In which I must now apologize to Chick Fil-A

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.

I, Too, Must Apologize For Eating at Chick-Fil-A

It was Tuesday, around 1 pm. I had a morning networking meeting and then I worked at the library for a couple of hours. And I had a call scheduled for 2 pm, so I didn’t want to get distracted and miss it. How unprofessional would that be?

So, I walked over to the Chick-Fil-A next to the library. Not a bad walk. Yeah, it was hot, but not unbearable for the 2 minutes I was outside. Actually, I rather liked it. Got me a bit of a sweat which then felt great when I opened the door and re-entered modernity.

I stood at the counter and contemplated my options. Sandwich? Tenders? Nuggets? And then it hit me:

Cool Wrap.

Like, duh, could I have done anything different? The Ranch Cool Wraps are, in my memory, like the second-best thing ever made for fast food. #1 was Wendy’s pitas from the late 90’s, but since those have gone the way of the Dodo, I console myself with the fresh, multi-faceted goodness combination that is a Chick-Fil-A wrap.

“Cool Ranch combo, please”. Aww, yeah, deliciousness hitting my mouth soon.

I grab my drink and by the time I’m ready to sit at a booth, there’s a smiling, “My pleasure”-spouting employee with my tray. Score! I slide in, sip a bit of root beer, sample a few waffle fries, and then dig in, unwrapping one half of the log so I don’t accidentally-on-purpose ingest some wax paper.

I’ve ordered the Avocado Lime dressing. Not a bad choice. It adds some nuanced flavors to the creaminess, and as I dip I get the full effect: wheat wrap, lettuce, carrots, chicken, dressing. Not a bad way to spend a half-hour, if I do say so myself.

All too soon, though, I’m finished with the first half. Huh? That’s it? I wonder if, by some chance, my wrap was mis-cut, leading me to pick up the substantially smaller portion first. But, no, I look at the other and it’s just as paltry.

What the hell happened? It used to be that a Cool Ranch wrap was a full serving. Now it looks like it’s been cut down to 80% of its former size. Like Jim Carrey in Me, Myself, and Irene, you appreciate it for what it used to be, but these days it’s just not delivering like it’s supposed to.

So, I finished my wrap, waffle fries, and drink, gathered my trash, and left, my still-not-full stomach unsatisfied. And for that, I apologize.

I’m sorry, belly. I got your hopes up. I did not realize that the situation around me had changed so dramatically since the last time I partook of what used to be a delicious luncheon session. I won’t make the same mistake again. Next time – Waffle House.