KFC Indonesia — the crazy geniuses behind the fried chicken skin — have got to be commended for being the only major fast food chain in Indonesia who are devoting resources into promoting selfless dining etiquette.
In January, KFC launched a campaign encouraging patrons to clean up their own tables after eating. While the practice has already become second nature to diners in many countries around the world, many in Indonesia took offense at KFC’s campaign, with the main argument being that they shouldn’t have to clean up after themselves if KFC already employs cleaners.
Some eight months on, it seems KFC Indonesia has had enough of the dine-and-leavers, if their sassy attitude in replying to the campaign’s haters, as showcased in a recent Instagram post, is anything to go by.
“Clearing your table after eating? Fret not! It’s easy to do, the trash bins are provided! #CleaningUpCulture” the caption reads in the post, which was uploaded by KFC yesterday.
KFC Indonesia then had a field day replying to some of the most stubborn arguments against cleaning after oneself.
Commenter: “You already have employees, why do we have to clean up ourselves?”
KFC: “They are your own trash, why don’t you clean up after yourself?”
Some netizens tried to justify not cleaning up by saying that they feared KFC employees would be made redundant.
Commenter: “It’s a pity if jobs disappear once we clean up.”
KFC: “Our employees’ jobs is not only to clean up, so you don’t need to worry that they will lose their jobs.”
Commenter: “There will be employee cutbacks, which will increase of KFC’s profit. Or to make it more efficient, customers should pick up their own chickens… wkwk.” (Note: This is a common Indonesian way to express laughter in text, similar to “haha.”)
KFC: “We have more employees now, because we have opened many new outlets.”
One guy sided with KFC with an interesting analogy.
Commenter: “Those who don’t want to clean up their own trash is like taking a shit at a public toilet but you don’t flush. Then you say, ‘the toilet has a caretaker’.”
KFC: “What a good analogy.”
While there are those in the comments section who wrote that they are now accustomed to cleaning up after eating, they say the act is still met with condescending sneers or weird stares by fellow patrons.
It’s fair to say that, in Indonesia, there still isn’t a culture of cleaning up after oneself after eating at fast food joints or food courts, which generally employ cleaners to do so.
While it may take time for that attitude to change, it’s somewhat more embarrassing when Indonesians don’t clear their tables in countries where it’s widely observed, such as in one viral incident in the notoriously clean and tidy Tokyo.
There have been some attempts by conscientious Indonesians to implement better eating etiquette in the country, such as the #TumpukDiTengah campaign, which translates to “stack them in the middle.” It was an online campaign that appealed to people to do the effortless task of, at the very least, stacking their used plates in the middle of their table to make it easier for the wait staff to take the plates away and clean the table for the next user.