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.

McReadverspamtismentply


You may remember, a while ago I wrote to McDonald’s about the sandwich-which-can-not-be-named.  I got an envelope in the mail the other day from my McFriends, and I thought “Sweet! A reply about the McGang-Bang!  A real letter!”

Well, I was wrong.  It was some sort of reply/advertisement/spam all rolled into one.  I was very disappointed.  Then, I noticed that the letter wasn’t to Mr. AiXeLsyD, it was to Mr. Carroll… it must have been about the McDonald’s on West Liberty Avenue’s disgusting restroom?  They never did follow up on a local level like they said they would.  Instead, I get this advertisement for the Mac Snack Wrap and the breakfast dollar menu?  Seriously?

At least now I have a contact name.  I’m going to have to resort to snail mail to get a response for a real live person, I believe… anything other than the stupid “we can’t take unsolicited ideas” form letter would be awesome.

Oh well, the advertisement letter & a scan of the two coupons is below… I popped a “void” on them in hopes that Photobucket doesn’t delete the damn things.  They’ve removed old coupons on me before… I usually always blur out any numbers or barcodes that might make them usable.

McDonald's Letter from Salena M. Scardina

McDonald's - Mac Snack Wrap Coupons

Wow, I’m so honored to be contacted with such an auspicious reply!  I’m glad that my contact in 2009 gave them an opportunity to better understand my needs and expectations!  …that were never properly addressed.  I’ve already seen the Mac Snack Wrap commercials and billboards, so I’m now sure how this letter makes me among the first to know… perhaps there are some people in Appalachia and in Alaska that aren’t familiar with the concept of snacking on “a whole new level”.  I’d like to see some sort of chart on the levels of snacking.  Are they the opposite of Dante’s levels of hell?  Or, perhaps… one in the same?  [Insert your own joke about gluttony here.]  I”ll perhaps have to address this in future missives.

In the mean time, I’m making a call to all of my readers… if you can make me a chart of the levels of snacking, it would be greatly appreciated! I’d love to share it with everyone.

Maybe next time, I’ll go with the angle that I find the proliferation of “Mc” to be disturbing to those of us with Celtic heritage…

The Mythical Magical McGangbang


You’ve heard of the McGangBang, right?  For the uninitiated, there’s a world out there of fast food items not listed on the menu that are available for your dining pleasure (and most likely for your digestive displeasure) if you’re in the know, and if the employees are in the know.  This list from McDonald’s alone is pretty impressive.  There are many others out there.  My friend Andy used to apparently get a “Volcano” from Taco Bell, which was described to me as a burrito with everything in it.  Now that they have volcano tacos & burritos that are something else entirely, that might be an ordering issue.  If you’ve got time to kill or your interest is piqued, it’s definitely worth Googling.

At any rate, while I have raised a legitimate issue with McDonald’s, and I have gotten one response so far… I decided to use my W(aL)D email address to address a ridiculous issue with them.  So, off to the McWebform I went!  Sadly, you’re forced to pick a category… none of which exactly fits my query.   I think I posted to “McDonald’s U.S. Marketing, Promotions, and Advertising“, but it seems like my answer was brought about by the “Unsolicited Idea Policy“.  Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself.  On to the emails…

My original submission (via McWebform):

Hello Friends,

I was wondering if you are aware of the mythical magical McGang-Bang, and if at any time in the future, you man be adding it officially to your menu?

I believe it to be a McChicken sandwich stuffed inside a Double Cheeseburger, the new 99¢ McDouble, or even a Big Mac.  The exact specifics are a subject of hot debate, as this is a rare creature, like Bigfoot, el Chupacabra, or the Unicorn.  There is also debate on whether to discard an extra bun or down it whole.

If you do plan to offer this in the future, what would the proper spelling be?  McGangBang, McGangbang, McGang-Bang, or McGang-bang?  I could see how all options would be acceptable?

I’m not sure where the name comes from, but it sure is catchy.  (Much better than “Arch Deluxe”, no?)

I’d like to be able to go into a McDonald’s and order a McGang-Bang without being looked at like I’m crazy when it’s common knowledge among certain circles.

Thanks for your time, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the matter!

-E.

Their “we got it, we’ll get back to you” reply:

From: McDonald’s DoNotReply@mcdonalds.com
Date: Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 10:38 AM
Subject: McDonald’s Web Site Comment or Question
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Thank you for visiting McDonald’s website. Below is your email which has been submitted to McDonald’s Customer Response Center. While replies to this e-mail cannot be received, should you need to contact us again, please feel free to contact us through mcdonalds.com. Thank you.

Title: Mr.
First Name: ERiC
Last Name: AiXeLsyD
Mailing Address: ____ _______ _____ ____ __
City: Pittsburgh
State: PA
Zip: _____-____
Day Phone: 412-555-1212
Evening Phone: 412-555-1212
Contact Time: None.  Email please.
Your E-mail Address: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
Comment: [What you just read above…]

Their “real” reply:

From: McDonalds.CustomerCare@us.mcd.com
Date: Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 5:08 AM
Subject: Message from McDonald’s USA
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Hello ERiC:

Thank you for contacting McDonald’s recently with your idea for a product or service that you believe would be of interest to us. We appreciate your interest in McDonald’s, but it is our company’s policy not to consider unsolicited ideas from outside the McDonald’s system. We have retained an electronic copy of your submission solely for our records.

