Thursday, July 16, 2009

Walking Through the Drive-Through at Naugles

All right, KPC fans, who is this fine fellow? He is a senior marketing manager at Avaya.

And he's married, I believe, to Risa P. Gorelick, at Ramapo College.

Finally, as the title suggests, this now-respectable gent is rather famous for insisting on walking through the drive-through line at Naugles, even on nights with heavy snow and wind. See, Naugles closed the main part of the building about 11 pm, but was open LATE at the drive-through. (And also early. It never closed). Just picture it: Snowing, dark, 2:45 am. Lots of cars in line. Car, car, car, guy standing "in line", car, car... Guy inside, running drive-through hears a voice order, thinks nothing of it. "Pull ahead please." Then, walking out of the night, dripping: the guy pictured above. (Except he had shoulder length curly hair then, and a big mustache.) No car, just a heavy coat. Pays for food, and strides into the blackness.

One of my favorite memories of Naugles: If you ordered the nachos, and a Dr. Pepper, the front person would yell back to the kitchen: "Macho Nacho, and a Doctor!" Here is (a picture of) an actual Naugles hat, worn by inmates: We made up a menu item, and tried to order it once, just to see what would happen: "Ort Egg on a Stick." The cashier did not see the humor in this request. (Maybe because she was wearing one of those hats, above). (To be fair, this was Angus's idea, through and through. I just giggled.)

Dick Naugle had two great ideas. One was the motto, which was printed on the napkins. I believe it went like this: "Dick Naugle says: Serve food fast. Keep place clean. Keep customer satisfied." We would sometimes debate if this was a badly failed attempt at a haiku. I still think it was.

The other idea was non-exclusive franchises. Another Naugles might open next door to yours. As was documented here, that turns out to be a bad idea, in terms of selling franchises.

Actually, Dick Naugle had one other idea: commercials many people found flagrantly racist. This is the only example I can find, and it's pretty tame.

Naugles was merged back with Del Taco in 1988. Naugles: RIP.

(A credit for the YouTube ad)


Angus said...

Wow, Fritz Ollom!! Well played, Mungo. He was a fisherman, a wine enthusiast, and a rough and tumble inter-mural football player besides being an unorthodox fast food eater!

ChristianZ said...

I actually have lots of Naugles coverage here.

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ChristianZ said...

BTW, Dick Naugle did not create those commercials. He had cashed out shortly before they were made.