2 out of 4 stars
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I picked this book because I, like many folks, love French fries! It’s a guilty pleasure, but I’m a shameless fan of the wildly popular potato strips, calories and all.
Brett Coon, author of French Fried: How to Get Through Fast Food Alive!!, advertises this book as the ultimate guide for a career in the fast-food (also called QSR for quick-service restaurants) industry. He accompanies you from the job hunt, the interview, the first day at work, and up until the time that you will call it quits. He introduces you to the family you will meet during your QSR days: your co-workers, the bosses, and the customers. After you read the book, you will have had your fill of the greasy adventure of a “life French fried!”
The author was part of the industry for many years, and his book attests to that. He describes the goings-on in the store: the rush hour, the harried staff, the complaining customers, and other daily “war games.” Brett has a conversational writing style, and I could picture him telling his story over a few beers. The reader will find the descriptions humorous, and the chapter titles and accompanying pictures help sustain the laughs. The nicknames he uses are clever: The boss may be a “warlord”; a counter girl might be a “drama queen.” The next customer could be a “snoot.” Anyone who has been inside a fast-food store will recall personal experiences while going through the book.
However, the book fails to be the guide that Brett touts it to be. The picture he paints is too negative. I would have wanted a more balanced piece, but it seems that Brett’s experiences did not make him see the better side of QSR. Sadly, this lopsided view of the industry takes away one star from my rating.
There are also innumerable grammatical failures in the book. Many of the sentences are long and winding, so punctuation is a nightmare. Dialogues are the main victims of the punctuation errors. Capitalization is another major issue: many of the “I’s” are in lower case. Misspellings are rampant as well. These grammar issues take another star away.
Anyone who has experienced fast food ("for here or to go") will find something to smile about in this book. However, those who have made a career in the QSR industry their life of choice may feel slighted by it.
I give the book 2 out of 4 stars. I advise Brett to remedy the grammar issues; the negativity may be more difficult to address.
To those who will explore this book, I recommend that you take French Fried with a grain of salt.
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