You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Dining’ category.

Swimming after Spindrift sparking water

This is the best I’ve had of all the new sparkling waters, made with real fruit and no added sugars, great tasting and refreshing. Introduced to me by Teri Turner of

Bruges Waffles & Frites recently participated in a french fry taste test, the results of which shows them outperforming other restaurant franchises. The study, conducted by an independent research firm, Rise Strategic, hired secret shoppers to participate in the test. The shoppers were tasked with visiting several local restaurant franchises known for their fries and reporting on how the fries are prepared, wait times between ordering and receiving their fries, and the cost of a small order. They were then asked to rate each franchise on a scale of 1-5 in the following categories:
-Overall Flavor
-Exterior Texture
-Interior Texture
-Serving Size
-Variety of Condiments/Sauces
-Flavor of Condiments/Sauces
-Size & Shape
-Overall Rating
When the study was complete, Bruges authentic Belgian frites were shown to have the best overall flavor, best aroma, best presentation, best variety of condiments/sauces, best flavor of condiments/sauces, and were the only fries not under salted and with an ideal consistency. Bruges also had the highest rankings for ideal color, best exterior texture, and won the highest overall ratings.
“We are thrilled with the outcome of the survey results,” said Pierre Vandamme, Owner and co-founder of Bruges Waffles & Frites. “Since the history of fries dates back to Belgium, it makes sense that an authentic Belgian frite company should be topping the charts for best frites in the region. Our fries are not your typical french fry as they are fried twice for the perfect flavor and consistency. Paired with our hand-made dipping sauces, this is a recipe for french fry perfection!”
Shoppers in the taste test said the fries were delicious, presented beautifully, and ‘sooooo good.’ They loved the ambiance, the friendly employees and the fact that the fries were fresh and cooked to order. One shopper said, “It was worth the wait for freshly cooked fries!”
Bruges added Belgian frites to the menu after seeing the success their authentic waffles were having in the community and decided it was time to share another Belgian favorite. Today loyal fans rave about the frites on social media and online review sites. To learn more about the Bruges Waffles & Frites brand, and the restaurant franchise opportunities offered, visit the company website:

The original McDonald's

Dick and Mac McDonald’s original drive-in, walk-up service restaurant in San Bernardino, CA, as it looked when they completed the renovation from their old bar-be-que, car hop restaurant, in 1948. Showing an autograph by “Richard J. McDonald, Founder.”

NBC-TV’s Today show this morning did a feature on the question of whether French Fries are really French, or from Belgium. Michelle Kosinski reported from Europe, while Willie Geist and the Today team speculated in New York.

The real answer to the question, and the fascinating history of the tantalizing tuber can be found in my 2005 essay, “French Fried: From Monticello to the Moon,” which I researched and presented to the Chicago Literary Club in 2005. Having headed corporate communications for McDonald’s for 15 years, I had a head start on the subject.

You can read the essay online by going to and entering “French Fried” in the search box.

P.S.If you can’t wait to know, the answer is…what we call French Fries probably came from Belgium!

When censuses and surveys today ask people how often they “dine out,” I don’t think people know what is being asked. While the intent may be to determine how often and where people eat away from home, I think the “dining out” question suggests to many people a white tablecloth “dining” experience. Many Americans, I believe, seldom go to “white tablecloth” restaurants, yet I find it hard, no, impossible to believe, that if you include fast food and all the kinds of eating experiences other than home, even if you exclude food brought from home, that no-one but an invalid does not participate in “dining out” experiences. Statistics should always be suspect, but fallible humans write the surveys. See this article for some good example of what I mean:

My major essay on the history of the French Fry, called “French Fried: From Monticello to the Moon,” is full of the lore of the French Fry and its complex and fascinating historical and cultural background.  McDonald’s unique relationship to the French Fry is highlighted. You can find the essay at:–%20French%20Fried.htm

The German Institute of Service Quality ( has done a new survey in Germany in which furniture store Ikea beat out McDonald’s for fast food service. Seems furniture stores in Germany are promoting breakfast, and even roof garden restaurants, with distinct success and popularity. While this may seem like a fluke in consumerism, the idea of combining a retail consumer experience with fast food does make sense, as evidenced by the McDonald’s we see in Walmarts and gas station service centers in the U.S. Perhaps the idea of window-shopping for furniture — fun but not necessarily costly — is a new draw for fast food customers?

If eating 3 times a day is a sinister idea, then the critics of Ronald McDonald have a point. But what does Ronald do? He helps parents make breakfast, lunch or dinner, or a snack, a happy experience for their kids. Most parents would say that is helpful to them. McDonald’s offers many appealing menu choices for kids and parents, along with known nutrition, portion control and quality control. Add a little parental guidance and what do you have — a Happy Meal! McDonald’s is on the upward curve in nutritional responsibility.

P.S. And don’t forget Ronald McDonald House — no one made McDonald’s build all those wonderful places, but they did just because they could. Guess that’s social responsibility in action, too.

They say reputation is everything. The March 23 edition of Fortune Magazine names McDonald’s among the top 10 overall of the World’s Most-Admired Companies, among 1,400 major U.S. and International companies rated by 4,100 industry experts. McDonald’s rated #1 in 3 of 9 categories: Effectiveness in conducting its business globally; Quality of Management; and, Wise use of corporate assets. McDonald’s also rated #1 in the Food Services category.

Back in the 1990’s, when I was corporate communications officer of McDonald’s, I worked with Fortune for over a year to develop a category within which McDonald’s could be considered for ranking in their “Most-Admired” search. From a simple hamburger stand created by Dick and Mac McDonald, to a corporation and a brand nurtured by Ray Kroc and generations of leaders, McDonald’s is now known and admired around the world. McDonald’s has come a long way.

For more information, go to this Fortune website:

January 2023

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,946 other subscribers