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The Dengler Domain: Diners

January 15, 2016
Sean Dengler - Columnist , Dysart Reporter

McDonald's, Subway, Burger King, and the list goes on and on. While these franchises exist in most mid to large cities, they are bland. The meals and the look of the restaurant are the same at each location. Every store is crafted to be part of the system. No food is made with love, and no connection exists with the employees. Locally owned diners solve this problem.

In the past, locally owned diners existed in a higher volume. One reason was the big franchises were not as popular, and they were not as good at price gouging the locally owned diners. While these franchise are more prevalent today, diners are still a better option. Diners have been and continue to be the best place to eat because the owners put their heart and soul into the business. The big franchises do not have this magical power. Giving back to small town diner owners is an amazing feeling because these owners care about customer satisfaction. They are not looking at algorithms to determine where to place the table and decor, but they are looking at their customers' faces and reactions. Supporting these local business owners translates to a positive boost in the community.

I remember when My Mother's Place was open in Clutier, and Bergen's was opened in Traer and Dysart. While my age was in the single digits, these diners bring up fond memories. Eating there with my family was always a good time. Being able to enjoy a diner in a small town is an experience nobody forgets. The people working at these businesses are a part of the community, and they make their food with love for their customers. This creates a strong bond between the diner and the customers.

I would have loved to live in the past with the many choices of small town diners. Every diner serves bigger portions than other restaurants. The food may be the same across the board, but the big portions make up for this disadvantage. Having plate sized tenderloins or pancakes is a good deal in my book. The menus have endless amounts of food choices, and the stomach never leaves empty.

A diner has a great atmosphere because every diner has a small town feeling. No matter the diner, they are always a place to sit back, relax, and be comfortable. There is no pressure because the menus are not full of fancy sounding food. The prices are not outrageously marked up for a bite size piece of steak. Everyone is happy in a diner, and no leaves unhappy. Plus, diners have the dessert displays full of pie, cake, cookies, and local heritage sweets and pastries.

Diners need to be a bigger part of our society as they were in the past. These places are magical, and franchises places are not. Living in a world with many locally owned diners would have been a delicious delight. Traveling throughout my life, I always try to find a diner. These are the gems, and where supporting their business contributes to the community. This makes for a better world because above all else, everyone needs to support the little guys.

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