January 7, 2015 by 250 Beers
I can easily recall fond memories from my late teens and early twenties when my friends and I would plan day trips over to France – and subsequently execute them with precision.
Day trippin’ to Calais from Dover or Folkestone didn’t cost much at all especially if there was a decent throng of mates to split the transport costs with. A cross-channel ferry as a foot passenger was the traditional mode of transport but more recently the channel tunnel would be a quicker option to make the 26 mile (42 kilometre) journey.
Highlights of our jaunts to Francais included practising the French language to French people rather poorly. I’m sure they really enjoyed watching us giggle. Many school children in England are taught French as a second language from an early age – even more so since the channel tunnel opened. It was pushed upon me as it was widely believed that the opening of the ‘Chunnel’ in 1994 would provide a constant flow of French people to the UK and vice versa. The British government insisted that we Brits needed to be able to communicate with our French counterparts. Pah.
To be honest, I didn’t really do too well in my final French exams. I passed with an ‘F’ grade. “F for French!” I joked to my parents. I doubt they were amused.
I got by on those day trips with the basics: yes, no, a few colours, how much?, a few numbers, a few swear words etc.
The stand-out highlight of those trips was lunch. Lunch at McDonalds. You know where this is going right? McDonalds restaurants in France sell beer. Hello!! (sorry, Bonjour!!)
Yep, in a terrible faux French accent I’d utter, “Un cheeseburger et grande fries et un Heineken s’il vous plaît.”
This roughly translates as, “One cheeseburger and large chips and a Heineken please.”
The basics I tell you, the basics are all you need to know in your late teens when in a country that sells beer at fast food stores.
I look back at my times as a scallywag with a smile on my face but now – as a responsible adult (BAHAHAHAHAHA!) – I wonder whether selling beer in restaurants that are heavily marketed towards children is actually a good thing.
Of course, I’m recounting my past in light of the news published just days ago that KFC have applied for a liquor licence at a brand new Parramatta (NSW) store.
There are lots of ifs, whys, whens and buts where McDonalds and France/England is concerned. I state that marketing and advertising of the golden arches brand is aimed at children – this is true in England. I cannot say for certain that it is the same in France. There are also cultural differences too. England – as a country – has a terrible, boozy reputation associated with it where as in France as well as other parts of Europe children are educated and brought up with more respect for alcohol. This could well play a pivotal role in why alcohol laws are more relaxed in France.
KFC selling alcohol in Australia is a big no-no for me. In our household, take-away food from the likes of McDonalds or KFC is a rarity. I think the food is generally shit (apart from in circumstances of extreme hangovers) but my children will have it every once in a while. To make a change. A one-off. Many parents will agree that the marketing of these and other fast food chains is soaked up by children so why do we need KFC to start selling beer and cider on their premises? Because they’re falling behind in sales that’s why. KFC is losing clientele to the likes of other fast food retailers that specialise in chicken (or ‘poulet’ – see, basics) such as Nando’s, Grill’d and Guzman y Gomez. These three already sell alcohol but they don’t market themselves at my children.
KFC’s website boasts a social responsibility with comments such as ‘We’re proud to support the careers of around 30,000 Australians in our system, particularly those of our young workforce…‘ Young? Best expose them to grog too then eh?
Furthermore, KFC sponsors the family oriented Big Bash Twenty20 cricket competition too. I wonder how many families nationwide will be a little bit pissed off with the news?
It should also be mentioned that Parramatta is home to one of Sydney’s finest craft breweries – Riverside Brewing Co (now minus Dave Budden – a great loss). What do you think the chances are of the new KFC store tapping a few kegs of Riverside? Highly unlikely is the answer. It’ll be mainstream lager from Lion no doubt. FACT: The distance between Riverside’s HQ and the new KFC store is less than 4 kilometres.
Even if KFC did end up serving Riverside’s ‘777’ double IPA in store I would still be against the concept in general.
When my children are old enough to become hipsters with beards they can choose to eat chicken wherever they like but until then I’m in the sensible corner and against the idea.
Finger lickin’ good? No.
Middle finger salute? Yes.
In saying all of this, I live in Queensland which is the nanniest of nanny states. There’s more chance of snow falling in Brisbane next Christmas than there is KFC ever being awarded a licence to sell beer here!