Don’t Supersize Me

Fear not. This is not another tirade against a certain multinational plagued by customers who don’t know that coffee is hot and a varied diet is required to be healthy. It is, however, a gripe about sandwich and coffee bar operators who inflict change upon their customers for illogical reasons or pure humbug.

I like variety in my food, and a nice savoury sandwich in bouncy fresh bread is one of my regular choices when out and about.

Perhaps a simple ham and lightly curried egg sammie, hoping that the sandwich maker has gone to the effort of adding some chopped chives or parsley to the mashed egg to give it piquancy. Crispy bacon and avocado is another favourite. So are roast beef and onion, beef and horseradish, ham and asparagus, sliced lamb and mint sauce, sliced chicken with tomato and lettuce and mayonnaise … the list goes on. Then, of course there are the old-time favourites asparagus rolls and chicken and mayonnaise rolls – small affairs with the filling wrapped in a single slice of fresh bread with the crusts cut off.

Soon to be extinct, it would seem, are club sandwiches – small finger or triangular sandwiches made up of three slices of white and brown bread with double fillings such as beef and wholeseed mustard with sliced tomato, ham and peppered tomato with a savoury cheese, ham with asparagus, roast pork with lettuce and cucumber and, of course, ham and tomato with curried egg.

Not only are these dainties slowly disappearing, but so is the choice of having one of those, a club and one of those with a dish of hot coffee while jaw-boning with friends.

Over the last few years, sandwich and coffee bars have started packaging their sandwiches in pairs in those hideous triangular packs of rigid plastic. I’ll give some of them the benefit of the doubt, by suspecting that some may have done so for hygiene reasons in situations where some customers were uplifting sandwiches with their hands from self-serve cabinets.

But in doing so, the food outlet has limited my choice – no longer can I have three different sandwiches for lunch, I have to have two or four, and limit myself to one or two flavours.

Nonsensically, I have seen these hideous packs used in coffee bars where the sandwiches are kept in chilled glass cabinets from which they are dispensed by staff. As soon as I see this, I immediately suspect that the motive is supersizing – selling more and increasing income.

I’ve also noticed the twin packs appearing in self-serve sandwich cabinets alongside individual sandwiches which can be selected using tongs. What often annoys me when I see this, is that only certain sandwiches are available singly, and the more popular concoctions are twin-packed. In such a situation, hygiene concerns are obviously not the motivation for the change.

Many of my regular haunts have started this practice in recent times, and have been rewarded with my departing feet. The malarkey has spread to Tawa too – although the pairs of sandwiches are packed in cling film rather than rigid plastic packs. And malarkey it is too, as the sandwiches are housed under glass and dispensed by the staff. Once a popular calling point for a sandwich or two whilst out on a walk, this business has now lost my custom.

Businesses should be aware that their customers are not stupid. Don’t supersize me.

One Response to “Don’t Supersize Me”

  1. Eddy says:

    You missed the point, asparagus roll in a crust less neat slice of white bread

    actually …

    the best were savaloy red sausages boiled, on over buttered bread with chutney tomato sause

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