Ketchup Packets & Dip & Squeeze…


I recently got this message via my contact form:

From: V Preboski <vpreboski@aol.com>
To: me@my.email.address
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Subject: W(aL)D Feedback

Name: V Preboski

Email: vpreboski@aol.com

Message / Comment: Just wanted  to address this  issue I have with all fast food chains….Why can you make dipping containers for dipping sauces  bit not for ketchup  ????

How’d you find my blog?: Snooping around

Time: Tuesday August 28, 2012

IP Address: ##.##.##.##

Contact Form URL: https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/contact/

Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

It’s a familiar subject to me.  I have ranted on the same subject in the past, long before the Heinz dip & squeeze packets came out.  Check out my old rant:

Ketchup / Catchup / Catsup / Katsup / Ketsup

Current mood:contemplative

 

KETCHUP PACKETS ARE SO 1900'S!

KETCHUP PACKETS ARE SO 1900’S!

Yup.  You know what I’m talking about.  I like it.  However you spell it.  I like Heinz Ketchup.  I would like to know wht fast food places like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A, and Burger King don’t serve ketchup in the same little cups that they use to serve the dipping sauces for chicken nuggets.  WTF, fast food conglomorates?  Your packets do not help me eat french fries or waffle fries.  I usually have to make a mess on a napkin or tray paper to enjoy dipping my fries in sweet tomato and vinegar flavored heaven.  Why should I have to do this?  Get with the times!  Stop using antiquated ketchup packet technology!  It’s 2006, damnit!

I want to dip my fried salty potato product without making a mess!

Yes, I realize we still need packets for use on burgers and chicken sandwiches and what-not…  but why not design a new container that can be used to dip in… or used to squeeze the ketchup out?  Imagine if you were the fast food giant to jump on that first…  you could patent the product and dominate the ketchup distribution industry.  Other restaurants would have to bow to you once it caught on, and pay you for the right to use this space-age individual serving size ketchup containment and distribution system!

Okay.  I might seem a little extreme in my verbalization of the idea here.  But, imagine the possibilities.

How I would love to dip fries in ketchup that I did now have to squeeze out of a tube on to a piece of paper.  I mean, really?  Are you supposed to squeeze a drop out on to each fry individually, or what?

Wherever cheese is available for fries, it always comes in little dip-friendly containers.  Can you imagine cheese in packets?  The idea is just ridiculous you say?  I agree!  And, I submit to you the thought that ketchup in packets is just as ridiculous my friends.  Inside your restaurants, you even serve it out of pumps into those little paper cups.  What good do those cups do to a man on the go, or in the food court?  No, good I say.  No good indeed.

Think, my friends.  Think of ketchup.  Think of science.  Think of dining pleasure.  Think… of the future!

Here are some responses that I got from various sources

The light bulb has been turned on…

Current mood:pleased

Remember my earlier blog/rant about ketchup packets?  Well, I e-mailed it to some fast food restaurants, and I have received some responses.  I thought I’d share:

From: Gayle Goshorn
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
Date: Feb 28, 2006 4:45 AM
Subject: TCF: Ketchup Container
TO:    Eric Aixelsyd
FROM:  Gayle Goshorn

Thank you for taking the time to write to us. I will pass your concerns on to our MTO Sales Manager about looking into ketchup containers.  Thank you and we do appreciate hearing from our customers.

Best Regards,
Gayle Goshorn


From: McDonaldsCorporation@mcd.com
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
Date: Mar 3, 2006 2:04 AM
Subject: Message from McDonald’s USA

Hello Eric:

Thank you for contacting McDonald’s and sharing your comments with us. We greatly appreciate this opportunity to address your concerns.

I’m sorry you were disappointed with our ketchup packets. At every McDonald’s we strive to deliver 100-percent Total Customer Satisfaction. With every customer, we’re committed to serving the highest quality products possible.

Because you are a valued customer, I have shared your comments with our Quality Assurance team. They work closely with our suppliers to ensure that all of our products are of the highest quality possible. Your complete satisfaction is our top priority.

Again, thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We hope to have the opportunity of serving you again.

