I would like to thank Dunkin Donuts for a dining experience reminiscent of meal time at Mom’s house. Who knew that some 15 years after leaving home and heading out into the great, big world of adulthood, this establishment would hold true to the old saying, “Just Like Mom Used To Make”? When I arrived yesterday morning, I was famished. The posted menu with all of it’s combos and pictures really made my mouth water, so much that I could hardly contain my excitement for the breakfast feast in which I was about to partake. That’s when I saw it, in all of it’s golden, flaky glory.
Combo #16 – Chicken, Bacon and Cheese Croissant with Hashbrowns & Large Drink.
Holy Cannoli, I’d never seen anything so breathtakingly delightful! I’d stumbled upon Saturday Morning Breakfast Heaven. Fantastic! Unable to further contain myself, I took my place at the counter.
The young lady who took my order was truly a treat. While I’ve never considered reverse psychology as a marketing strategy, I will say that she employed this new method without hesitation or restraint. “Is your tea home-brewed or is it instant?” I asked. “You don’t want that,” she answered. “Is it bad?” I asked. “No, I made it…” she replied. Her uncanny ability to assess my personal tastes without even having to look up from her cell phone was as close as I’ve come to mental telepathy in my 35 years on this planet. Let’s give credit where credit is due. She knew I probably wanted the tea, but sensed some hesitation in my voice. I get it. Tell me I don’t want it, and of course I’m going to want it even more! Kudos to you, young lady! “I’ll take a large sweet tea.” I continued with my order. “I’d also like the #16 – Chicken, Bacon & Cheese Croissant, please.” She hurried me along toward the end of the counter. “Your order will be up shortly.”
The wait was not long. I’m still reeling in shock that the young chef was able to create my food items in less than five minutes. After all, he put an immense amount of thought and effort into creating my meal. Not only did my meal come out after a few short minutes, but the young man preparing it took the liberty of deciding what it was that I really wanted, and what I did not actually want or need. “Order 177“, he called out. I practically hurdled the booth the get to the counter. There it was, my chicken croissant, basking in all of it’s glory.
Except it wasn’t a chicken croissant. There was no croissant at all, actually. I’ll admit, this threw me for a bit of a loop, as surely I had said “Chicken, Bacon & Cheese Croissant”. What was this before me? Dumbfounded, I asked. “Sir, I believe this may be the wrong order. I ordered a croissant, and this, well… I’m not sure what this is.”
He glanced down at the breakfast sandwich. “Yeah, it’s yours.”
I must be confused. “Well, no, actually I ordered the croissant…” I said as I nudged the sandwich closer to him. He nodded again. “Right. That’s it right there, ma’am“. He pushed the sandwich back toward me. “I made it on a hard roll for you instead of a croissant.”
You did wha?
If ever the universe were to come to a screeching halt, it did at that moment, as cars crashed and glass shattered. Babies screamed and buildings crumbled before me.
“You did what?” I stumbled. I reexamined my sandwich. Sure enough, in place of my buttery croissant stood a hard, powdery roll. Atop the roll lay a single piece of chicken, some bacon, cheese and...what’s this? Sauce.
Sensing the very real possibility that I may fly into cardiac arrest at any moment, the young man inquires, “Did you want the croissant?“. “Well yes. It is pictured on a croissant, and it is described as a croissant. Yes, yes… I would like a croissant. Could you tell me, please, exactly what is the sauce that is all over the chicken? I didn’t realize that it came with a sauce…”
“Oh, I added barbecue.” he smiles proudly.
“Does it normally come with barbecue?” I’m barking now. At this point, I fully expected Freddy Krueger to lunge over the counter. My breakfast dream had turned into a breakfast nightmare. This just couldn’t be.
“No, I thought barbecue sauce would be good,” he replies, “so I just added it.“
He pushed the sandwich back at me.
While I can’t say that I was particularly pleased at the time, I finally see the big picture. Dunkin Donuts, you’ve trained your employees well. As a matter of fact, your entire staff played an instrumental role in reminding me how much I missed eating at Mom’s. You knew what I didn’t know all along. It wasn’t the golden croissant or the plain chicken sandwich meat that I was longing for. It wasn’t the sweet tea or the hashbrowns in which I delighted. It was that down-home, “eat what you get or eat nothing at all” feel from my childhood that I yearned. “Just like Mom used to make.“