard the news yesterday, I didn’t like it. I could see myself waiting in the drive-through lane, not quite to the order kiosk, when the prices increased. Or standing inside waiting to order only to find my order cost more, possibly substantially more, than the person in front of me just because I didn’t get in line faster.

My reaction seemed to be how most folks felt about the proposed change. There were a few, however, who wanted to know if those objecting also objected to movie theaters charging more for shows at night than they did during the day. They cited other examples as well, but I’m too lazy to try to hunt them down now.

What those folks missed with their examples was that there’s not a randomness to the price changes in a theater, etc. The customer knows exactly what the movie will cost going in. They don’t have to worry about the price increasing while they stand in line. Nor do they have to worry that the person in front of them will be charged less for that same moving and showing than they will–unless that person qualifies for one of the already established discounts (student, senior, etc.).

To me, it is more like what we face with the toll lanes down here. Not only does the pricing change if you go from Dallas to Tarrant County. (Here’s a hint, Dallas County toll lanes are cheaper by far most of the time than any of the Tarrant County toll lanes.) No matter what the county, you know the toll will increase during “rush hour”. But what they don’t make as well known is that the toll will also go up if there’s an accident ahead of you on the regular lanes that causes a back up. Tolls will increase at some point as more people hope onto the toll lane.

But that’s not the only time. I was driving from Dallas to Tarrant County last week. There’s a stretch of road on what locals call Airport Freeway leading into the HEB area. It’s not unusual to see a several mile stretch of toll lane around there cost anywhere from $5 – $10, even when it isn’t rush hour. That day it was early afternoon. The lunch hour was over but rush hour was still several hours at the very least away.

And the toll was over $10.

At a time when everyone on the main lanes drove speed limit and above and there wasn’t a brake light to be seen. The price had been nothing close to that level when I headed to Dallas earlier in the day. The only good thing about it was the price was posted far enough from the toll lane’s entrance that I didn’t get on.

But for those poor saps who didn’t pay attention to the signage? They were stuck and would end up paying at least twice what they normally would for that short stretch of road.

And the next day? The price at that time was back to what I was used to seeing.

This “surprise” tactic is what I saw with the Wendy’s proposal. Unfortunately for drivers in the DFW area, especially in Tarrant County, the tollway authority (which, iirc is a foreign corporation where Tarrant is concerned) continues with their pricing policies. Wendy’s, however, did a 180. It announced in fairly short order that it would not be making the announced changes. Instead, it would offer “specials” during low traffic times.

Duh.

Instead of punishing customers for stopping on their way home to pick up dinner or a treat, they need to be encouraging folks to come in during slower times. That is how you increase your traffic and that, in turn, will increase profits. You don’t do it by pissing off your customer base.

While I’m talking fast food joints, I have to admit one of our local McD’s has me scratching my head. Over the last week, the restaurant has been leveled and is going to be rebuilt as a new and improved McD. Now, I’m all for improving their restaurants. But McD’s has been known for one thing in particular for decades, something that draws families and helps increase their foot traffic, especially during the workday. That something is their indoor playground.

From what I understand, this new and improved site will no longer have the playground. They are increasing the number of tables. Now, I don’t know about you, but going to have a sit-down dinner at McD’s isn’t high on my list of things to do. So it’s going to be interesting to see how this new concept does, especially since the restaurant is near a residential area with a number of families.

Oh well.

Now it’s time for me to either give in and head back to bed for a bit or find more caffeine and see if I can’t get the brain working. Until later!

 

featured image created using midjourney ai.

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