Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Authentic Fast Food

When we think of fast foods, we think of McDonalds (and Jollibee)...

As a matter of fact, the fast food concept embraces the ultimate crux in business efficiency: SPEED. Food served while you wait, food that you can take away, and food in a snap. That's what many of us want... the 20th century form of instant cuisine, self-service fast food.

But do you really think that McDonalds, Jollibee and [insert other fast food chains here] have ideally achieved the SPEED theory that they strategize to emulate? Well, they or I, thought so… until…

Introducing in the Netherlands, the authentic speedy fast food!

The Dutch Fast Food, “De Automatiek” and how McDonalds should envision themselves - the unmitigated freedom of the fast food self-service industry. The Dutchman actually argued with me tonight that there is no translation for the word, “Automatiek” into English. He said that this doesn’t exist in the English language? Now go figure how illogical Dutch is!

Smullers and Febo, the two successful ubiquitous Dutch fast food chains deliver your burger or kroket without having to order and wait in the line. You just drop your Euro coins, grab the food, and off you go. That easy, that fast and perhaps this is the last hurrah in the name and glory of self-service.

Trust me, these types of food chains scour so much money in a day - by the bags! McDonald's and Jollibee's P&L will glimmer through even during the gloomiest Dutch winter if they decide to tread in this route, well maybe. Its like that paradigm BS shift, the sales process simplified.

Kroket, a typical Dutch meat and gravy filling wrapped in deep fried sausage look-alike crust.

This type of fast food do NOT boast of overhead: NO large crew to maintain and NO large space with a sea of tables and chairs to put up in front.

A small space to fit a kitchen and a counter for the fries and drinks is enough. As you can see from the pictures above, the rest of the food are stored and offered for public viewing and consumption through and by the WALL! I guess that’s what the Dutch have in mind on the word, improviseren (improvise).

Knowing how Filipinos in literatim party on snacking, right 18 hours a day, but leave out 6 hours for sleeping, I somehow thought this idea would be a good business proposition (start franchising, perhaps?) in the Philippines?

So, our lesson for the day:


On the other hand, how unhealthy kroket is… is another story.


  1. Anonymous9:01 am

    Kroket can be a healthy food depends on how you want to prepare it. I always use a leftover beef mechado (I cut my meat in big chunks) which is an ideal way for making kroket because the flavour is almost similar. I then chop or shred the meat finely, then mix the thicken sauce of mechado, roll it into sausage-like size, roll in flour, dip in beaten egg, roll in breadcrumbs, put in the fridge for 1/2 hour or into the freezer for future use. I always bake mine instead of deep frying so it is healthier, right, MissT? BTW, are you going home to PI this Christmas? We are flying on the 17th of Dec.

  2. hey anonymous, volgens mij, heb jij je naam vergeten te noteren, hehe. ik zou je naam proberen te raden maar eigenlijk is 't niet een goed idee! :-)

    tama ka, its like beef mechado. i have never tried making kroket at home kasi im not so fond of it, though sometimes i buy the sate'kroket. right, baking is much healthier than deep drying, eeeww! the fat!

    you're going back to pinas too? we fly earlier on the 11th, so we arrive in manila on the 12th. how long will you guys be staying there?

  3. ewwww...never tried it but i dont think i will one day. they dont look inviting anyway.

    hey, you're almost home now..baggage ready??

  4. I think Pinoys would love the kroket as we are a munching bunch. I like the concept of "De Automatiek"--no fuss, quick and convenient. Mmmm, i'm just wondering if a Pinoy entrepreneur would consider using this for the balut, adidas and other exotic Pinoy stuff...just thinking about this makes me ewwww...:-)

  5. Hey ana, you´re back in dijon?! Hows work treating you in pinas? The kroket photo did not do justice on this sometimes delicious dutch bite. I say sometimes because i am not a meat lover.... But most meat lovers like it a lot. If you visit NL, never forget to try it! I would recommend the sate´kroket and you dont have to wait on the line.

