Throwback Thursday- Letter to Get Better- Dear Red Robin, Your Straws are Gross

by - Thursday, September 01, 2016

red robin disgusting plastic straws

Dear Red Robin Customer Service-teer,

This Tuesday, my husband and I celebrated our last pre-Lent meal at one of your restaurants, because there is no food that man loves more than a burger and fries. And yours are undeniably delicious. In fact, we have been to Red Robin plenty of times, but to be honest, it has slowed down a lot, and might even more. Here's why:

You force plastic straws on your customers.

It may seem like a little thing, but bear with me, because I am so right. At most restaurants, the server comes to the table with drinks and paper-covered straws. We politely turn them down, and save you a tiny bit of money. More importantly, it is well-documented that our oceans are filling up with plastic waste (there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050), and one time use plastics, like your straws, are a massive part of the problem.

In an average human's lifetime, we will make more waste with those little straws than cars we drive and eventually discard. The pile just one person makes can be up to the size of six cars. Of those little plastic straws! Straws are in the top ten most common pieces of sea debris. These straws cause major problems and injuries to the wildlife (have you seen the video of the turtle with a straw lodged in his head? It's a bummer).

Now, can you tell me, who needs these straws that badly? If you are trying to market towards adults, can you not trust them to use a cup? Even more importantly, WHOSE DIRTY HANDS PUT THAT STRAW IN MY DRINK? It does speak well to your regard for sanitation. I worked as a server. I know how much money and other grodiness is handled, and there are no papers protecting those straws. Do you mix my food with your fingers too? It seems so strange that such a great restaurant would have such a glaring oversight, and it's hard to understand what you think can be gained by this "service."

You are a hugely popular restaurant, so think of the amazing power you have here! How many fewer straws would go into our ocean each year if you not only stopped forcing straws into every glass, but you actually only gave straws when specifically requested? It would save you money too! I can see on your website you have a section about diminishing your waste, and some of the strides you make are awesome, but why brag about the plastic you save on cups when you know you waste absurd amounts of plastic on straws? It's such an easy step, and so consistent with some of your other missions, I think it would fit in perfectly!

Thank you, and I know you can do this,

P.S. The new pay yourself computer system is a ridiculous way to cut out labor costs. I am not going to do the work for you so you can hire fewer people and make servers cover larger sections so we get consistently lesser service. Boo hiss. If you want to save your servers' time, I think cutting out the straw step is the way to go.

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