Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Stranger's Green Sauce Story

Erin found this story online yesterday. It's a little long. I wish I could cut it down, but since I initially tried skimming it and was confused, you must read in full. The green sauce doesn't make its hallowed entrance until the end BUT it the punchline of the story. SO enjoy:

The Speed Zone (1997)
God love the stupid executives of Taco Bell. The latest stunt by the good people that brought us such great things as the 7-layer burrito, wild sauce, and the 4am drive thru, tops all. Taco Bell has come up with something they call the Speed Zone. For those unaware, here is how the promotion works:
Monday - Friday before 8pm Taco Bell must deliver your order of $5 or less in under 60
seconds. The clock starts as soon as you pull up to the window. If they fail to beat the clock, the customer gets a $5 gift certificate to that location.

When I first read the rules I thought "This is insane, they can't pull this off!". For the record, I've never waited less than 3 minutes at my Taco Bell over by West Shore. Once I waited over 20 minutes. It isn't bothersome, it's something I've grown to expect. Taco Bell is penny for penny the best VALUE of any restaurant. But going to Taco Bell for speed would be as dumb as going to Burger King for nutrition. TB is just about value. For $1.48 I can get 2 bean burritos, 'make believe hot sauce' and a fresh cup of Tampa tap water. Yum!

Taco Bell has always been a little off in everything it does. It's sort of cute how they rarely get an order right. When they make a 7-layer that resembles road kill more than food, it makes me laugh. Taco Bell is the Forrest Gump of business. Clueless with a big heart. Now they believe they are FAST. Time to prove them wrong and get some free food in the process.

Today, I tested the Speed Zone at the great West Shore Taco Bell. It almost seemed like an unfair fight. Here was I, an experienced Taco Bell customer ready to go toe-to-toe with some new hires. I didn't need to read the menu, there would be no hesitation on my part. I knew my strategy from the start. High volume with a twist. As a pisco-vegetarian I choose the low priced bean burrito as my weapon. My special request would be "sauce switch". This is a technique where the red sauce is removed and a side of green sauce is prepared. This almost always causes a line to lock up. Also, by doing this I side stepped the chance they could have pulled out a bean burrito from the heat lamp. Now they had to make the order right then, there would be no 9am 200 degree burritos thrown in my bag. Going for the green sauce creates a mask of confusion amongst the workers. I knew the green sauce was kept away from the make table and often the person on register doesn't know where it is stored. This is what I was counting on, I had done my homework. It was now time to execute the plan.

At 4:55 pm I struck. Hitting them in the middle of a shift change would surely catch them off guard. The drive thru was empty so I went for it. "4 bean burritos, no red sauce, with green sauce on the side". I floored the car until I got to the window. The clock had started. As I handed the $3 over I noticed the inside of the store was empty. Not a good sign. More resources could be devoted to my order. The clock ticked past 40 seconds. Keep going, just a little longer! Maybe I should have ordered 6 burritos, I would have still be under $5. The clock was now at 55 seconds and there was no movement inside. Bring it on home! I had won. They forfeited the $5 prize. I had worked and planned long and hard. Now I was rewarded for that work.

Thank you Taco Bell for giving me a playground to match wits. I'll probably be around tomorrow, the next day, and the day after. You'll win a few, but I'll win more. And in the end I'll have enough burritos in my freezer to feed me for months.

Now, I don't entirely approve of the little respect this guy (it's clearly a guy,right?) gives Taco Bell. Yes, Taco Bell and I have had our run-ins. Yes, I've been jipped of beans and sauce and cheese and cents in the past but even with these incidents, I would not call Taco Bell the "Forrest Gump of business." This guy clearly hasn't read the biography of Glen Bell, Jr, the master of burgers, tak-OHs, and Bell Gardens. OKay, i haven't made it past page 23, but I will, especially because the next chapter is entitled "Hobo Adventures"! Can you imagine what delight this phase of young Glen's life will bring?


Blogger MAS said...

The original Speed Zone entry is found at

10:16:00 AM  

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