Televisions: kind of like automatic napkin dispensers

So they put televisions in our gas stations and our restaurants and our vehicles and our phones and really there’s no place you can go without running into a television.

The question I keep asking, especially when it comes to businesses and the service industry, is “why?”

Is it really true that a product or brand will lose out because there’s no video available? Will a person pass up going to a gas station because, you know, THAT one isn’t showing Fox News?

An example: today we ate at Whisk and Chop, a local ready-for-big-time breakfast/lunch hybrid restaurant in the vein of Perkins or Bakers Square. (By “in the vein” we really mean “almost absolutely exactly like” because, for some strange reason, they’ve taken a Perkins-esque view of interior design and a Bakers Square-like dedication to mediocre food.)

Every wall had a television.

Every. One.

You go to Pizza Ranch, and every wall has a television. McDonalds. Gas stations. These aren’t sports bars – these places aren’t catering to drunks who want to watch football. They’re serving breakfast. Fast food. GASOLINE. What. The. Hell.

I know. People like television. I get it.

But take those televisions away from the inside of Whisk and Chop. All of them. Leave them out of the budget. Save money on the satellite feed. Take that savings and put it into, oh, I don’t know, a better attention to detail (like toasting the English muffin under your luke-warm Eggs Benedict).

Open the doors and see what happens. How many people are going to say, “I really want breakfast, and I’ve heard Whisk and Chop is good…”

“…oh, but they don’t have a television for me to watch.”

Can we all agree that, because this is such a negligible feature to a breakfast restaurant, that it’s unnecessary, much like an automatic napkin dispenser or valet parking or two sets of silverware for each dish?

Can we all agree that, when it comes down to it, it’s kind of tacky?

So, no television. Will they really lose customers?

Or, by going against the grain and offering a more peaceful environment with which to eat hashbrowns, will they actually gain customers?

I find it hard to believe anyone would notice in the first place.

This was lovingly handwritten on May 8th, 2010