Tim
McDonald’s Customer Response Center

ref#:3441932


From: Chick-fil-A Cares

>Mailed-By: na.ko.com
Reply-To: Chick-fil-A Cares
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
Date: 6 Mar 2006 10:05:21 -0500
Subject: RE: Chick-fil-A Web Form Message

Dear Mr. Aixelsyd:

Thank you for taking the time to contact Chick-fil-A CARES.  Our customers are very important to us, and we appreciate their comments, questions, and suggestions.

Regarding your suggestion about offering ketchup containers, I hope you’ll find the following information helpful.

Every year we receive literally hundreds of ideas from customers regarding items they would like to see on our menu or offered at our restaurants.

We especially appreciate customers who take the time to share their thoughts and ideas with us.  Thank you for the product suggestion.  We will keep the idea of adding ketchup containers in our future product discussions.

We thank you again for your time and interest and look forward to seeing you in one of our local Chick-fil-A restaurants soon.  As a token of appreciation for your time and effort, I’ll be sending you one “Chick-fil-A CARES” guest card which should arrive at your provided address in 7 to 10 business days.  Don’t hesitate to let us at Chick-fil-A CARES know should you need our assistance again.  Have a nice day!

Sincerely,
Kim W.
Chick-fil-A CARES
Chick-fil-A…We Didn’t Invent The Chicken, Just The Chicken Sandwich.
On the Web at www.chick-fil-a.com

P.S.  Please retain your Thread ID in the message body.  This will help us locate your information should you need us again.

[THREAD ID:1-EP8FBH]

Heinz's 'Dip & Squeeze,' introduced in 2011 as a 'true packaging breakthrough.' The top portion can be torn off to apply ketchup; the bottom can be peeled back for dipping.

Heinz’s ‘Dip & Squeeze,’ introduced in 2011 as a ‘true packaging breakthrough.’ The top portion can be torn off to apply ketchup; the bottom can be peeled back for dipping.

Basically, I had the idea… as did many others, but they didn’t want to pay any of us for it.  At first, only Chick-fil-A had the new dip & squeeze packets around the ‘Burgh, but I believe the McDonald’s in Bridgeville just started using them, not sure about others.

So Mr./Ms. Pebroski, I can say the time has come… a new ketchup packet has arrived.  More people just need to start using it.

I’m not sure if I have helped, how I could possibly help, or why you wrote to me, but I’m glad you did!  I hope this answers your question(s).

Seems like I even contacted Heinz, but I can’t find the first message:

From: <Heinzconsumeraffairs@us.hjheinz.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 2:58 PM
Subject: Re: In Response to your Website Comments – Ref # 003141412A HEINZ/JNEEL
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

February 16, 2010

Dear Eric,

Thank you for your comments about our Heinz Dip & Squeeze ketchup!

We understand your excitement – we can hardly wait for this breakthrough packaging to find Heinz Ketchup lovers, like yourself, so you can enjoy it even more on-the-go.

Heinz Dip & Squeeze is an exciting evolution of the ketchup packet which was introduced 42 years ago –-and a new, fun way for Americans to enjoy the ketchup they’ve loved for over a century.

Heinz Dip & Squeeze is just beginning to roll out into the marketplace with plans to have it nationwide by the end of 2010.   It is currently available at select quick service restaurants in the Midwest and Southeast, with additional markets and partners planned for the coming months.

Thanks so much for sharing your comments – we’ll certainly make sure they are passed on to our Packaging and Marketing staff.

Heinz Consumer Resource Center
Heinzconsumeraffairs@us.hjheinz.com

When contacting us, please refer to the following reference number: 003141412A

HEINZ/JNEEL

I must have submitted that via webform, so I wrote back:

From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 10:11 AM
Subject: Re: In Response to your Website Comments – Ref # 003141412A HEINZ/JNEEL
To: Heinzconsumeraffairs@us.hjheinz.com

Dear Heinz Consumer Resource Center,

Well, thank you for the response.  I can’t help but wonder why the product wasn’t rolled out here in Pittsburgh?  I mean, Pittsburgh certainly appreciates all things, Heinz… no?  I mean, the the name brand is almost synonymous with the region.  I love the animated neon sign now visible on my way from destinations north of the city toward my home in Dormont through the Liberty Tubes.  I can’t count the times I’ve been to Heinz field for varying events.  I have ketchup bottle & pickle pins somewhere at home.  I even have a tiny Heinz ketchup bottle (“liberated” from a hotel in Knoxville, TN) in with my antique beer/pop bottle collection.

