Under the B: Big Mac!

innerbigmac09252015Say what you want about McDonald’s. Whether or not you think the food is horrible for you, or whether you think it’s OK to eat it once in a blue moon, one thing is certain. McDonald’s brings people together.

Before I go on, let me preface this by saying I don’t work for McDonald’s. I don’t own shares in McDonald’s. I don’t own a McDonald’s franchise. I’ve never won playing Monopoly at McDonald’s. And I don’t eat McDonald’s regularly (maybe once every other month).

But when I travel, I look for the Golden Arches for something familiar. And I recognize that McDonald’s is a big deal in many communities. It provides young people with their first job. It’s a place to grab a morning coffee on the way to work. It’s a place where parents can grab food on the way home for their hungry family.

It’s also a great place for seniors according to a recent story. At the Mt. Gilead McDonald’s in Ohio, the employees hold Bingo night on Wednesdays. Yes, Bingo night. As in the game you love to play online and off.

Between 5 and 7pm, local seniors gather to play Bingo as an employee in a McDonald’s uniform calls the numbers. The prizes? Ice cream and treats, no doubt from behind the counter. The endeavor has become pretty popular in the Ohio town, with people coming from surrounding areas to play.

Some people see this as a ploy to get seniors to buy dinner. But to be fair, I don’t think McDonald’s is exactly hurting for money. Nor do I think 40 people spending an extra $7 each on a combo is going to make or break the fast food restaurant.

What I do think, however, is that McDonald’s truly cares about the community. There are lots of initiatives like this all over the US and around the world, designed to bring senior citizens together and give them a place to socialize. I’d like to see more private institutions like this do the same.

There are lots of bars that have Bingo night to cater to youth, or even poker night. Their goals are usually selfish. They want people to spend money on drinks and appetizers, so providing a couple of prizes each week is a tiny marketing investment. But to invite seniors to just chill and have fun, all it pretty much no cost to them? That’s something that more restaurants should do.

Is there a restaurant, fast food or otherwise, in your neighborhood that invites people to play Bingo? We’d love to hear about it. And if not, have you ever considered proposing the night to your favorite local place to hang out? Nights like this have to start somewhere, so why not propose it? Show this article to restaurants in your community and see if they’re interested in doing the same.