Architectural Flourish

I’ve already mentioned that I like to eat at Taco Bell. I find the food to be sort of like what Mexican themed candy would be if there were no sugar in candy. In other words I eat it for all the wrong reasons.

And God hasn’t tried to talk me out of it. He just says that we’re all allowed some little vices as long as they don’t hurt anyone else.

One of the things I find interesting is their ubiquity. I mean I know that there’s five times as many McDonald’s in the world, but near where I work Taco Bells seem to have them outnumbered. It’s been quite a while since I last saw one of the old faux-adobe styled locations, though I know of a couple of them that are still around as buildings, just not as Taco Bells anymore.

I was wondering about the architectural transition and God gave me some insight. He told me that when they were first starting out there were two things that were involved in the building choice. The first was that it was a lot more common in those days for restaurant’s to have a distinctive architecture. IHOPs had their signature A-frame, McDonald’s were typically built with their own distinctive look featuring their golden arches, and there were others. So it wasn’t that hard to sell the idea of buildings as corporate logos. The second thing was that as a new company, in desperate need of grabbing some mindshare, they were willing to take the double hit of having to pay to construct new buildings for every location they opened and of not maximizing the use of the land on which they built.

Nowadays, they’ve got the mindshare, so the main thing they’re worrying about maximizing is profits. If the world gets made a little more bland because of that, well, that’s America.

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