May 3, 2016

McCorp Should Not Be Allowed to Use the Word "Test"

If a company publicly discusses a "test" it's no longer a test, it's a corporate initiative.

For instance - McDonald's Corp discussing the "test" of Chicken McNuggets with no 
artificial preservatives - once they've discussed it with the press it's no longer a test.

What would Oak Brook do? Later tell the press, "We couldn't develop a product that
meets our quality and taste profiles without preservatives"?

Of course not, the "test" product has to succeed and must go national, no matter the
"test" results.

A good example, this misguided press release about Garlic Fries

McDonald's ADB Scrambles QSR Breakfast Business

Leslie Patton at Bloomberg reports

Supremes Turn Away Challenge to Min. Wage Law

Supreme court turns away challenge to Seattle law - WSJ

May 2, 2016

Don't Miss This Interesting Operator Comment

I'm more optimistic than I've been in a long time with the leadership being provided by Easterbrook. However, I don't think he or others fully understand how many serious problems are being created by the regions. Too many Regional Managers, QSC VP's and their immediate staff have personal agendas, self importance, personal ambition and little concern for the system. MCD does not care about operator equity or about older operators leaving the system. All of that is just fine with them. They are allowing an environment of "Us against them" that is, the Region against the operators to grow and there is little oversight from Oak Brook. Overall compentcy in the regions have declined. Real Estate, finance, field service and leadership are terrible. The company recently closed over 200 stores that should have never been opened in the first place. Decisions are being made that have little to do with good business judgment or positive cash flow. Social issues are more important than profitability. I realize that new leadership has a big mess to correct but the entrenched staffing and attitudes are huge to overcome. In the meantime debt levels at the stores are increasing although sales are up they are not up enough. There are too many stores, too much discounting and too many operators. Smaller operators in average volume stores cannot participate in required reinvestments, payroll increases, fend off law suits without taking on more and more debt and accepting smaller returns on their own investments. Many can't afford to retire and the longer they stay in the harder it becomes. Many if not all of these problems have been self inflected by poor leadership by the company and by giving too much authority to the regions. Leadership at the top has got to get a firm grip on these issues and soon.

April 30, 2016

The Biggest Change in Fast Food Isn't About Food...

This article on mobile ordering states
that chains like Domino's and Papa 
John's do half of their sales through 
"digital channels". That's a little mis -
leading in that digital channels would 
have to include web site ordering on 
home or office computers. We've been ordering pizza online at our house for
more than a decade.

    Business Insider reports on mobile

‘New Day’ for Joint Employer Litigation

- and not in a good way: Franchise Times

April 25, 2016

Transcript of MCD Earnings Presentation Q1-16

Edited Transcript of MCD conference call 22-Apr-16

McDonald's Puts U.S. Creative Account Into Review

McDonald's Puts U.S. Creative Account Into Review - AdAge

Will "The Founder" Flounder?

The pre-release publicity for the movie "The Founder" is becoming pretty loud. Some McDonald's folks are looking forward to the movie, others are apprehensive. In my 
humble opinion - it's not going to be a big deal.

It appears the relationship between Ray Kroc and the McDonald brothers has been 
dramatized beyond reality as evidenced by the poster that shows the arches, Michael 
Keaton's profile, and the phrase "He took someone else's idea and America ate it up".
So much hype!

Maybe I'm a poor judge since these events predate my time at McDonald's but I've 
heard the stories, read the books, and knew many of the players. It just wasn't that 
exciting. Why would the (ever shrinking) movie going public be interested in 60 year
old business intrigue?

I'm a loyal Hewlett-Packard tech consumer. As national brands H-P and McDonald's
are about the same age. Do I care about any conflicts or traumas Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard went through in the early days of the company? Not a byte. Just give me good equipment at a fair price - same with my burgers.

Based on what we know thus far it appears that fans of McDonald's expecting a fair and accurate telling of McDonald's history will leave the theater disappointed. Or angry.

Me? I'll wait. Since The Founder will do poorly at the box office it won't take long for it 
to be available on Netflix.