The Feng Shui of … French Fries?

2 03 2008

By Derek Beres

Long known as mavens of turnover – all fast-food restaurants could really be termed” In & Out” – one California McDonald’s recently bucked long-held trends in annoyingly bright lighting and uncomfortable bench seats for a little bit of Asian serenity. This NY Times piece spotlighted a Los Angeles-based store that recently consulted feng shui experts in designing an atmosphere conducive to staying around and hanging out a bit – with its own McCafe selling expensive coffee beverages.

The problem (as if there were just one) is that the form does not fit the content. There is nothing relaxed about fast food, from the service and product to its effects on your digestive system. Everything about it screams urgency, and to try to parlay a fashion trend into big business of this nature is to continue to mask a wolf in cow’s clothing. Not that this is at all surprising. Remember, there is such a thing as a McVeggie Burger.

It is interesting that such a chain would test drive new digs like this, but it speaks as much about the social uncertainties of their products as it does the blatant and misinformed reality of their product. The term “health” is not as ambiguous as some would like us to believe. Salads with iceberg lettuce and dressings made of eight different types of corn product will not wipe out the lethal meat product that’s the main course. The same goes for the atmosphere. Disguise and deception in the food industry is old indeed; this latest “innovation” should be seen for what it is, before the practice too becomes commonplace.

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