MacDonald’s. Not my preferred place for dining by any means, much derided by most people with working tastebuds and source of a hundred horror stories (though almost certainly untrue) of dodgy ingredients and suspect hygiene standards…
Yet, every single one I’ve passed at anything vaguely approaching any sort of mealtime (and often in between) has been packed to the rafters, not to mention the additional queue for the ‘drive thru’.
It’s the same with Beefeater and Toby Carvery. (There are of course other ‘chain’ restaurants but these are the two that spring immediately to mind) There are plenty of out of the way, little village and town pubs I’ve stopped at, and had some truly excellent meals, which have all in the same price bracket as a Beefeater.
Admittedly, once or twice I have picked a ‘wrong-un’ and ended up in a dark corner of a pub where all of the locals look like each other and even asking for ketchup was a bit ‘risqué’ … but for the most part my endeavours off the beaten track have been very positive indeed and discovered some real ‘gems’ of country pubs.
Yet, despite the superior quality, I’m often sat in a near empty pub with perhaps six other people… and 100 yards down the road the Beefeater or Toby Carvery has a 45 minute wait for a table.
So, why is it people behave in such a way when with a small investment of time and going out on the smallest of limbs could give them a much better experience for little or no extra cost ?
Well, the thing is that with MacDonald’s, Beefeater and all of the other ‘chain’ establishments the diner knows what they are going to get before they walk in –it may not be brilliant but at least it’s consistent and , from a certain point of view … safe.
This ‘better safe than sorry’ approach seems to prevail over many things. It seems that when we say we don’t mind a bit of risk for bigger rewards, we don’t actually mean it at all … and in reality, what we’d really prefer, if it’s something we’re actually going to stick with, is a much smoother, gentle upward slope toward success.
The perfect combination, then, would be something that offers convenience, consistency and superior quality.
Until next time,
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down