McDonald’s in South San Francisco near San Francisco International Airport offers more than food: there is convenience, training in self-service electronic menus, yummy (and healthy) menu options, and a short course in American culture.
70 Days Across America
I was staying at the Quality Inn & Suites in South San Francisco, and there didn’t seem to be many nearby options where I could have lunch – except for a McDonald’s, which was about a two minutes’ walk from the motel.
I figured, what the heck? It’s close. I’ll have lunch there and figure out how I will spend the rest of the afternoon. I had already made plans for dinner.
The Electronic Menus …
When I walked inside, I was faced with a group of electronic menus. I had tried ordering this way in Hong Kong a few months earlier, but it didn’t work.
After two failed attempts. I ended up going to the counter and ordering the old-fashioned way.
Not so at this McDonald’s. A very friendly restaurant employee walked up to me and asked if I needed any help.
When I said I lived overseas and didn’t know how to do it, he said no problem and offered to walk me through the process.
How They Work …
Ordering electronically was fun. I was given options, and when I chose one, I would be given more options, until a main course (which could be customized), a side dish, and a beverage had been chosen.
I was told to take a plastic object with a number on it, find a seat, and put it my table. Someone would bring me my lunch when it was ready.
The Wait …
He wanted to know more about living overseas. When I said lived in Hong Kong, he said, “Oh, wow! Do you speak Chinese?”
My Lunch …
The Side Salad …
The Ambiance …
There seemed to be more drive-thru than dine-in or take-away customers.
As a result, the internal ambiance of the eatery was very laid-back and comfortable.
The Verdict …
I was kind of disappointed to eat my first lunch on my epic journey, 70 Days Across America, at McDonald’s, but I enjoyed the experience nonetheless.
I learned a new skill, and I had a very enjoyable conversation with one of the employees.
I hadn’t realized yet how much easier conversation came to Americans. I had been away for a very long time.
This was almost like a short course in American culture.
I also had a very yummy lunch. The sandwich was delicious, and I loved the salad.
I liked the meal so much, in fact, that I went back the following day.
This time I paid more attention when ordering, noticing that each item on the menu included the number of calories it contained.
The differential, I discovered, between two seemingly similar items could be substantial.
As a result, I chose the vinaigrette dressing, which was every bit as satisfying as the Southwest dressing except it contained less than half the calories.
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McDonald’s – 381 South Airport Boulevard, South San Francisco, California.
This is the seventh in a series on my epic journey, 70 Days Across America>>