    Sari, addidas, balut, betamax, pwede rin squid and fish balls, then lumpia, etc LOL! I think the "Kroket" and the "Automatiek" will be successful in Pinas. They probably need to charge the stuff at P10-P20 each (or mura ba sya? Kasi tag €1 dito eh which is now hovering between P70-72 fx) and would have been better if there was a P10 coin to make thing more convenient. The Automatiek machine will be another challenge since it will be expensive but I am sure the ROI is fast.

    Naku we will earn with this!!!

  6. yeah, back to dijon since tuesday pm. work is ok, the results were good. we will definitely start mass production on december, sa wakas!

    we were in amsterdam last summer but i didnt know about this kroket thing...next time, ill surely try it.

    vending machines are everywhere here in france. one which shocked me when i just arrived here was the one for condoms at the metro stations and in almost every corners! thinking that in phils, it's still tabou..wow!

  7. wow.. here in manila.. there is what you call the ATM (Automatic Tubig Machine)
    I've seen the establishment already.. I just don't know how it works though.. hehe

  8. Anonymous3:14 am


    Here in NY...cor.42nd and 3rd Ave, the last AUTOMAT closed early 80's. Siguro, labor intensive(food preparers on the other end of these windows. Then had to clean the tables. With the advent of McD, BurgerKing, Delis,Chinese Fast Food, etc. came it's closure.

    Sa Filipinas naman...siguro u need security guards to keep an eye on your vending machines baka tokens (pinoy ingenuity) ang ihulog nila LOL! We do have these vending machines especially in Hospitals that serve as alternative to their Cafeterias. As usual, tho...keep posting Dhay! Enjoying ur blog!


  9. Anonymous9:57 am

    Oi Jor,

    Sorry, you are right though. I forgot to sign my post. Anyway, i am having a ball reading your rants. I even got my hubby to sit down and read your posting. He was very curious about the self contain square box and have been following your reports of euro dollars. I think he's getting more dutch info from here than anywhere else, believe it or not, lol...

    And, as for kroket, i got my freezer well stocked as he will be living on processed food while we're away....

    Won't it be lovely to meet you there in PI in December? When are flying back to Holland then? We're coming back on the 15th of January because Lee is flying out to Nagoya on the 24th of January to do his exchange program thingee.


  10. ana,

    yup, try kroket or if u want also the kaas souffle (cheese).

    the codoms vending machine is hilarious. baka may mag rally pa dyan sa pinas about that lol!

    red door,

    hi there! ow u make me curious about this ATM (automatic tubig machine! hehe

    bogey joe,

    thats interesting info coz in NL the AUTOMATIEK fast foods concentrate on speed. they do not have tables and chairs. all the food u take away... which is a totally different concept from mcdonalds, burger king, jollibee, etc.

    though i also think it might be cultutral... that many americans prefer to sit down and eat.

    and u are right about the ingenuity of the pinoys! baka ibang token ipapasok hahahaha! ma bankrupt na ang negosyo LOL!


    shocks ikaw pala yan? i thought someone here in NL, haha!

    so your dutchman turned kiwiman is always eating the kroket. he doesnt miss NL much, i guess!

    but wait, its only u and lee going to pinas? drop your # in my email and lets see how we can go around with our schedules. our 3 weeks there is quite busy, flying all over the islands but we have a few days in manila. we are flying back to NL on new years eve! (31 december)

  11. Anonymous2:13 pm

    " u need security guards to keep an eye on your vending machines baka tokens (pinoy ingenuity) ang ihulog nila LOL! "

    That's not needed! These machines are of high quality and checks the coins on exact size and weight.

    Here in Holland it does not work if you use fake coins of the same size. At the end it all depends on the quality of the local currency. Fluctuation on weight are within certain margins not allowed. Otherwise the machine will spit out the coins. So no security guard is needed. We Dutch do not like to spend on unnecessary overhead like this.

  12. Anonymous8:39 pm

    hi i went to holland in 1972 and will never forget the little automatieks which served tiny dutch and indonesian snacks.Trouble is,I didn't know what they were called,so I couldn't search for them on the internet.Now,thanks to you,I can!Many thanks.peter

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