I’ve ranted at the turnpike plazas along the highway in Ohio on my way to Cleveland, because they have the audacity to serve some kind of generic “Fancy Ketchup” and not Heinz so close to the ‘Burgh.  You can hardly buy Hunt’s ketchup if you tried in local stores… and really who in their right mind would try?

Why weren’t the yinzers given first access to this new ketchup delivery technology? Heinz and ‘Yinz‘ even end in the same 3 letters!  Pittsburghers know ketchup, my friends.  Why wasn’t this rolled out on the home turf for a test run or to show some Yinzer pride and appreciation?

Thank you for your time, I look forward to your reply!

Thanks,
-Eric

Of course they wrote back again…

From: <Heinzconsumeraffairs@us.hjheinz.com>
Date: Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 2:06 PM
Subject: Re: In Response to your Website Comments – Ref # 003141412B HEINZ/JNEEL
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

March 3, 2010

Dear Eric,

Thank you for your additional comments about the new Heinz Dip n Squeeze cups.

Unfortunately we have no time table for when the product is rolling out here in Pittsburgh. We are as eager as you are to find these in our favorite restaurants. Keep watching, they should make their debut by the end of the year.

You may like to know that there is a Heinz Ketchup facebook page. There are lots of interesting facts to be found there as well as comments by Heinz Ketchup fans from all over the world.

Thanks again for contacting us.  We appreciate your interest.

Heinz Consumer Resource Center
Heinzconsumeraffairs@us.hjheinz.com

When contacting us, please refer to the following reference number: 003141412B

HEINZ/cl

From: <Heinzconsumeraffairs@hjheinz.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 10:50 AM
Subject: Re: In Response to your Website Comments – Ref # 003141412C KWHITE/JNEEL
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

March 4, 2010

Dear Eric,

Thank you for your email to our Communications Team.  They have asked Consumer Affairs to respond.

While not currently available in Pittsburgh, yinz should know that Heinz did test the product very first with some of our loyal consumers here at home during the Fall of 2009.  People gave Dip & Squeeze a big thumbs up!  It was a big hit.

Hopefully this makes you feel better because we do appreciate the hometown crowd.

Like you, those of us in Pittsburgh are waiting with bated breath to have the chance to get Dip & Squeeze and use it while we’re on the go.  Stay tuned and thanks for being one of our loyal consumers.  Have you friended us on Facebook?  If not, please join in the fun.

Karen
Heinz Consumer Resource Center
When contacting us, please refer to the following reference number: 003141412C

KWHITE/cl

Crazy.

Bob Evans Follow-Up Bob Evans Follow-Up Bob Evans Follow-Up


Jelly! Jelly! Jelly!

Jelly! Jelly! Jelly!

You read about the Bob Evans fallout and follow-up, right?  In the interest of fully full disclosure, we went back, got a free meal, and had a nice normal dining out experience.  It went well.  LeAnn from Bob Evans wrote to check on me, and I thought I’d share the dialogue.

From: “Purdy, Leann D”
To: [Me]
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Subject: RE: Bob Evans – Reference # 720520 / Blog post about Bob Evans

Hi Eric!

 I wanted to follow up with you to see if you had been back, if not I understand.  I do hope that you do at least use your gift certificates to get some of our amazing Wildfire BBQ sauce!

I know you had concerns with what action was taken after your call/email, I can assure you that all of your feedback is used for training purposes, we did forward your comments to the area coach and general manager so that we can ensure that we are providing excellent service.

Have a great day!

