Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Snackers, snackers, snackers…

I was in a KFC the other day; they were having a sale on “snackers”—these mini- chicken sandwiches—2 for $1. (They’re basically the chicken equivalent of a white castle slider just a little bigger: a chicken strip or some cut of breaded chicken breast on a little bun with lettuce and some type of special sauce.) The frightening part was watching them make it.

They had all the buns laid out—rows and rows tow or three deep. Must’ve been 20 or 30 out there. Somebody walked by with a little squirt bottle of sauce, dabbing down the buns with the precise amount—you know they measure this stuff out… lettuce was sprinkled on, in precise amounts, of course. And then they sat and waited. And waited. For the chicken to cook…

It was sad.

Those buns just sat there by themselves. The more I looked at ‘em the less edible they seemed. It wasn’t even like I was watching food anymore. “Kitchen Fresh USA” I’d think—that’s they’re latest theme. Or is it “Chicken Capital USA”? I forget. They change ‘em like wardrobes at a Beyonce show. Anyway, it was such an assembly line… just like the way they make Big Macs. Or Oreo cookies. Or staplers. Or cars. Or most of the crap you see on QVC and HSN. It just all felt so mechanical. It just reminded me how much of an industry food is. Industry. Mechanics. Assembly. Consumption… That’s all it is.

You could take the sauce bottle out of the kids hand and replace I with a wrench or an air-hammer or staple-gun or a glue gun and he probably wouldn’t notice. The buns could be blocks of wood or hunks of plastic or sheets of pre-cut fabric and it’d all look the same. Just another order to be filled.

Just part of the machine.

I felt less and less hungry the more I looked at those Snackers. And for the first time, I realized that I’ve never felt like I was ever in someone’s kitchen or even a restaurant in one of those places. They all feel like factories—KFC, McD’s, Taco Bell, Chipotle’s, even Subway… just workers in a hive, droning away, punching clocks filling orders for goods to be consumed.


Ironically, “Yummy!” is the name of the company that owns KFC, Taco Bell and I think PizzaHut—Yum! Brands to be exact. It’s all a machine.

Hadji Williams. Ex-Marketing Hustler. Current Troublemaker. Author of KNOCK THE HUSTLE: How to save Your Job and Your Life from Corporate America. ( //


At 8:15 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

That's what makes them fast.

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

snackers are hated even by the makers. No one that has ever had to make those little things 30 or more every hour would. They are really good though. Try the ultimate cheese.


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