I ate lunch at Chick Fil-A recently. I had a Cool Wrap. I was left unsatisfied. I called them out on it by apologizing to my stomach for having left it unsatisfied. I blamed it on the size of the wrap, as if Chick Fil-A must have done something wrong. And now I must apologize to them.
You see, it’s not Chick Fil-A. It’s virtually ALL of the wrap-serving establishments in the city (well, the suburbs) that are providing sub-standard product. In the past week I have eaten wraps at 3 different locations, and I can honestly say that I was dissatisfied with the wraps at a majority of them. They just don’t seem to be making them like they used to.
I wonder if it’s the suppliers. Perhaps “Big Flour” has started to constrict the supply of adequately-sized wraps, in order to squeeze higher profit margins out of their downstream customers. Did they intentionally design wraps with a slightly smaller diameter, just to save a few cents in production and shipping costs? Are they bumping up against tough quarterly returns and have to meet shareholder expectations by increasing their EBITDA a couple of points, and so they had to “sharpen their pencils” and find every kind of cost savings possible?
Maybe it’s even bigger than that. Is this perhaps a knock-on effect of the steel tariffs imposed by President Trump? Is there a wheat shortage in central Asia that I don’t know about? Perhaps last year’s futures market got hacked by some rogue trading bots, driving prices up and making them a killing, all the while artificially inflating the cost of raw materials delivered this year. That higher cost of production is now borne by me, the hungry consumer, when, in order to keep end-line prices the same, wrap producers were forced to trim a centimeter from the diameter, a millimeter from the depth.
Though maybe there is a bright side. I might be eating 20 fewer calories each time, which, I guess, could add up. But not if I compensate by buying that “Sharing Size” bag of peanut butter M&Ms (drool) and then hoarding it for myself. Hold on – I just got distracted. Let me correct.
I guess the end result is this: Chick Fil-A, I apologize. I insulted your integrity in assuming you were the ones making the wraps smaller to increase profits. I now understand you were simply a victim of economic forces out of your control. In the future, I will be slower to judge, and quicker to spin convoluted tales of nefarious suppliers and unconscionable profit-seekers, in order to maintain your good image. Best of luck.