Jelly Jelly Jelly!

bef.gif

LeAnn Purdy
Representative, Guest and Consumer Relations

Supporting Bob Evans Restaurants, Bob Evans Food Products & Mimi’s Café Restaurants
3776 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43207
Bob Evans Guest and Consumer Relations: (800) 939-2338
Mimi’s Café Guest Relations: (866) 616-6464
Fax: (614) 492-4971
Bobevans.com

And, my response:

From: [-mE.]
To: “Purdy, Leann D” ; Riggs A.
Cc: [The Wife]
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Subject: Re: Bob Evans – Reference # 720520 / Blog post about Bob Evans

Hello LeAnn,

Thank you very much for the follow up!  We actually did get the opportunity to take advantage of a free meal last Thursday night, at the same Bridgeville location.  It was a wonderful experience.  It wasn’t too busy when we arrived… and we seemed to get there right at a shift change, but the service was smooth nonetheless, and we only had to ask once for jelly!

Asking once for jelly & receiving it struck me as a possible bad omen.  Upon arrival, the first thing we heard as we were seated was the waitress at the table next to us (oddly not our waitress) telling her customers that something had been comped or removed from their bill… and the customer was spouting off about something unintelligible.

We had an excellent waitress then waiter, there was no shouting from the kitchen, the food was prepared well.  Some of the carrots with my turkey dinner were dry/cracked, but you’ll get that anywhere.  I didn’t see a manager on duty or patrolling the dining room, but things were running quite smoothly without their presence.

If you talk to the area coach/general manager/managers/team there again, please pass on our thanks for another great meal that was back to what we would call a normal Bob Evans experience.  I didn’t present my BE gift money until the end of the meal, but it didn’t produce any speed bumps and we still have one left!

Thank you for the gift, and both you & Nate for your time, and sincere follow-up!  (Follow-ups?  Follows-up?)

“Jelly! Jelly! Jelly!” may be a good ad campaign.  “Pizza! Pizza!” worked for Little Caesar’s.

Thanks again,
-Eric

Bob Evans Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Can I have jelly? Can I have jelly? Can I have jelly?


Bob Evans Restaurant on UrbanspoonI submitted this to Bob Evans’ contact form:

Last night we had a ridiculous visit to what is normally a decent restaurant.

We arrived shortly after 5:00pm, were seated quite quickly, and were alone in our section (the farthest away from the entrance).  The waitress came to us right away, seemed a little frazzled, and brought us drinks.  By this time another table had been seated in our section.  Our order was taken, a Rise & Shine breakfast for me, BBQ chicken for the wife.

We had actually just dined at this location on Friday evening and had discussed how despite otherwise excellent service & great food, generally my wife has to ask 3 times for jelly.  The standard procedure is that when we order and she gets biscuits, she asks for jelly.  When the biscuits come, with honey and butter but no jelly… she again asks for jelly.  When the meal comes, it’s the 3rd time that she asks for jelly… and usually we get jelly with the check.  It’s like you have it under lock & key or there’s only 1 magical jelly carrier.  I actually suggested that perhaps it’s like the movie Beetlejuice.  One must say “Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse!” to get the title character to appear.  Perhaps one must break the Bob Evans jelly code and ask for jelly three times at once.

No matter how much I wanted her to, she wouldn’t try it last night.  She asked for jelly just one time, and surprisingly, it came with the biscuits.

At this point, the manager walked by and asked if all was OK.  Truthfully, at this point, it was!  We nodded in satisfaction as we said “yes”.

Eventually, shortly before 6:00pm (yes, an hour later) after several other customers had been seated, had ordered, and been served, our waitress apologized for the wait and offered us more biscuits and a free dessert.  We told her the wait wasn’t her fault as she seemed to indicate it was due to a problem in the kitchen.

