Problem: Bad Spoon

PHOTOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS: AUTHOR

You would think it wouldn’t be so hard to make a good plastic spoon. Not so, if you are the corporate behemoth “Pret A Manger.” Maybe stop speaking French and focus on utensil design—for once?

“Spoons are one of the oldest eating utensils on the planet,” and logic would tell you that it ain’t rocket science at this point to provide a decent disposable spoon to your customers. Basically just buy some plastic spoons that are widely available anywhere and put em in your stores. Problem solved. It’s real easy to find plastic spoons that serve all major spoon purposes well. They look like this:

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Perhaps one of the biggest problems with the licentious, creative French culture represented by sandwich store Pret A Manger is that they always want to be smarter than everyone. That goes double or even triple for their plastic spoons. Everyone’s heard the expression “Don’t reinvent the wheel,” but apparently the expression “Don’t reinvent the spoon” hasn’t made it over there to Pret A Manger headquarters in France, what with all of the “Yellow Vest” protests and stereotypical baking of baguettes. Somewhere, in a lavishly decorated office high atop Pret A Manger’s corporate tower, sits a utensil designer who had the “brilliant” (not) idea of designing special, unique spoons to be used only at this pricey lunch restaurant.

Smooth move, fellas— not.

Two big problems with the spoons you get at Pret A Manger.

One 1) The spoons have a rounded front. The spoons are not shaped like an oval, like most spoons, that have kind of a pointy front so you can, for example, scrape the very last yogurt out of the bottom of the little plastic cup, with the pointy tip of the spoon. Pret A Manger’s perfectly rounded spoons provide a blunt front lip that is utterly useless for scraping food left in small spaces. Not only is this store too expensive—you can’t even get all the food, to put in your mouth, because of poor spoon design.

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Two 2) Second, the spoon is too deep. Deeper is only better in oil wells and sword thrusts, my friend; not in spoons. When you get yourself a spoon that’s too deep, stuff goes on the bottom of the spoon and it doesn’t easily slide out into your mouth, because of the depth of the spoon.

Let’s examine a side view of a genuine Pret A Manger spoon:

SPOON: SIDE VIEW
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Too deep.

When you combine a too round spoon with a too deep spoon, you get a spoon that has a hard time getting the food you want in it, and a hard time getting the food you want out of it. You could hardly design a worse spoon if you tried. Why not simply put a black hole on the end of a spoon handle and save us all the trouble?

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I am just a regular person. I do not have lofty connections in the fast casual dining world. I don’t sit at the “big table” with the jet-setting spoon designers of France, who probably eat unlimited free soup to their heart’s content. My only outlet is a simple blog post. Pret A Manger, heed my lonely call, emanating from my heart: you got bad spoons.

Fix them spoons.

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About the author

Hamilton Nolan

Senior Writer. Hamilton@SplinterNews.com