Leave Our Fortune Cookies Alone!

What marketing genius decided it would be a good idea to molest my fortune cookies with personal ads for the company on the other side of the fortune. Whhhhyyyyy. Fortune cookies are a freebie. They are meant to be fun. Enjoyed by the customers.  A tiny thank you, we love you, please come again, cookie.

I won’t name the big chain Chinese restaurant which forced me into this rant, but come on fellas, I’m spending twelve bucks for a lovely glass of chardonnay while I wait for fifty bucks in takeout. And then my little treat at the end of my meal has an ad on it. Not only that, both George and I had the same fortune. Take advantage of an upcoming opportunity. Like that’s super cool. You can do better! You obviously know you can customize the cookies because you put your stank on the back and wrecked it, so why not make the fortune side a bit more original….or maybe even fun?

I once opened a cookie only to find it empty. I swear to God I sweat bullets for the rest of the day waiting for something to fall on me from the sky. I once accidently ripped a companion’s fortune when opening her cookie (she has allergies and can’t eat or touch them, but she sure as hell wanted a fortune). The two of us looked at one another horrified. What now!

I attend lunches with my writer’s group at our special Thai restaurant and we always go around the table and share our fortunes. Sometimes we add the fun twist to the end…. in bed, regardless of what the fortune says. For example, George and I’s fortunes this weekend would be….Take advantage of an upcoming opportunity… in bed. Actually, that one might work.

Where is the trust? The goodwill. When is a thank you an actual thank you and not tied into an ask for more. That is not a thank you!! I still hand write thank you notes to people. This is a practice which should never be replaced. It makes it special, personal, a sincere thank you. The first time I get an e-mail thank you from a bride after their wedding is when I go back and ask for my gift back. Do not make me do that!

There is a restaurant in Dallas that has jugs of wine in the bar area for customers to re-fill their own glass while waiting for a table. The honor system was put in place. It cowed me. It also pumped me up. They trusted me and it felt good! The only problem came when a wait was too long I may or may not have lost count on my pours. But the system was beautiful.

Figure this out, big name company with kick-ass spicy chicken. Don’t persist in the practice of slapping your personal ads on the back of the fortune. It’s the last experience of an otherwise good meal. And it leaves a bad taste in our mouths.