About the time where I was ready to get up, pay for our drinks, biscuits, jelly, and then leave to go to the nearby Sonic… our food arrived.  I understand that breakfast foods are greasy but my eggs & home fries were sitting in a pool of some oily or buttery liquid, and one of my over-easy yolks was already broken.  The bacon was fantastic.  The potatoes had so much grease on the outside, that when I dipped them into a pool of delicious Heinz ketchup they came out absolutely clean & ketchup free.  I managed to get the yolk out of one of the eggs with the biscuit that had sat there daring me to eat it for an hour.  I left the second egg and most of my potatoes out of disgust for the food and the service.  It had been a particularly trying couple of days and we chose Bob Evans because of the general consistency of the quality & service.  My wife indicated that other than the chicken being slightly over-done, her meal was excellent.  It’s crazy to believe that Bob Evans (the breakfast-food people) messed up such an incredibly simple breakfast.

Bob Evans

Bob Evans

The waitress had indicated some problems in the kitchen without any specifics, but we could hear arguments in & around the kitchen area for our entire visit.  I have no idea why we didn’t just get up & leave after the first 2 tables seated after us had received their food.  Perhaps we were in awe at the chaos.

I declined my free dessert, and my wife decided to get an apple pie to go just because it had been offered as compensation for our wait.  I was too disheartened for dessert, my friends… free or not.  Our waitress offered to refill my iced tea.  I said “no, thanks.”  She came back 10 minutes later & filled my iced tea anyway.  Still no pie.  I just wanted to go.  I was on the verge of just freaking out at the ridiculousness of it all.  We sat for another few minutes as the waitress took care of others around our section, before standing up to just finally go.  My wife just asked for the check as I was exasperated.  The other customers couldn’t wait for 2 minutes while she put a pie in the to-go container, since we had waited over an hour for a simple simple meal?

The waitress had apparently just placed my wife’s apple pie on a plate as we stood to make our escape… my wife said, “Never mind, we just need to get out of here.”  The waitress insisted on sliding the now decimated piece of pie into the Styrofoam box.  We went to pay, and for the first time ever were not asked something to the effect of “how was everything tonight?”  I believe there was small talk about my wife & I coincidentally wearing the same color green.  I think I remained silent for fear of just snapping.  We left a 15% tip, & took home a comment card.  (As a person with a severe allergy to shellfish, I have a small circle of places where I feel safe…  Bob Evans currently has no deathfish on the menu, so we frequent there and I generally tip 20% or more as I’m confident we’ll be returning soon & often.  I have even received excellent communication from your corporate level regarding food allergies & where things are prepared in the kitchen.)

This rant is obviously too long for a comment card.  I may blog it.  I may just leave it in the contact form at the Bob Evans site.  I may print & mail it.

Something was going on last night at Bob Evans in Bridgeville that was not good.  It was a comedy of errors.  The kitchen apparently had trouble producing eggs & home fries in a timely manner, keeping yolks whole, and draining grease/oil/butter from the fried meal.  The waitress was visibly and audibly frazzled as she complained to the customers that she was excessively busy even as most of the section was empty… at dinner time.  Perhaps she was covering two sections?  I’m not sure.  We saw her quite often… just not with our food.  How many others were seated after us & served before us that we couldn’t see?  We heard her arguing with a mysterious voice yelling out from the kitchen.  The manager did not appear to intervene or even suggest that perhaps they not argue so loudly within earshot of the guests… or even to step in, assert her role as a manager and solve the problem.  There was a waiter who appeared to be training a new waitress, happily ignoring all the chaos around them.

We did, however, receive jelly after asking only once.

[Funny note… upon posting this & grabbing a link to UrbanSpoon, I saw an old somewhat bad review that I posted… but we’ve had perfectly reasonable service there since that visit in ’08.]

Pittsburgh Chipped Ham BBQ


Pittsburgh Chipped Ham BBQ.

This is how we had chipped ham BBQ when I was growing up…

It was put in a pot on the stove & just heated until it was ready.  It has to be Heinz, it has to be Coke (No Pepsi, RC Cola, or Faygo.)

None of the pre-made sauce either.

It needs to go on a nice roll, like Cellone’s.  I never added cheese as a kid, but I like it with a nice Swiss or Brick cheese these days.

I’ve done a large amount of this in a crock pot… several pounds of meat, then eye the ketchup & Coke.

Chipped Ham BBQ

Pittsburgh Style Chipped Ham BBQ