It’s not that great ideas cannot come from people outside of McDonald’s. Each year, however, McDonald’s receives thousands of unsolicited ideas and proposals for products and services from individuals as well as companies. Because of the volume of unsolicited ideas and the difficulty of sorting out what is truly a “new” idea as opposed to a concept that has already been considered or developed by McDonald’s, we must adhere to a strict policy of not reviewing any unsolicited ideas that come from outside the McDonald’s family of employees, franchisees and approved suppliers. We realize that we may be missing out on a few good ideas, but we have had to adopt this policy for legal and business reasons.

As a result, we must decline your invitation to review your submission and hope you understand the reasons for this decision.

Again, thank you for thinking of McDonald’s.

Jessica
McDonald’s Customer Response Center

ref#:6525973

————————————————————————————————————–

Please do not “reply” to this email response. No “replies” can be received through this mailbox. If you wish to contact McDonald’s Customer Response Center again, please visit our website at www.mcdonalds.com

————————————————————————————————————–

Are you finished with your holiday shopping? Even the person with everything gets hungry. An Arch Card makes a great holiday gift. For more information visit your local McDonald’s restaurant or our website at http://www.mcdonalds.com/archcard.

You wrote:
[You just read it above…]

Well, apparently my idea went to the wrong department, or someone that’s absolutely no fun.  I didn’t submit an idea!  I asked about a secret menu item…  Hopefully, as we’ve learned with most other web-forms, we submit again, and we get a different person responding.  Although, this looks curiously like a form letter.  Perhaps I should try again in a different category?  Should I ask for the email address of a real live person?  Perhaps I need to Google some names of high-up important McPeople and try to figure out the syntax of the company email addresses.  This worked with great success for me in the past with Boston Market.  Ha ha ha.

Also, I wondered on the Beat if putting a “Mc” in front of everything could be construed as racist?  As an American of Irish and Scottish descent, perhaps I should be taken aback by the flippant use of “Mc” in front of everything?  (By McDoanld’s, and even my own shockingly casual use.) It is after all, listed in the Racial Slur Database and in Wikipedia’s list of ethnic slurs.  Perhaps this is an idea to addressed in the future.  Dave was quick to point out though, that nothing is more racist than 365Black.  Wow.  Just…  Wow.  (…or McWow?) Also… What about leap day?  Is that a day off?

Find any of this amusing?  What’s the next step?

Message from McDonald’s USA [ref#:6502666]


Heh.  McDonald’s wrote back about my brief stop and UrbanSpoon.com review (posted with pictures) the other night.

Here’s the message below, that rides the “impersonally personal response” line quite well.

Someone got rid of the pictures at UrbanSpoon.com… perhaps they were flagged as inappropriate?  I can see that.  Oh well, no reason I can’t show them here.

Stall #1

Stall #2

Here’s my review…

photo prime
“Sadly, had the best service there tonight in years…” by ERiC AiXeLsyD (98 reviews)
November 29, 2009 – Doesn’t like it – Small crew tonight, decent night-time crowd, stopped for a late dinner, was served relatively quickly… fries were a perfect golden color and hot… burgers were OK, super-greasy but it IS McDonald’s. We were out at an event earlier, on the way home… had to use the facilities… but they were trashed. Stall #1 had no TP dispenser, the roll was on the back of the commode, and the bowl was chock full of the stuff. Stall #2 had a broken doorknob/lock mechanism. One hand dryer was stuck on, the other didn’t work, and both urinals were full of urine. I know they can’t control flushing… but periodic checks/cleanings and some repairs might be in order.  Just when I thought this place had their stuff together for once… My advice? When stopping here, use the facilities somewhere else.

1 person likes this review Recommend

And here’s their response with my message submitted through the McWebform following below…

From: McDonalds.CustomerCare@us.mcd.com
To: eric_aixelsyd@yahoo.com
Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 5:14:49 AM
Subject: Message from McDonald’s USA

Hello Eric:
Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald’s Customer Service Center to bring your recent experience to our attention.First, I hope you will accept my sincere apology for your disappointment in McDonald’s. I can assure you that we want you to be completely satisfied every time you visit one of our restaurants.Because most McDonald’s restaurants are independently owned and operated, I have forwarded your comments to the franchise owner or local representative for follow up at the restaurant you visited. Please be assured that your comments will be investigated and, if appropriate, corrective action will be taken.

 

Secondly, although we did not completely meet your expectations, please know that our restaurant employees strive to maintain the highest standards of quality, service, cleanliness and value and it’s certainly nice to know that their efforts are appreciated. We want to recognize your complimentary comments and thank you for your kind words.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald’s and giving us the opportunity to address your concerns. Customer feedback is very important to us as it helps us improve. McDonald’s is number one because of customers like you.

Ashley
McDonald’s Customer Response Center

ref#:6502666

————————————————————————————————————–

Please do not “reply” to this email response. No “replies” can be received through this mailbox. If you wish to contact McDonald’s Customer Response Center again, please visit our website at www.mcdonalds.com

You wrote:

The crew in the place tonight seemed to be operating well, were friendly, and quickly as far as the food was concerned, but the parking lot was full of cars for the bar next door, and the men’s bathroom was disgusting.  Please see this link for a review & photos: http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/23/1346713/restaurant/Far-South-South-Hills/McDonalds-Pittsburgh

Rarely is this kind of stuff ever followed up by the local chain. I don’t know if that’s indicative of stores nation-wide, or just in our area.  Then again… it gets me wondering…  I put my address in that webform… and my photo is up at UrbanSpoon.com.

Bad idea?