Tuesday, February 15, 2005

McChronicles Hits The Wal (Mart)

Online: 0.00 minutes Order Wait: 1.50 minutes Quality: Very Good

The Riverside Center Wal Mart McDonald's in North Utica is one of the "strangest" McD's in our region. It is strange because it is new (Wal Mart just remodeled into a Super Center), it is small, and it is contained within another company's business.

The McChronicles' first reaction during this visit was that the bank of vending machines in Wal Mart, just outside McDonald's detracted from the view and image of the store. Additionally, the unruly melee of abandoned Wal Mart shopping carts strewn across the McDonald's entrance really made a bad impression (they lined the Wal Mart shoppers' paths of ingress and egress). Even with really good food, the total experience was poor. I just didn't feel the excitement and energy that McDonald's seeks to deliver, and that I yearn for each visit.

Even with no other customer to be found, and even when I ordered an extremely simple "two hamburgers and a medium Coke", I was McShuffled (see earlier posting) and had to wait one and one-half minutes for my food after I placed my order. Finally, the hamburger wrapper exteriors were smeared with the usual light coating of grease. I could understand the mess if the burgers were flying through the kitchen at breakneck speed. But, after a 90-second wait, I would have guessed the burgers would be gift-wrapped!

In short, don't expect anything but bare-bones utilitarianism from a Wal Mart-contained McDonald's. And it looks like the greasy wrappers are just a fact of life. My rare Upstate New York winter sunny day was marred by the dark clouds of disappointment.

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