Can’t believe this domain name was available.
I was standing in line at Chipotle behind 30 or so office people during lunch. The line literally went out the door. Nothing better to do than look at wall art for 20 minutes (once I got inside). Of interest – A black and white picture depicting their “First Restaurant”. The caption, of course, handwritten in pencil. My first thought was whether some poor shlub at corporate HQ had to do all handwritten captions. Do they have a title for that?
I’ve seen “First Restaurant” pictures and they usually intrigue me. Like the picture of the original McDonalds. One imagines the owner flipping burgers and dreaming big dreams. It’s a little bit mind-bending to trace freaking -McDonalds- back to that little 15 cent burger shack – where you were encouraged to ‘buy em buy the bag’ (Madison Avenue – read it and weep!).
So anyway… I’m staring at the picture of the first Chipotle while getting a little queasy from the smell of the perfume on the woman behind me – and I’m not getting the fuzzy nostalgic feeling that I got from the Mickey D’s pic. It’s in black and white, of course (that’s a requirement) – but the logo and indeed the interior of the restaurant as seen through the plate glass window looked identical to the one I was standing in. First Restaurant pics are supposed to show the amateurishness of the soon to be zillionaire who owns the place. You know, before he or she strikes a deal with the devil and gives birth to a world changing business model. This one – it looked pretty sharp and modern from the get go. A girl is chatting on her cell phone. That’s not supposed to happen in a black and white picture right?
Truth be told, I love the food at Chipotle. Everything just tastes fresh and good. Pretty amazing that they can have 1000+ restaurants and continue to pull that off with regularity. But the forced industrial hip style with the big vents etc. – always sets off my bullshit (contrived) sensors. Now this “First Restaurant” picture got me going. Somewhere in my mind a synapse sparked.. false authenticity.. fake authenticty.. fauxthenticity! I was so impressed with myself.
I started to reflect upon the stuff I read during college in pursuit of my philosophy major. That lead me to think about the old Radiohead album OK Computer which was pretty deep and a lot more enjoyable than the philosophy crap. I was damn close to figuring out a universal truth when some pimply hispanic woman asked me what I wanted to eat.
Fauxthenticity.com was taken (so much for original ideas), but this one wasn’t. Can’t believe it. I think it’s worth a couple grand at least. It even has an Urban Dictionary entry. I’m taking offers!
As for the picture – I couldn’t find it online. Isn’t that odd? You’ll have to take my word for it. I suppose the next time (dear reader) you are at your local Chipotle, wherever the hell you are, you’ll see the same picture (with the same handwritten caption). Enjoy!