About twenty-five years ago, late at night, I stopped in at a restaurant that offered foods that were billed as health foods. It was one of those informal places that had a stripped down version of tables and chairs and you could either eat there or take your food with you in paper bags.
As I said, it was late at night. I was the only customer and there was only one employee and as she was wrapping up my tuna melt sandwich she asked me if I wanted to take it home. I was feeling in a mischievous mood so I told her that I would eat it there as soon as I brought in my embroidered tablecloth and cloth napkins, as well as my china plates, imported crystal glasses, and sterling silver tableware.
She gave me a very odd look, shrugged her shoulders and said that was fine. When she saw me laughing, she realized that I had been pulling her leg and she started to laugh, too.
Yesterday, I saw something that made me remember this incident and I started to laugh.
Two teenaged boys, dressed up in shirts and black ties, went into McDonald’s and ordered dinner. They brought their own tablecloth, candles, cutlery, wineglasses, and a centerpiece, and arranged everything beautifully on their table. Then, they sat down and started to eat their dinner.
Some members of the staff were amused by their prank, which was photographed by their friend, but one employee took exception to their atmospheric dining and asked them to leave. The candles were fake so it couldn’t have been a safety issue and she was immediately overruled by the other employees as well as by the customers.
The boys said they thought the place needed a bit of class and one of the boys said “It was the cutlery; they didn’t like us using our own.”
A McDonald’s spokesman said, “We are aware of the customers who dined at our Kingston restaurant on Saturday night and are pleased that we were able to offer them an affordable treat.” They only asked that the boys take their belongings with them when they left.
In the meantime, the photos have gone viral since they were posted on Twitter, and one has been re-tweeted more than 14,000 times. I count it as a win-win for the boys and McDonald’s got fantastic advertising without having to pay a penny.