Should we hold a "Quexit" about the future of Quick Luxembourg?
By Sarita Rao
“Fancy a quick Quick?” is a phrase coined by a good friend of mine to summarize an easy Friday afternoon for tired parents after a hard week.
It is basically mummy and daddy code for: I can’t be bothered to cook lunch, so let the kids eat chicken nuggets and French fries, get hyper on sugary fizzy drinks and go crazy on the bouncy castle.
While our children cram themselves into the soft play area, I sit with my friends and drink coffee, hoover-up left over fries that don’t have to be calorie-counted because I didn’t buy them for me and discuss my worldly woes.
At less than 10 euros (the cost of two magic boxes), it’s the cheapest form of all-weather babysitting I’ve come across and has the added bonus of a free toy.
There’s something about Quick I applaud. It raises two fingers to McDonald's for one thing (third only to the US Department of Defence and the People’s Liberation Army of China as the world’s biggest employer), as if to say, “We will take your American beef patty and improve it, because we are Belgian and French and know how to make fast food taste good.”
It also employs staff who can tolerate ear-splitting screaming; are willing to endlessly fill ice cream cones for small, over-excited children; and don’t appear to care that my kids are filling up their drink cups with a strange mix of ice tea, Fanta and cola for the fourth time.
So it is with great sadness I read that Quick’s child entertainment centres might be converted into Burger King diners.
There is no ring to “Fancy a quick Burger King?”, and there is a distinct feel of corporate America and profit margins about it. Play areas and free refills will probably disappear.
This causes a conundrum about where else to take the kids. If you met my children, you’d realise there is nothing in Naturata they would ever eat, and few wholesome meal deals that cost less than 5 euros, let alone the added bonus of a free indoor play area.
Health-conscious parents are probably sighing at this last comment, because I am not very continental about making my kids eat salad—or even vegetables.
You see, I’ve had this fight before, many times, and it usually ends up with everyone so exhausted we’re reaching for the "chocolate drawer" just to recover.
I know, there are parents out there who would never let their kids eat fast food, not just to save the rainforest and undermine multinationals (both of which are commendable), but because of all those chemicals and processed meats.
Let me tell you, those same kids are the ones that come to my house for a party and snaffle up every Haribo packet in sight, then scoff as much birthday cake as possible before their parents come to collect them. There’s no better way to ensure your child has a secret yearning for something than if you deprive them of it.
Sadly, there is no petition to save Luxembourg’s nine Quick restaurants—the only restaurants I can take my kids to without fear of them talking in loud detail about what they did in the toilet, knocking down an elderly person or breaking every glass on the table.
I’m wondering if—like the Brexit—Luxembourg should hold a referendum on whether or not to let Quick make such a "quick exit", or "Quexit", from the Duchy. Children who can draw an X should also be allowed to vote. (That would make for an interesting dimension to the Brexit too.)
I can just see the poster now: bouncy castles, burgers, ice cream drenched in chocolate sauce and parents gossiping around a table littered with magic boxes.
I know which way I’d be voting.