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July 8, 2020

A Rare WSJ Article

WSJ articles don't appear here often because they're behind a pretty expensive 
paywall. But this is worth a peek as it ties in with the previous post  If you are not 
a WSJ subscriber check back as these articles often appear on other sites for 
no $$$. We'll them find them when they show up..

Buffets and Salad Bars, Closed by the Pandemic, Remain Roped Off - WSJ

July 5, 2020

Will McDonald's USA be Ready for the New Normal?

During the June 19 NFLA call management was asked about a "Drive-Thru" only option. Management seemed to poo-poo the idea based on previous experience. This is the new normal and previous research and knowledge mean very little. The typical McDonald's 
drive-thru percentage of sales is going to settle in at 5 or 10 percent above of what it was 
pre-pandemic. If it was 70% before, it may be 80% in 2021. 

This is now a germaphobe nation and your customers have been retrained. They'll also have a little PTSD and it's going to be difficult to get folks to feel comfortable eating next to strangers. Drive-thru only new stores and rebuilds as options might make a lot of sense in the future.

And on the June 19 NFLA call management was evasive about the future of Self Service Beverage Bars. SSBBs are another thing that will keep guests out of the dining room.

I've already admitted to being a germaphobe and that I think SSBBs are disgusting, always have. Restaurant operators of all brands should prepare themselves for a world without SSBBs. 

Following is a video from a radio station that appears to be a local patch job with some corporate video. Can you imagine customers viewing this or similar messaging and then be willing to use an SSBB in a restaurant?

The more you boast about cleanliness and safety (as you should) the less your guests will go anywhere near an SSBB. As said before, if guests are afraid to touch your outside door handles they're not going to touch the levers to get ice or pour a drink.

This rejection of SSBBs will drive more customers to the Drive-Thru where they will feel 
that the McDonald's crew person handling their drink is more trustworthy than the customer before them at the SSBB.

Video from an Atlanta radio station

How the pandemic will change how restaurants are built - Restaurant Business

June 27, 2020

If McDonald's Corporate Executives Get Their Way

"..... calls the Democratic labor agenda the most underappreciated election-related 
risk, as a higher minimum wage and new laws to organize workplaces would be 
priorities, especially hurting McDonald’s, while more labor protections for gig 
economy workers would affect companies like Uber."

Positioning your portfolio for a Biden Presidency - Barron's

June 22, 2020

No ADB Yet, But You Can See it From Here

From the article: "McDonald’s added All-Day Breakfast in 2015, generating strong sales and helping to bolster the chain after a years-long sales lull."

Here's how this is going to happen. As Jonathan Maze points out, when ADB was launched
McDonald's USA sales had been soft for several years. It was time for a natural business cycle rebound that made ADB look more impactful than it actually  was.

Easterbrook took credit for the "success" of ADB and gave it so much fanfare that it's a major
part of this career history. The media and Wall Street analysts still believe the hype and will
expect ADB to make a comeback once more dining rooms are reopened.

McDonald's management can't admit that ADB was over hyped in 2015 so they will continue 
to claim that customers are clamoring for ADB.

After all, what are they going to tell analysts - "We want to bring it back but our franchisees won't let us"?

McDonald’s is reconsidering the future of All-Day Breakfast - Restaurant Business