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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Fast food, high style

If you go to a McDonald's in Britain, your server may be dressed better than you are (one of the new uniforms is worn by the woman on the left):

Uniforms at McDonald's have been given an overhaul by a designer better known for glamorous dresses worn by celebrities.

Bruce Oldfield, who boasts Catherine Zeta Jones, Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall and Jemima Khan among his client list, has created a range for the fast food giant's 67,000 UK staff.

The collection includes a black and mocha polo shirt, black cargo-style trousers, a black and mocha baseball cap and black belt and apron.

When I worked at Mickey D's -- high school, first job after the theater usher's gig -- the uniform was white shirt and the funny paper hat. It was a big deal when I got to change from the white hat to the red one -- "assistant manager" while still in my teens, and a whole 15 cents an hour more. The manager there tried to talk me into getting in on the ground floor of that owner-operator thing. "Are you kidding?" I told him. "I'm going to go into newspapers and do something with my life." If only . . .


Bob G.
Fri, 04/25/2008 - 11:29am

I'll wager you've influenced more people with your pursuit of journalism than you rever could slapping out the burgers and fries...
...just a hunch.


(Influencing CATS? Well...that's another story...lol)

Mitchell Surface
Fri, 04/25/2008 - 11:31am

Actually everybody in England is probably dressed better than I am. I remember going into a store and seeing the guy emptying the trash had on a tie.

Harl Delos
Fri, 04/25/2008 - 1:04pm

In the last six months, they tore down the two closest McDonald's franchises to me, and built new stores. Really fancy stores, with arc fragments instead of arches, and a coffee bar inside.

Same lousy service, though. Instead of one man in a bow tie retrieving your "3,3,2 and 1" before the other man in a bow tie can ring up your order on the chrome cash register and give you your change, you have multiple kids leaning, kicking the greasy floor carefully, so they don't mash the fallen fries, while you stand waiting for your order.

Last time I went to one, I took a look at the clock when I placed my order - for a large iced coffee, regular - and after seven minutes, I asked for a refund of my money as I needed to be going. It took another six minutes for them to summon the manager, and instead of giving me a refund, she spent two minutes threatening to throw me out of the place for making trouble - and then instead of giving me a refund, she spent another four minutes filling a cup with ice, dumping some syrup on top, filling it with coffee and capping it.

Nineteen, count 'em, nineteen minutes to get coffee over ice. I'm glad I didn't order a sandwich as well; I'd have missed the election year entirely.

Do they have any "Five Guys" places in Fort Wayne yet? All they have on their menu is burgers (which aren't even pattied until you order) and fresh cut french fries (they post the name of the town where the taters are grown on a chalkboard, daily) and drinks. Free peanuts in the shell, a gazillion burger toppings, and workers that hustle and treat you like they're glad you're there. Last time I was in a chain restaurant that was so enjoyable, it was the old Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor restaurants. That's where the waiters ran up and down the aisles with a super-huge sundae (called the Zoo) on a stretcher, and they stood you up in front of everybody and gave you a ribbon if you could finish a smaller sundae, served in a pig's trough.

Jane Lawrence
Fri, 04/25/2008 - 9:44pm

Harl, do you remember the newsprint menus at Farrell's?

The Farrell's in Grand Rapids, Mich., showed silent films while a live musician played the pipe organ.

I remember the bacon cheeseburger was called "The Talk of the Town" and the regular hamburger, "Old Timer" and there was the "Grasshopper Pie."

Mini clip-on ties, red vests and straw hats -- now that's a uniform.

Do you think McDonald's would ever consider something like the "Zoo Announcement" whenever anyone "Super-sized" their meal?


Thanks for the memories, Harl.

Harl Delos
Fri, 04/25/2008 - 11:04pm

They had a decent reuben, and the soup was OK, but I don't remember the burgers as particularly memorable. What in the world was a grasshopper pie?

Jane Lawrence
Sat, 04/26/2008 - 11:07pm

A Grasshopper Pie has a crushed chocolate wafer crust (Oreo cookies), melted marshmallows, peppermint flavor and whipped cream.

Pure sugar -- and minty, too.