ohn Dasburg's decision to step down as chief executive of Northwest Airlines to become CEO of Burger King got us to thinking about the unique new approaches to the fast-food business that we could expect from an airline guy.
  • "I'm sorry, all of you who ordered fries. We don't have any more fries. If any of you would like to voluntarily give up your fries order, I have two free soft-drink coupons here, good at any location. Two free drinks. Anyone? Anyone?"
  • "Yes, ma'am, I understand that it was $1.59 last time, but that was midafternoon on a Wednesday, and this is noon on a Saturday, so the peak weekend surcharge applies because you didn't order in advance. But, because you're a valued customer and member of our Fast And Frequent program, I can put some extra cheese on that for you..."
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  • Dear Retail Partner: We appreciate the critical role you have played in our distribution chain over the years, but due to rising costs we can no longer take your orders for burgers, buns, fries and other supplies over the computer network that we installed at your location. In the future, please order over the Internet. It's cheaper. Also, please note the new price list is on line for you to download at your convenience.
  • "Yes, sir, that's our new hub. After you check in, just take your place in the Order line. After you order, just check back in at the hub and proceed to the Pay Cashier line. Then come back to the hub and join the Pick Up line. Yes, sir, I'll pass that along."
  • "We're all out of beef. Would you like the fish?"
  • "Attention, patrons. We understand you'd like to leave the restaurant, and we're sorry you've been in here all day during this snowstorm, but until our landlord can get somebody over here to shovel the walk and plow the parking lot, we are required to keep you here for your own safety. And does anybody have change for a $20 bill?"
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