Plastic, of course.
Some foods just don’t feel right when eaten with a knife and fork. Candy bars are one good example (as made famous in an episode of Seinfeld). Anything between two slices of bread or a bun also fits into this category. Unless a sandwich is open-faced (or just too damn large), why not dig in with your hands? The same goes for hamburgers – especially fast food hamburgers. Can you imagine anything more pretentious than eating a McDonald’s burger with a knife and fork? And yet, that’s exactly what McDonald’s France is encouraging people to do.
Starting this week, McDonald’s will be distributing recyclable plastic cutlery at its 1,400 French locations for anyone who orders one of the burger chain’s “signature” gourmet burgers, a more upmarket burger made with pricier meat and sold at nearly double the cost. In a statement, the brand boasted “for the first time, customers will enjoy their Signature burger, with a fork and a knife, unheard of at McDonald's.”
McDonald’s reportedly tested out offering knives and forks at a dozen French locations before deciding the move was successful enough to rollout across the European nation. Burgers have become an increasingly popular menu item at restaurants in France, and McDonald’s sees breaking out their finest plastic-ware as a way to keep up. “Cutlery is an evolution, not a break with the past,” McDonald’s France marketing chief Xavier Royaux was quoted as saying. “For a long time now we have seen a change in the burger market, a multiplication of offers, among these the offers of gourmet burgers, so as a pioneer it is vital we position ourselves.”
However, you have to wonder if blessing diners who purchase pricier meals with knives and forks while leaving others to eat with their hands has the potential to create a bit of a classist backlash. Could this lead to a restaging of Les Misérables in which Jean Valjean steals a Quarter Pounder with cheese?