Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dear Fast-Food.....

Dear Fast-Food Drive-up Window Attendant,

It has been a while since I have seen you.  My visits to your restaurant have decreased over time.  Don’t get me wrong, I have appreciated your hard work and service through the years…

Thank you for being friendly and efficient to so many of us that are in too much of a hurry to get out of our cars and walk into your establishment.  You must encounter a lot of folks that forget to appreciate the service you provide.  There was a time when I could not get through a day without paying you a visit or two.

I know that you see and serve many people on a given day.  It must seem like some customers do not take the time to acknowledge your efforts.  Remembering days past, there were times I became angry when I got my food and drink from you, drove off in a hurry, only to find there was no straw in the bag.  A seemingly small detail, but my plan was to eat my lunch while driving in my car.  The oversight made my multitasking almost impossible without spilling my drink, or worse, not paying proper attention to road conditions.  It happened more than once, and my irritation grew.  Surely, you must deal with confrontations from customers who direct their anger at you for a similar incidence.

Times have changed and so have my habits.  I have learned to slow down.  I re-think what I am going to eat and consider the nutritional value of my choices.  I usually pack my own lunch and drink in re-usable containers when I travel.  The time it takes to do this is worth the effort when I consider the consequences of making poor choices about what I eat and what waste I leave behind.
 
Recently, I found myself miles from home in the midst of running endless errands and I had failed to pack my “take along” refreshments.  I drove up to your window, placed my order and clearly stated, “No straw, thank you.”  As I drove out of the driveway, I noticed there was a straw placed in the bag in spite of my request.  The idea of me carrying my own straw may be new to you.  Yes, I really do carry my own re-usable drinking straw in my handbag and in my car.  Get used to this occurrence due to rapidly growing communities that practice sustainability.

Please consider your choice to stuff extra napkins and condiment packages into our bags.  I know you are in a rush to meet the many demands of others, but if the extra items go un-used, where do you think they end up?

Maybe your employer will act upon these problems in the future by supplying recycling bins or even providing drive-up water bottle filling stations.  As your company pursues ways to go green, I would hope that the responsibility for garbage impact management would be forefront.  Possibly the current trend toward “re-think, re-use” will force an effort to continually reduce waste and improve food choices in an effort to keep customers from creating new habits that will effect your store’s sales.

Until then, I am just a small example in the decrease of your customer base as I learn to carry my own and no longer need your services.  It has nothing to do with you.

I thank you for the many years you have served me.  It is my hope that your company will adopt sustainable practices in the near future so that we will once again see more of each other in the years to come.

Sincerely,
A Customer Seeking Better Alternatives.