Innovation 'a la McDonald's

'When he needed to use the restroom, I was surprised to find child-size fixtures alongside the adult ones. This might not seem like a big deal, but in all my years of going to vegetarian restaurants and natural foods markets, I never remember seeing a kid-friendly bathroom. Surely, the people who work at such places are more likely to know about Maria Montessori and her belief that children need exactly these kinds of accommodations in order to feel comfortable in the world. Yet, it appears to have been McDonald's that introduced this innovation, as well as the PlayPlaces, into the world of commercial eateries.

And so I have had to revise my opinion of companies I formerly viewed in an entirely negative light. And I expect I'll keep taking my son to Wendy's, McDonald's, and Burger King. Not that they'll make much money off us: We've yet to consume anything other than bottled water, juice, and milk. But if they're so – dare I say it? – enlightened about things like kid-friendly bathrooms, they might eventually catch on and see that organic, whole foods are the way to go. Hey, if Ford and GM are finally going to offer hybrids and electric cars, then anything is possible.'

- Mark Klempner, 'A natural foods junkie at McDonald's.'


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