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I love McDonald's.
I am a trained chef and a self-confessed food snob. Despite my education in one of the finest cooking schools in Paris and training in classical Michelin starred restaurants, I couldn't be happier chowing down a Big Mac meal with large fries.
And I'm definitely not alone. The kitchen crew, in one of the restaurants I worked at, would serve beautifully executed gastronomic meals to gourmets shelling out around 1000 Euros (~ $1350) for a dinner for two. After service, we would all traipse down to the nearest 'McDo' and have a late night snack while dissecting the extravagant menu we had just served up.
Here's why I think why millions of people frequent McDonald's while being fully aware of it's well-documented health and environmental hazards.
It's comforting due to the fact that it's consistent in quality. A BigMac or an order of chicken nuggets will taste similar in almost every McD in the world. When you just arrive in a new place and haven't had time to scope out the food scene, the options are usually a seedy local bistro which might try to pass off dishwater for French onion soup, (and charge you 20 bucks for it) or a cheap, tried and tested McDonald's. It's a lot more comforting to choose something familiar then try something scary and foreign.
McDonald's is open late, sometimes even 24 HOURS, and generally on weekends. I cannot stress how incredibly convenient it is to have a place that serves hot food when everything else is closed. I found this to be especially in European countries where restaurants/general stores/cafes normally shut down on weekends.
- Golden fried nuggets dunked in delicious BBQ sauce.
- Crispy fries showered liberally with salt and served piping hot
- Deliciously sweet, effervescent Coke poured over ice cubes.
Not only do they sound good, but taste good too! McDonald's very cleverly caters to the basic stimulants of Salt/Fat/Sugar. Once you start eating it, you become addicted to the heady combination.
Say what you will, but McD has pretty good service. It may not always be friendly, but it's always rapid and efficient. And in some locations, you can simply order a burger off the dollar menu and mooch off the free WiFi for however long you wish.