December 26, 2013

Call In Some Grownups

Given the embarrassments of its Twitter and #hashtag campaigns and now the disaster 
of McResources it’s obvious that McDonald’s Corporation should not be allowed to use
the Internet.

McDonald's Drops Employee Website - WSJ.com
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December 23, 2013

More on McResource Line

This article goes into a little history of the problems with the McResource Line.

McDonald's employee site bashes fast food - NBC News.com


"Although the McResource Line is nominally a site for employees, it is accessible

via a registration process that does not actually verify employee credentials, meaning
anyone can register for it by providing a username and email address and selecting a 
McDonald's region."
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Look For The Union Label

"We have 70 years of labor law that has developed to make it fair for workers
and for employers, and now you have this new creation that’s exploding, that 
allows them to skirt many of these things,” he says.

Do’s & Don’ts - Franchise Times
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Posts on McDonald's Employee Site Bashes Fast Food

This employee resource website causes a major embarrassment to McDonald's 
on a weekly basis. If fact, it's a huge resource for unions pushing for an increased 
minimum wage.

McDonald's Operators really should watch this CNBC video.


Oak Brook Damages McDonald's Brand
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December 18, 2013

Poultry in Motion? - Not So Much

Mighty Wings Saga Leaves McDonald’s With a Frozen Stockpile - WSJ

"Franchisees have been told they must participate in another upcoming promotion – 

the date and pricing of which are not yet clear – or else pay for the excess inventory."
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December 14, 2013

Not So Fast - In the Digital Age

While waiting for my food at McDonald's I usually fiddle with my smart phone.  With all the noise about digital ordering and payment, during these visits,  I try to imagine what would have been different about my customer experience if I'd ordered and paid with my phone. Would I have gotten in and out more quickly? The answer is usually - not really.

That's because I still have to wait three or four minutes for the food. A faster ordering and payment system would make no difference whatsoever. The credit card processing at McDonald's is so amazingly fast I don't see how one could improve over "instantaneous". Since a smart phone purchase is a debit or credit transaction I'll assume it would go through the same network, increasing the % of sales going out on "plastic", but not be any faster. If it were faster it would have to be measured in milliseconds.

Having said that, McDonald's and every other restaurant must eventually offer this opportunity. If nothing else but for the fun factor of doing things on-line or on a device. Ordering our pizza on Papa John's web site may not necessarily be any more efficient than picking up the phone - it's just more fun.

But, since so many of the decision makers at McDonald's Corporation have never run a restaurant I foresee the following exchange:

* Corporate guys announce new products, more LTOs, customization, and kitchen complexities.

* McDonald's Operators express concerns about the High Density Menu.

* Corporate guys respond, "Smart phone ordering and payments will fix those problems".

* Corporate guys then mumble something about "Millennials" and give out information on
   ordering the next equipment package.

McDonald's appears to be doing a good job of moving the system into the digital arena but it would be a mistake for Operators to rush into all things digital thinking it will solve their restaurant capacity problems in the back of the house.

There used to be an app for that - it was part of the original Plan to Win - called "Simplification".
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The Minimum Wage and the Rise of the Machines

"the day before Obama called for an increase in the minimum wage, the restaurant chain Applebee’s announced that it will install iPad-like tablets at every table. Chili’s already made this move earlier this year."

Jonah Goldberg - National Review Online
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December 11, 2013

The "Experts" Have Some Advice for McDonald's

In the mid-1990s, after the dual flops of Arch Deluxe and Campaign 55, reporters  were running around asking "What's wrong with McDonald's". After the Convenience Strategy failed in the late 1990s the same people were asking the same question. And now that sales increases are harder to come by the media is at it again.

And everybody's got an opinion:

Crain's Chicago Business asked five experts but only the last two had useful comments:

Five Ways to Revive McDonald's

And QSR Magazine asks "What's Going On at McDonald's?"

Of course, articles like this never get to any real solutions because they don't interview
McDonald's Operators.

This is an interesting quote from analyst John Gordon, "But McDonald’s may be 
approaching a point of … reaching our approximate sales plateaus. If you’re looking
at $2.6 million in terms of U.S. AUVs, McDonald’s is up nicely, but how much higher 
can it go practically in a nation with a million restaurants?”
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December 6, 2013

Oak Brook Gives Itself Another Black Eye

McDonald's Operators have expressed concerns over negative publicity about the 
system over the past year. Some of that negativity is naturally going to come to 
a company that has a near decade of success and then hits a plateau. However, 
much of the news that makes Operators cringe is generated from idiotic moves by 
McDonald's management. Such as the following:

McDonald's gives workers advice on tipping au pairs, trainers, dog-walkers - NBC News.com
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December 4, 2013

Democrats Urge McDonald’s to Raise Wages

We can't expect that these lefties would understand any business issues, let alone 
the fairly complex franchise relationship. But it's still stunning that they think the
CEO of a franchise chain can dictate pay rates.

However, McDonald's management continues to tell investors that corporate 
determines menu prices for franchisees so maybe it's easy to believe they also 
control labor costs.

Democrats Urge McDonald’s to Raise Store Workers’ Wages - Bloomberg:
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December 2, 2013


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Olive Garden to Feature Burgers

Peter Saleh, a New York-based analyst at Telsey Advisory Group says 
“It would be the same as McDonald’s trying to do some sort of pasta meal.”

Please, Mr. Saleh, don't give McDonald's management any ideas!

Bloomberg Reports
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Steak 'n Shake Franchisees Bite Back Over $4 Menu

“Steak n Shake effectively controls both the buy and sell prices for every food item 
sold by franchisees,” Scott’s said in its lawsuit. As a result, it said, “Lower menu prices 
would mean financial disaster for many franchisees.”

Steak n Shake franchisees bite back over $4 menu
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Did Somebody Say McCopycat?


I've figured out Oak Brook's dastardly plan - cause the competition to imitate McDonald's
by complicating their menus until operations break down. McDonald's will then simplify 
the menu, improve speed of service, and leave the competition struggling to be all things 
to all people.

AdAge Reports
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Has Time Run Out for McDonald's Brand Chronicle?

This column is an example of advertising people over-intellectualizing things trying to 
make themselves sound smart. But the writer ends with the point, "It's hard to make 
a point when your ads are all over the map".

Isn't that because the McDonald's menu is all over the map?

Has Time Run Out for McDonald's Brand Chronicle? - Advertising Age
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