Off the Menu (FAQ)

What is this page, “Off the Menu?”

This is a page of the frequently asked questions related to Dine at Joes.  Send me your questions, and I’ll answer them here.

I heard that you write reviews.  Where are all the reviews?

While I’ve tried to cross-post some here, all reviews are always available on my yelp site, which is linked on the right navigation bar, or you can always click here.  Cross-posting the reviews is fairly time intensive, so they’ll generally hit yelp before they’ll hit here.  (However, there is some exclusive content here!)

If you just want to see the reviews that I’ve posted here, you can always click “review” under categories.  These are largely all food-related.

If you want to see some general reviews, you should always go to my main site,

Why is your site icon red and yellow?  It looks like McDonalds.

Yes, it does.  The old version of this site even used a red and yellow theme that looked a lot more like McDonald’s, but the theme is not supported by new versions of PHP.  I love McDonalds, and that was a big reason for the original color scheme of this website.

When developing this site, I wanted to give the reader a sense of casual dining.  That, and (as of this writing), I am working on an MBA.  There’s a few companies I really love, and McDonald’s is one of them.  Sure, it’s not the finest dining in the world (much of what I eat and most others eat is not), but there’s not many things more American than a Big Mac.  On the business level, I greatly like McDonald’s for a number of reasons, which could (and probably should) be an entire blog post (or a series of blog posts).  I have a lot of respect for the empire that Ray Kroc built, and I find McDonald’s quite an inspiring tale of business, and the American dream.  I love capitalism, and I find the golden arches quite representative of it, if not a visual synonym.  (Fact:  In 2011, McDonald’s and the golden arches was viewed as the 6th most valuable brand in the world–behind Coke, IBM, Microsoft, Google, and GE.  It was ahead of Intel, Nokia, Disney, HP, and Toyota.)

Other restaurants follow the same color scheme (or very similar color schemes)–probably for that reason.  In-and-Out Burger comes to mind.  Many hot dog stands have posters that follow that color scheme as well.  (Vienna Beef posters come to mind.)  I find the colors to be appetizing in an everymans / “salt of the earth” kind of way.

A very young Joe at the Original McDonalds in Des Planes, IL
A very young Joe at the Original McDonalds in Des Planes, IL

Is this blog dead?  Why isn’t this site updated more?

It’s not dead.  Wordpress has had issues recently (2/2017 as of this writing) with their iOS app, which prevents me from posting, unless I go into the website from an actual computer and post.  This has made it difficult to add new posts.  I’ll continue to try to upload posts, though.

Check back here for more of your questions to be answered!  If you have a question for me, feel free to e-mail me.

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  1. How can you love a restaurant that was created byva scumbag like Ray Kroc? We wiped out the McDonald Brother’s and he screwed them out of millions of dollars by not honoring their handshake deal of. 05 percent annually. It would have been worth about 300 million dollars today. So do you love McDonald’s or Ray Kroc’s version just askin

    • First, based on the movie “The Founder” (which is why I’m assuming you’re here), you could offer a better argument for the McDonald brothers being bigger “scumbags”–not that anyone was really a “scumbag.” The success of that franchise was NOT ultimately due to their efforts. The start of the franchise was. Despite this, they wanted an unfair amount of credit and royalties. But the guy who really figured it out was Kroc, no question–and not with the help of the McDonald brothers. Rather, Kroc was successful against all odds despite the McDonald brothers.

      Again, I’m assuming you’re writing this comment because of the movie “The Founder.” Remember–Hollywood doesn’t exactly equal “real life.” I’d recommend you pick up a copy of the book “Grinding it Out” by Ray Kroc and Robert Anderson. In the book, Kroc briefly addresses the McDonald brothers life after McDonalds, and even explains how Dick McDonald mellowed out after he got married and would ultimately recall their association with Ray Kroc as “the finest business relationship (they) ever had.”

      While we’re on the topic of the movie, the movie left out a lot of important details. For example, the incredible effort that Kroc had to put forth to get the fries just right wasn’t discussed whatsoever. I’d argue that was one of the most important reasons the McDonald brothers had a hard time franchising on their own. Also, that “.05 percent annually” deal that you describe isn’t how that went down either. (I think you mean “half of one percent,” not “one twentieth of one percent.” It was actually .5 percent for three periods, and then the deal changed per the agreement…) Kroc addresses that in his book as well.

      Even if it was a “.5 percent handshake deal” (which it really wasn’t), in any case, a handshake contract is worth the paper it’s printed on. If you’re taking a deal like that, you’re a sucker.

      Again, quoting one of Kroc’s most favorite expressions, “You’re either green and growing or ripe and rotting.” The McDonald brothers had reached a point of ripening when Kroc found them. And Kroc took all of the risk and eventually (years later) reaped his reward. Kroc was no angel, but no one is. American business is tough. The American dream is great, but it’s never been easy. It’s never been harder than it is today. But it’s still out there, and Ray Kroc is without a doubt one of the best examples of it.

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