May 7, 2013: 7:15 AM, Eastern USA:
Contributors may provide their own comments, but here are
my ideas for improvements in fast food restaurants worldwide:
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1) Wherever any fast food restaurants hire or employ any
children under 18; even relatives; the management should
dedicate a study place and study times, and whenever
possible and practicable, teachers; to ensure that
opportunities for education are not lost. (Actually,
that is ALREADY the law. We want it ENFORCED.)
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2) No employee should be required to work in any restaurant
when they are ill or displaying symptoms of illness (sometimes
explained away or brushed off as "allergies"). The minute any
employee begins to be aware that they are ill or feeling ill,
that employee should be permitted to have immediate time
off without penalty - and if that employee has to leave work
in the middle of the day or shift, that employee should be
paid for the entire day; so that there is no built-in incentive
for an employee to push himself or herself past the limit
or to expose others to pathogens or contagious illnesses.

This should also apply to CHILDREN of restaurant owners

who are dragged along to their family's workplace when they

belong at home.
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3) In all fast-food restaurants, all workers should be
permitted to receive tips from customers, and to keep
all such tips on an individual basis. The practice of
tipping should be neither encouraged nor discouraged
by the management in any of these restaurants.
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4) Children under the age of 14 should not be permitted
in the kitchen area of any fast-food restaurant. (This is
the law throughout the USA;  today, it is rarely enforced or respected,
sometimes this sloppy enforcement has fatal results).
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5) If a customer is seated alone at a table, the customer
should have the option of placing a small teddy bear
at the table, to signify that the customer will not object
if other customers in the restaurant share the table.
This would be a good way to alleviate crowding at peak
hours, and to enable others who wish to be alone
to guard their privacy at the same time.
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6) Customers should be able to bring in their own
CDs and recordings to play over the sound system
so that local artists will be able to obtain the opportunity
to expose the public to their music. If and when a
fast food restaurant does upgrade to that enhanced
local cultural capability (ELCC), the restaurant should
also allow the recording artist to display their name
on a letterboard or bulletin board on the wall, where
customers can see it; and also at their own table
if they will welcome comments from other customers.
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7) Tutoring should be made available to non-English-speaking
adults who work in such restaurants; and people who want
to volunteer to tutor should be able to place their names on
a list of prospective tutors, with their picture and name.
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8) Customers who use canes or walkers, or who have
difficulty walking, or are in wheelchairs,
should be accomodated. There should be at
least one table without a seat or with a removable
seat, for wheelchair-bound customers. Tables
may be build with cane-holders to hold the canes
of customers, so that the canes don't fall on the
floor. Cup holders should be placed on or near
some tables, so that spills will be less likely.
Braille messages may be installed on tabletops or
nearby some tables, the messages may describe
the layout of the restaurant, the flow of traffic in
the parking lot, or even the history of the restaurant.
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9) Customers who go above and beyond the call of
duty in assisting others in distress or in some sort
of need on the premises, or in the process of reporting
a crime or other hazard; can and generally should
be given a Good Samaritan card for free meals which
is good for a certain duration of time, at the discretion
of the manager.
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10) Wherever and whenever possible, non-
disposable plates, cups, utensils and other
related table tools should be substituted for
paper plates, styrofoam cups, and the like;
and customers should be encouraged to
bring their own utensils, cups, plates and
trays, if they choose to do that. This will
help to preserve the environment.
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11) Horseplay, loud conversation, clutching, assaultive behavior,
overly intrusive behavior, abusive behavior or powerwalking
in restaurants by employees should be forbidden and made
grounds for firing. For example, when walking in a place
of employment, a courteous employee should not brush
past customers in making a beeline for the bathroom, but
should yield the path to customers. Any behavior that would
tend to spread disease - placing of a finger in the cup of a
customer, wiping of eyes or picking at one's face or feet,
coughing or sneezing in the direction of food or people,
spitting, fighting, or conversation which is too close and/or
too long - should be grounds for being sent home
immediately, if not grounds for firing. The purpose of
such a rule is to treat customers and employees in
a way that is respectful and mindful of good hygiene.
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12) In bathrooms, toilet paper holders should not have
sharp edges which can cut people's fingers. A dial should
be made available if customers wish to inform others to
wait before entering - for example, if a parent is in the
bathroom with a small child, or if a customer is too shy
to be comfortable with a stranger in the same bathroom
at the same time, or if due to overcrowding a customer
has to use the lavatory assigned to the opposite gender,
etc. There should be an electric buzzer on the wall
next to the toilet paper dispenser to alert the manager
as to a need to resupply immediately. There should be
a shoe-tying perch, to avoid the problem of people
placing their feet on the toilet seats to tie shoes;
the shoe-tying perch should be about one foot
off the ground (31 cm.) Candles with candleholders
should be made available in case of electric blackout
at night, so that customers left in the dark may
finish their meals. When mopping or sweeping the
floor, employees should not do so intrusively
in a way that pushes customers out of place
unless there is some compelling reason to do so.
Finally, any employee who is starting to work at
any restaurant should be given a cash advance on
their paycheck and the opportunity to take home a
free meal at the end of the day, so that they are
able to get on their feet financially without delay.

