Thursday, 30 December 2010
I am a much healthier eater than I was at university in my halcyon days of youth. I manage to avoid fast food in general these days, but when I used to cave into my baser desires, it would always be McDonalds rather than Burger King who would get my custom. Famished on the motorway from a day of car shopping today, we pulled into a service stop and I remembered why...
McDonalds know what they are and what they do. They provide pretty rubbish burgers, pretty rubbish surroundings and normally pretty rubbish service, but that is the essence of fast food, so they charge accordingly. It's about £4 or so for a burger, chips and drink meal. Burger King also provide pretty rubbish burgers, pretty rubbish, well you get the idea, it's all basically the same. However, a similar meal there will set the Rick Waller in you back about £7.
Now if you pop to your local pub or even a restaurant you can probably find a burger for £8 or £9. They vary massively in quality, but generally you can do ok for under a tenner. Now, my point is obvious, Burger King seem to have ideas above their station - or Little Chef (Thief) Syndrome. They serve up fast food for near restaurant prices. You may be wondering why I care. More likely you have stopped reading, but I shall continue on the off chance. I am not a share holder. To my knowledge none of my friends or family are either. I care not that a cursory glance at the ledgers of 'the big 2' show The King falling further behind Maccy D's as profits tumble. Perhaps they would do well to be less delusional in their pricing policy, but their share price matters not a jot to me. Why then does it exercise me?
Twofold, I think. Firstly, I don't like people dressing crap up as something it isn't. You might say, that's advertising. You might say one doesn't have to shop there, nobody does, so market forces should separate the wheat from the chaff. Indeed, but it does not stop their arrogance annoying me, nor has it yet hastened their bankruptcy despite the welcome downwards trajectory of their profits. The second reason is that they seem to be ubiquitous on travel routes. They appear to have almost a monopoly on motorway services and airport fast fooderies. So if ever on the hop I feel the need for something hot, unhealthy and absent of nutrition I am forced to pay a bunch of crooks a Prince's ransom for it. I may as well lick soot from my exhaust pipe and give ten quid to FIFA.