Permits & Passes
Monday with the Editor: No smiles for those who use discount coupons?
These fast-food restaurants are always throwing up special
offer meals which they label as promotion meals to entice us
to patronise their restaurants.
And the promotions have worked because basically the meals
which are sold are at hard-to-beat value. But, I gather that
another reason for the promotion prices is that the
restaurants wish to show their appreciation to us, the
customers, for our support over the years.
Big names like McDonald's, KFC and Burgerking have been
taking turns to dish out promotion meals lately. We are used
to tearing out coupons from flyers placed in our letterboxes
and newspapers. And we have been turning up in droves at
these restaurants to place our orders.
Now, I have always been used to coming up to the counters at
McDonald's and exchanging their coupons for discounted-price
meals. And McDonald's have always been glad to have me carry
out the exchange, so much so that I never once had to feel I
was a cheapskate for stooping at getting such
discounted-price meals. That is - until I stepped into the
Burgerking branch at the basement of Raffles City.
The moment I handed the discount coupon to the staff at the
ordering counter, I noticed his facial expression change.
Suddenly, he wasn't wearing that welcome look in his face.
And the change was so drastic, I immediately felt discount
coupons weren't welcome at Burgerking.
But, if that is so, then why bother distributing flyers with
such discount coupons. I thought that perhaps, the chap
wasn't in a good mood that day. I waited for him to hand to
me the free Coca-Cola collectible plate that went with the
meal. You see, the reason I was so keen on the promotion
meal was that I could get my hands on that plate - I am a
die-hard Coca-cola fan.
But he didn't make the offer so I had to show him the flyer
that I had with me - the one that indicated the offer. I got
my free Coca-Cola gift after he referred me to his
After that experience, I was keen on proving to myself that
that was an isolated experience. A few days later, I visited
the Burgerking branch at the basement of Peninsula Plaza.
This time, I wasn't bent on getting the Coca-Cola
collectible; I just wanted to prove myself wrong. But it
didn't happen! The counter staff's face changed colour when
I handed over the discount coupon.
Last Saturday, I happened by Marina Square and hopped into
the Burgerking branch there. I still had a couple of the
coupons left and went to the counter to place my order for a
discounted-price meal. I was glad I went there that day, for
the staff who attended to me flashed me a smile when I
passed the coupon to him. I noted down his name - Hong
The poor chap didn't know why I was grinning at him so I
told him that he was the very first person at Burgerking to
smile when I produced a discount coupon to buy a meal.
So I was wrong after all. The chaps at Burgerking aren't
really unhappy that I am buying discounted-price meals from
them after all. I am not being thought of as a cheapskate -
it was only my imagination gone wild!
But the fact remains that the incidents have left an
unfavourable impression on me. I keep remembering the
entirely different experience at McDonald's - queueing up at
McDonald's for my Hello Kitty and other collectibles and
upon reaching my turn at the counter, seeing the McDonald's
staff so openly glad to let me choose the collectible toy I
wanted. That experience at McDonald's certainly made a world
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