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13) For the "baker's dozen",  when people 

think of ideas to improve the profitability or

efficacy of a fast food operation, the company

or corporation should give credit where credit is

due - and pay that person what the good idea

is worth, rather than to always say, "We don't accept

unsolicited ideas."

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14) We ask that fast food restaurants work with an eye

toward the future; to converting to solar power, wind

energy and other forms of wind harnessing, biomass

(which would seem to be an OBVIOUS alternative

energy source for these restaurants, since they produce

so much biomass) and even wood and certain forms of

charcoal, coal and peat; and that fast-food restaurants

make an attempt to plan away from gas, oil-burning

and nuclear utility supplied energy, and to buy energy

from independent local suppliers of wind, solar and

other safe alternative forms of energy.

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15) We ask that recycling be arranged in all fast-food

restaurants as quickly as possible - styrofoam should

always be recycled, cardboard, aluminum cans, and

biomass (including grass clippings) should also all

be recycled, in order to reduce the environmental 

footprint of fast food.  Even battery-recycling bins

should be made available to customers, for small

batteries up to flashlight size.  Ideally, and eventually,

EVERYTHING in restaurants should be recycled,

including plastic of all kinds.  This will also reduce the 

possibility that customers who accidentally throw

away their car keys or other valuables in the trash

will not pose too much inconvenience to employees

who try to retrieve these lost items; and it will reduce

that possibility in the first place, because customers

will dispose of their disposable items with more care.

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16)  We ask that fast-food managers keep an eye over

younger employees; that whenever there is any plan

to sleep over at any place beside the residence of the

parents, guardians or roommates of record, that the

younger employees notify the manager before leaving 

their shifts for the day (even if earlier in the day),

as a matter of security.

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17) We ask that all fast-food restaurants who wish to 

participate in such a program, band together to certify

their food as kosher or halal, or Hindu-friendly,

or vegetarian or vegan, or in conformity with

other dietary restrictions (such as no artificial

chemicals, no artificial hormones, organic,

cruelty-free certification, free-range, etc.)

and to agree upon prominent symbols to be

displayed to the public so that this designation

can be truthfully displayed in a way that will be

generally understood.

18)  Finally:  at the end of the day, profitability

is a must - not only for the corporations, but for

all people. We reject political attempts to call for 

arbitrary increases in the minimum wage; because the truth

is that these attempts by politicians and political organizations

to "increase the minimum wage" are based on flawed

arguments and political grandstanding, and the result of

raising the minimum wage as high as these grandstanding

politicians are asking for, would be to throw millions of people

out of work, and to make it much more difficult for people to

find jobs in the restaurant industry in the first place. 
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Scott Davis
Chairman
Committee of 37 Peace Initiative
PO Box 877
Edgmont, PA 19028-0877
USA

Letter to
Fast food restaurants:
Improve