The View-Master — produced by Fisher-Price — is a great way to display kids’ menus and specialty-drink menus, the company says.
May 23, 2004 — A decades-old toy made its debut Saturday at the National Restaurant Association’s 2004 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.
View-Master, traditionally used to view cartoons or pictures of vacation destinations, has been embraced by foodservice operators for its versatility.
View-Master officials say Burger King uses View-Masters in employee training. Other restaurant companies, like ESPN Zone, use the seven-slide cardboard reels and handheld plastic viewers to display their children’s menus. Health-care institutions such as Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati allow young patients to take their View-Master menus home after their hospital stays.
The appeal was evident on the NRA Show floor at McCormick Place in Chicago. Attendees flooded first-time exhibitor Debra Borer and her colleague Sandy Kensinger with questions about the product’s price, usage, customization and durability.
Borer and Kensinger assured a prospective customer that the viewers and film reels were virtually indestructible. Borer put one in her mouth to demonstrate the only problem. Biting down, she said the film wouldn’t come out if a child chewed on the reel, but the cardboard would get soggy.
Company officials say the toy’s history of commercial use dates to 1940 when the company introduced its first commercial reel — for bourbon. Today, customized View-Master reels continue to advertise liquor, although they’re more likely to be promoting a bar menu of specialty martinis, Borer says. — by Linda Busche