Return to Yumtopia

Okay, the pastoral painting of fried-chicken-paradise has been renovated into oblivion, but the local KFC/Taco Bell joint itself is back in action. New equipment, new furniture, new state-of-the-art decor.

Let’s take a quick visit, shall we?

They duffed the layout of the entryway/foyer/narthex. During lunchtime they have lots of empty tables but a line out the door, i.e. they should have allocated more space to the line and less to the dining area.

The old salamander – I mean that banged up table where the fried chicken slowly dessicated under the heat lamps – is gone and replaced by smaller, presumably much more efficient and manageable Henny Penny heating units. Huge improvement. Much more palatable.

An employee now can control the lights for the entire store by pushing a single button on an energy-saver panel, depending on the status of the restaurant  – opening, full service, cleanup, etc. Seems brilliant. (You may gather that I’m a little bit of an operations junkie.)

On to the really good stuff: the messaging. A sign greets each visitor declaiming the essence of the dining experience. There’s a Taco Bell half and a KFC half. The Taco Bell marketing message includes something like this gem: “We’re the bold, fresh choice for those who are content to live their lives according to their own standards.”

Yes, it’s absurd. But honestly, I kind of admire the positioning. I’ve always thought “think outside the bun” was clever. You see what they’re up against: Americans love McDonald’s and BK and Wendy’s and In-n-Out and Red Robin and Krystal and Hardees and White Castle and Carl’s Jr. and …. So they present tacos as the choice for brave people, and burger-eaters as a bunch of mindless drones, conformists, lemmings, cowards. Probably the same people who show up at chess tournaments and play the Exchange French. Represent your individuality, eat at Taco Bell. Ridiculous on the one hand, but still smart.

So that’s the new store. Let’s see, what are we omitting from our review … Seems like we’ve forgotten something critical … What’s that you say? The food? The FOOD?

Oh, but really now. Fast food is really about fast; it has nothing to do with food.


3 thoughts on “Return to Yumtopia

  1. “We’re the bold, fresh choice for those who are content to live their lives according to their own standards.”

    Appealing to the lowest common denominator? Jeffrey Dahmer lived his life according to his (rather low) standards.

  2. Egg – I begin to suspect some dark KFC/TB-related incident in your past…

    CL – You’ve got a point. At the local Dunkin Donuts (and by “local” I mean a particular one of the six within spitting distance of my house, welcome to New England) it’s much faster to walk in than to sit interminably in the drive-through line. Where the employee is required to greet each new car with the suggestive sell, “Good morning, would you like to try our new pumpkin muffin and superfrappachinalicious latte combo?” To which most of us reply, “I just want a coffee.”

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