"I"ll gladly salary you Tuesday for a hamburger today." Wimpy"s refrain, made renowned in the Popeye comic strip, has actually been rotate on that is head by savvy quick food chains that have actually somehow persuaded customers come buy prepaid "gift cards."

For Wimpy and also his creditors, Tuesday to be a day that would never ever come. Restaurants that worry such cards count on that as well - however in reverse.

Right currently the cards are taking off in a large way in the quick food business. The rising popularity that McDonald"s Arch Card and those of other franchises have actually turned Wimpy"s saying upside down. Customers now seem happy come pay now for food they will certainly not buy till Tuesday - or maybe never ever at all.

You are watching: A hamburger today for a dollar tomorrow

In researching just how the rapid food service is utilizing (and often not fully leveraging) details technology, ns was surprised to find out that the McDonald"s Arch map is the company"s most rewarding new technology. Just in the last few years have fast food restaurants set up card readers and begun accepting credit and debit transactions. Some two decades behind their sleeve counterparts in this regard, the chains have only now uncovered that simply permitting credit and also debit payment increases the quantity of the typical transaction. (Quick, what is the most famous fast food upsell the customers choose? I"ll tell friend the price in a minute).

Now prepaid cards room sweetening the deal further. The worth of prepaid cards are all upside because that the restaurant and downside because that the customer. The restaurant gets her money. You obtain a piece of fashionable plastic that transforms your money into a type that can only be redeemed because that McDonald"s food. Or Wendy"s food. Or citizens King food. To buy the cards transfers your money from cash- i m sorry is transferable and accepted almost everywhere - come a gift card, i m sorry is not. You are locked in.

Fortunately for McDonald"s, the customers also appear come have little understanding that the time worth of money, which states that the present value that a dollar menu burger ordered morning is worth much less than one dissension if prepurchased today. Until you purchase something through that gift card, McDonald"s gets the use of your money because that free.

But the biggest reason why this cards are so rewarding for the margin-sensitive rapid food business is due to the fact that a far-reaching percentage the gift cards issued are never ever redeemed. If you shed a card some restaurants will worry you a new one - if girlfriend still have the receipt. But in most cases when civilization lose castle the restaurant just pockets the money. Big money.

They would gladly market you a gift card this day for a hamburger tomorrow. But there"s naught in it because that the consumer.

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Therefore why are we so glad to oblige?

So what is the most renowned sandwich upsell in ours overweight, aging society? It"s bacon, of course.

Robert L. Mitchell writes on a wide selection of topics, consisting of analytics, emerging technologies, environment-friendly IT and also data centers.