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Why are people standing on the tables at McDonald's?

Updated on January 31, 2013

A behavioral side-effect of using new technology

So why are people standing on the tables at McDonald's? This is a new behavioral pattern which I have noticed in the last year or so. The answer? Blame it on all of the new electronic gadgets!

McDonald's began offering WiFi service at many of its restaurants nationally in January, 2009. This is a great service which could potentially bring in more customers. However, corporate and/or the franchise managers missed one very important thing -- all of those customers with electricity-eating gadgets will need someplace to plug them in!

I was at my local McDonald's in Culver City and noticed a customer nearby climb onto the table and stretch a power cord to the ceiling. What in the world was she doing? She was trying to plug in her laptop to charge the battery -- and the only available outlet was ON THE CEILING! Yes, now you can enjoy WiFi at your local McDonald's. You can now surf the web and down a hot-off-the-grill Big Mac simultaneously. But if your laptop battery is depleted, the only outlet available is about nine or ten feet above where you are standing. You see, when many of the older restaurants were built, the architects did not anticipate diners bringing in their own electrical devices to use while eating. They put the outlets on the ceiling because they were designed to be used with display signs that were mounted in the windows. An outlet on the ceiling works fine for that. Now the signs are gone, and customers see free electricity -- almost within reach. Pity for the shorter customers. Standing on the table is the only way to reach that high. Not advised while standing in melted vanilla ice cream! Surely this is a lawsuit waiting to happen! In Venice Beach I have seen young surfers seated beneath cell phones on cords dangling from the ceiling like vines. And the fully wired customer with the obligatory laptop, cell phone, AND iPod is just out of luck if they all need charging at once!

To the best of my knowledge, I am the first person to write about this new fast-food restaurant behavioral trend. Anyone else?

PDXBuys (Image Credit:


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