Who does’t appreciate a good customer service webpage? I’ll take anything that prevents me from having to dial a 1-800 number to reach a hotline where I’ll be put on hold with only the grainiest horror soundtracks to keep me company. Food writers spend a lot of time navigating websites for America’s largest fast food brands, and throughout our endless searches for nutritional info and the proper spelling of “Ch’King,” we’ve noticed that a restaurant chain’s FAQ page is often a source of some oddball finds. Here are some of the funnier queries we’ve spied on fast food websites.
“How can you afford to sell food at such a low price?”
This is a prominently featured question on Taco Bell’s FAQ page, which implies that Taco Bell fields this inquiry incriminatingly often. Yes, the tacos at Taco Bell sell for approximately $1.50, a suspiciously paltry sum—but you don’t see this question being fielded openly by other fast food chains.
To its credit, Taco Bell offers a deft response:
When you buy a lot of anything, you usually get a pretty good deal on it. And that’s the case with our food. Taco Bell is one of the largest beef and fresh produce purchasers in the U.S. We serve 290 million pounds of 100 percent USDA premium ground beef each year, and over 190 million pounds of produce! And as part of Yum! Brands, one of the largest restaurant companies in the world, we are able to buy in bulk and secure lower prices, which we pass along to you.
Of course, this doesn’t tell the whole story—Taco Bell isn’t exactly buying pasture-raised meat and dairy, which surely keeps the costs down, too—but points for including the question on its FAQ page at all, I guess?
This is one of the top questions listed on Burger King’s FAQ page—not just within the “Our Food” section, but overall, right up there with the typical queries about glitches with the mobile app. This question has real “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” energy to it: a philosophical inquiry whose answer could not possibly have any consequence, but one people love to argue about all the same. Apparently enough people have tried taking the matter directly to Burger King Corporate that the company has had to put out a blanket response.
Here’s what Burger King has to say on the issue: “Yup, it’s a sandwich built for you and JUST you. The Whopper is crafted only at Burger King to satisfy Your Way no matter what.”
The sheer efficiency of a fast food chain using its FAQ page to wedge in additional marketing language—you love to see it!
Yes, this is a “question” on Wendy’s Frequently Asked Questions page. It not only fails to be a question, but is also ambiguous, because it’s hard to figure out who the “we” is here. Is that us, the consumers? Do we love bacon to the point that we simply had to let Wendy’s know about it?
The answer to this “question” directs visitors to this link, a page that explains rather generically why “bacon makes everything better.” Since Wendy’s credits much of its success to a bacon-forward menu, I guess this is just one more way to remind customers who has the crispiest pork products in the game.
“Why are McDonald’s fries so good?”
The audacity! This FAQ reads like the pre-approved questions at a planned campaign stop. (“Mr. Burns, your campaign seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?”)
It is true that McDonald’s fries come out on top in most taste tests, and when they don’t, it’s a near miss. But McDonald’s gives a pretty irritating, self-congratulatory explanation for its french fry dominance:
If we had a dime for every time someone asked us that! We stick to a gold standard that helps us ensure we deliver you a great tasting McDonald’s fry. It starts with the right potatoes, which we cut exactly right, and then use a canola-blend oil with just the right amount of flavoring.
Oh, you want to know why the fries are good? Well, it’s simply that the right potatoes are sliced right and made to taste right. Duh!
Please, we beg you, let us know of any good FAQs you see floating around on the websites of America’s largest fast food chains.