BY J.R. PARKER
Before embarking on this assignment, I took a cue from my crush, Justice Antonin Scalia, and looked up the work “restaurant.” Black’s Law Dictionary defines “restaurant” as “a place where meals are served to the public.” “Meals” implies more than one of these occasions: breakfast, lunch and dinner. While McDonald’s offers all three, Dunkin’ Donuts only offers one (breakfast). I could end my analysis right here as Dunkin’ Donuts is not even a restaurant, but I will assume, arguendo, that Dunkin’ Donuts is a restaurant. I will also note that Black’s Law Dictionary should define Dave Min as “a person who is wrong,” because he is wrong in his column.
I recently had occasion to visit McDonald’s when a popular New York City law firm — Wachtell — was hosting a recruiting dinner there. Needless to say, Wachtell chose an impeccable venue. The evening’s maitre d’, Shawn McDonald, ensured each diner a pleasurable experience and free tickets to the box office smash “Glitter.” Patrons of Dunkin’ Donuts meanwhile had to endure the hosting of Duncan “Donuts” Kennedy.
Dave Min correctly asserts that McDonald’s has recently retired some of its original spokespersons. Examples include Grimace and Mayor McCheese (now Judge McCheese on the 2nd Circuit). But the jewel of the McDonald’s Empire, Ronald McDonald, is as loved and cherished as ever. In fact, he was recently selected to light the torch at the 2002 Olympic Games. On the other hand, Dunkin’ Donuts’ recent attempts to forge a nationally treasured mascot have foundered: “Ollie the Omwich” and his sidekick “Chad the Regular-Sized Coffee” have met international indifference.
One must also applaud McDonald’s heritage of community service. The Ronald McDonald House has tirelessly provided comfort and compassion to hospitalized children and their families. Dunkin’ Donuts’ lone charitable endeavor — the “Ollie the Omwich Outhouse,” where people with irritable bladders could relieve themselves if there were no other lavatories in the immediate area — was unoriginal, embarrassing and offensive.
McDonald’s commitment to its customers is obvious. Infinite choice abounds. You can have a hamburger with cheese or without. You can even have chicken (or fish!) in between your buns. Dunkin’ Donuts, on the other hand, has recently instituted a mandatory “plain donut purchase” rule. Are they communist?
For those readers with children, McDonald’s is also the clear choice. What child can resist the delights of a colorfully packaged Happy Meal, especially when there’s a toy inside? I warn parents to steer clear of Dunkin’ Donuts’ poorly conceived children’s menu, which features Jolt-Cola Donuts and Extra-Caffeinated Child-Sized Coffee.
Romeo Min’s reference to Dunkin’ Donuts as a good “date restaurant” is accurate if your date is at 4 p.m. and your mom is supposed to pick you up afterwards. When you are on a date, the name of the game is privacy, which McDonald’s offers in spades. Dunkin’ Donuts might be an adequate place to bring a date for stale donuts “the morning after.” But if you want a chance at having a “morning after,” I urge you to bring the date to McDonald’s the night before!