(I Finally Documented) My Fast Food Dining Experience in the New Normal

When I go out of town, one of the things I do is dining in fast food chains. Going there makes me feel like a child again. Once childhood is not complete without experiencing eating in those establishments. I remember my father brings the whole family occasionally to those chains when we go to Dagupan when we were young. In the early 2000s, a child must travel for hours to enjoy fries, burgers, spaghetti, and chicken meals, play in the indoor playground with children whom you do not know, and stand beside the statues of world's famous clown and jolly, giant, red bee as branches were few mostly located in the city of milkfish. Now the food giants have placed more branches in different cities and towns of my province. I am now adult and I am still patronizing the fast food chains that made my childhood days memorable and happy. 

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, I rarely go to fast food chains. I can count with my fingers the number of times I have been to their stores as I only travel for essential matters like renewing my license I did last week of 2020 and when I buy school materials. Today, I had my fifth time visiting a fast food chain in the new normal as I went with my parents going to Alaminos to assist them in claiming the small package which was sent by my aunt who works in Hong Kong. I grabbed the opportunity to be reunited with the famous clown. 

I got the energy and motivation to write my dining experience this time. I missed the opportunity writing my very first eating in a fast food chain during the community quarantine as I procrastinated about it. I have many ideas I want to put in my blog, but I procrastinate whenever writing is running in my head. Whenever I like to write, I cannot concentrate as I feel tired and I watch funny videos on TikTok. So, I lost contents that could be odd or personal. Now I finally have the chance to document how it feels like dining in a food store. 

I chose McDonald's this morning. Before entering, the guard checked my temperature and asked me to fill out customer form. I opted to provide information using my phone. QR code scan is convenient as it promotes less sharing of writing pens. I am impressed with their online way of gathering info for contact tracing purposes. The customers are expected to be honest about their medical conditions like if they were exposed to COVID-19 or they had fever prior to the visitation in the establishment. After answering the form successfully, I showed to the guard and I was allowed to go inside. 

Touchscreen kiosk.

The store crew welcomed me and told me to order using their kiosk. Before the pandemic, I was able to try using this technology and I like it. I was assisted by the crew when placing my order. As I was craving for fries I immediately pressed the button for fries. I chose medium size. Then, I searched for burger. She suggested that I can buy for burger and fries combo meal. I selected Minute Maid medium size drink. After pressing the final button, I got my number and went to the cashiers' area. I paid for my order and got my order. 

When occupying for a seat, physical distancing is strictly observed. There were only few of us eating in the ground floor as it was 9:30 in the morning. I washed my hands first before the best part of the gastronomic process. After removing my mask and face shield, I quickly grabbed fries sticks. I prefer eating my fries with no catsup. Then, I wolfed down the burger and it was like heaven. That fifteen- minute dining ended my three- month craving for fries from fast food chain. It was like I forgot my problems as an adult. 

I left the store with a smile on my face and pacified stomach. I do not know when I will have another fast food visit. I am praying that everything will have normalcy. I wish that all establishments serving food that they keep themselves afloat in this medical crisis and they can bounce back. It is disheartening to read from the news that many restaurants and eateries stopped their operation due to the pandemic. I hope in my next travel, food business establishments go boom and all customers enjoy the food and the ambiance sans mask and shield. 

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