I HAD to try them.
Burger King now has hot dogs!
Living in Toledo you learn to appreciate the fine dining that hot dogs provide. Some people think of us as Jeep’s world headquarters. Others call us the Glass City.
But when you live here long enough you will learn the truth.
Toledo is really a “Hot Dog” town.
Almost every street has a hot dog place of some kind. Our most famous restaurant is a hot dog restaurant. They say it’s a Hungarian thing, I’m not sure.
I've never really quite gotten it. Isn’t the hot dog the easiest food to prepare ever? I can see going out for seafood, or Italian, or even Mexican.
… But hot dogs?
Who are all the Toledoans that need to be saved from the tedious work of slaving over a hot stove to prepare hot dogs?
I’m sure the entire city was on the edge of excitement. Anxiously awaiting the epic event.
After all Burger King claims to be the KING of the burger. Could they possibly dethrone Tony Paco’s as king of the hot dog? The battle could be EPIC!
Anxiously I waited in line at a BK. A slow line.
Actually it wasn’t a line.
I was standing at the counter by myself. It just took a long time for the girl to acknowledge me.
“Two chili dogs please.” (I figured what the heck - I’d splurge and go all the way and add Chili too).
“… and ... an order of large fries.”
“Huhuu… she said.” I began my anticipatory wait, already salivating.
As I waited I looked around. Who were the people in this place? They looked like extras from a zombie movie.
A strange silence in the restaurant. The musac wasn’t working. All I could hear was the ceiling fan that needed balancing:
“whirr, click click click, whirr click click click”
The place was filled with people who looked down on their luck. Old, ragged, frowning people. Sitting by themselves. Even the couples that were sitting together were STILL sitting by themselves.
One guy had a four footed walking cane. Somebody else had an oxygen tank. A few had coupons on their tables.
Oh well; maybe not my crowd but who knows?
I waited for another five minutes. Man these hot dogs HAD to be good! Flame broiled and all like the sign said.
Finally the much awaited moment: “Here ya go” - she said as she slid the tray toward me.
I sat, anxiously opening the wrapping.
There they were.
… Hot dogs.
… Just hot dogs?
Not bad mind you, but nothing special either; regular hot dogs.
I was in shock.
“whirr, click click click, whirr click click click”
I looked around confused. That’s it? Just hot dogs?
Like the same kind you get in a cafeteria? The kind you throw on the stove at home. The kind you can poke holes in with a fork and pop in the microwave if you’re really lazy.
After that experience I wandered around for hours like a victim.
Life as I knew it had come crashing down.
It took me days to recover. I thought I might never eat out again.
But recover I did.
I finally got up the courage to try something new again. I had an errand to run at Meijers and noticed the sign for “Five Guys” across the street. I decided to give them a try.
I walked in the front door and immediately noticed the great music. Vintage rock; something by Chuck Berry I think.
Stacks of free salted peanuts lined the walls.
I go up to the counter and before I can say a word the guy says: “Welcome to Five Guy’s what can I get you?”
I say: “I’ve never been here before. What do you recommend?”
He says: “You’ve got to get a hamburg-ER” (I like the way he said “hamburgER”. For some reason people at our cheap places say “hamburg” dropping the ER. They say it's a Detroit thing. I'm not sure.
But to me dropping the “ER” feels almost like they are being stingy. They don’t want to throw in the extra syllables. - (At least not without an up charge).
But not the guy from Five Guys. If he could have he would have ADDED syllables. Maybe offer me a“hamburger-ER-ER-ER”. - I know he wanted to.
Instead he offered advice.
His voice dropped as he said: “I have to warn you…
“... This might be your first time here… but it WON’T be your last.”
I asked what toppings were included?
“All of these toppings are FREE”. He said. (There were a bunch.)
“What size fries should I get”?
He said: “Get the small. It will feed two or three people.”
I grabbed a basket of peanuts. He zipped around the counter and wiped down a table for me.
After a few minutes the pickup guy shouted: “95!” - he hands me my bag.
It was so stuffed with fries it looks like an erupting volcano. Underneath all the greasy goodness was my loaded burger smothered with toppings.
Then he handed me a stack of napkins an inch thick.
I needed most of them.
Five Guys was fantastic. The music. The atmosphere. The service. The whole thing.
Will I go back to Burger King? - No.
Will I go back to Five Guys? - 1,000% yes!
But it wasn’t the food that made the experiences so different.
Burger King made me feel POOR.
Five Guys made me feel RICH.
Everything at Burger King was based on lack. Napkin holders were the kind that only allow you to only pull out one at a time. Salt and pepper came in those cheap tiny thumb sized packs. Store updates were badly needed.
Worse still, BK was clearly keeping labor costs low!
But Burger King was spending money. They were spending on ADVERTISING. They were sending out LOT’S of full color coupons for all the coupon clippers and bargain hunters.
It’s a terrible thing to see the spiral of poverty.
Don’t they know? Spending does not create abundance. Abundance is only created by GIVING.
Everything about BK was wrong.
It spoke of lack. You could also see it in the kind of customer they were attracting. I’m embarrassed to say that the only reason I could have been there is I must still have of some of that lack inside of me too.
It makes sense that they started selling hot dogs. Burger King has a “hot dog” mindset. “Offer the cheap thing and cheap people will buy it”.
But Five Guys sings the song of the Universe. I can hear Chuck Berry rockin out the chorus: “Give, give give. Give more and you’ll get more”!
Dump Burger King stock. Buy Five Guys.
Don’t live your life like Burger King. BE Five Guys!
Give more than what people expect. Give more than people give to you. Give in ways that don’t cost money. Give in ways that sometimes do.
How do you know if your spending or giving? EVERY TIME YOU GIVE IT WILL FEEL GOOD. Every time you spend it will feel bad. It’s just that simple.
Spending causes you to lose money. Giving makes you money. Give your time, your attention, your gratitude.
The more you give the more you get. That’s the way it works.
It’s like the loaves and the fishes. If the Master were doing his sermon today instead of fishes and loaves he’d be passing out fries and burgers.
And every fry and every burger would be from Five Guys!
An ancient text says: “To he who has more shall be given; to he who has not even that little bit he has shall be taken away.”
Now I’m going to end this post.
I’ve got people I need to give more to. Calls to make and thank yous that need to be spoken.
I also need to go for a run.
I’ve got a few pounds to lose.