This just in. The economy is so bad we’re starting to question the prices of things.
At least that’s the word I’m getting, here in my professional newsperson’s chair in the newsroom of several professional newspapers. Really, if you had access to some of the top-notch news sources that we professional news people have, it’s possible you would also be able to comment intelligently on the current events of the day.
Unfortunately, you don’t, so you have to be content with the news that comes from Web sites operated by TV stations, big fat liberal East Coast news organizations and, of course, radio stations that feature really loud, opinionated, on-air personalities.
Here’s an example of the kind of inside poop we professional news gatherers receive that you may or may not see with your own beady little unprofessional eyes:
“Americans Still Eating Out, According to a New National Survey.”
This important announcement reached my desk recently from Minneapolis, Minn. (one of several centers of important news), from that noted originator of critical breaking news, Dairy Queen.
Yeah, I know, you didn’t realize that Dairy Queen even was an important news source. Well, in all fairness, this study was done by Harris Interactive, a Berkshire Hathaway company that is, according to the information supplied by Harris Interactive, “a global leader in custom market research … with a long and rich history in multimodal research that is powered by our science and technology” and so on and so forth.
Anyway, according to this national survey, “almost half of U.S. adults (46 percent) are eating out at restaurants about the same or more as they did one year ago.”
This surprised me because I keep hearing about restaurants that are going out of business – or about restaurants that aren’t getting the level of business they’d like – or about restaurants that have come up with all kinds of special promotions, discounts and coupons to get people in their doors.
In fact, the national study by Harris Interactive on behalf of Dairy Queen makes special mention of this bargain aspect.
“A majority (89 percent) of those that eat out in restaurants say that when dining out they would take advantage of discounts, including value meals, coupons, frequent custom cards/membership programs, etc.”
There was one other major revelation in this study: “When it comes to choosing a restaurant, almost three quarters of adults (71 percent) said price and menu variety were the most important factors in determining their choice of restaurant.”
You’re way ahead of me, aren’t you?
That’s right, Dairy Queen just happens to have one of these special deals that, should you be made aware of it, might make DQ your restaurant of choice. It’s called Sweet Deals, and it allows you to mix and match menu items for different prices: two for $3, three for $4 or four for $5.
And, just to impress you with the cleverness of this new option, the folks at DQ point out that famous tightwad billionaire Warren Buffett (“the second richest man in the world,” I heard a TV newscaster say recently) likes this offer himself.
“When visiting his favorite Dairy Queen in Omaha, he opts for the four for $5 Sweet Deals meal,” says a news source embedded deep in DQ, “a combination of a cheeseburger, chicken wrap, medium beverage and a sundae.”
That’s the combination I’m going to start ordering. Who knows? I might suddenly become filthy rich.
What’s more, I have an anniversary coming up, and I might have to consider this as a place to celebrate our 42nd year together.
Maybe instead of trying to choose between Jake’s or Portland City Grill or Bluehour or Wildwood – or possibly Nick’s Italian Café in McMinnville or Tidal Raves in Depoe Bay – I should give this Dairy Queen place a try.
The price is certainly right, and with the money I save on dinner I could probably get a really nice anniversary gift – maybe even something not from the Dollar Tree or Goodwill.
And, you know, that cheeseburger, chicken wrap, medium beverage and a sundae sounds pretty danged good to me.
I wonder if they take reservations at DQ.
I understand that Warren Buffett’s wife died a few years back, but I can’t help wondering, if she were still here, where they might go to celebrate.
Former editor of the Lake Oswego Review and former managing editor of the Beaverton Valley Times and The Times, serving Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood, Mikel Kelly handles special sections for Community Newspapers and contributes a regular column.
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