Coalition of Franchisee Associations

February 3, 2014

We've Never Run A Real Restaurant - So Let's Reinvent McDonald's!

Oak Brooker Kevin Newell recently wrote about the "ongoing evolution
of our menu".

Who are these people who lack any real restaurant experience but
think they are smart enough to remake McDonald's? Maybe it's because
the Wall Street types keep hammering on them for "innovation".

This is the second time in recent history McDonald's has been "evolved"
or "reinvented".

In the early 1990s Jack Greenberg was CFO of McDonald's and moving 
quickly through the ranks. At a series of meetings with Operators around
the country he began his remarks with:

"Those of us who weren't with you at the beginning of McDonald's are
excited to be with you during the reinvention of McDonald's".

Operators in attendance asked each other - why does McDonald's need 
to be reinvented?

Greenberg used this phrasing because he knew he was addressing people
with decades of real restaurant experience while he possessed no such 

McDonald's veterans will remember that the Greenberg "reinvention"
delivered six  of the  worst years in the company's history (so far).

McDonald's is now in the middle of another reinvention. This time the
classic McDonald's system of simplicity, efficiency, and speed is being
completely discarded. 

Will this "evolution" go better than Greenberg's "reinvention"? Early 
results are not encouraging.


Anonymous said...

Don Thompson is the 2013-14 version of Jack Greenberg

Richard Adams said...

That might be a little harsh but the difference is that Greenberg was still surrounded by a support staff with deep operational knowledge and experience. Thompson only has a few people with that experience giving him input. Today’s decision makers at McDonald’s typically came up through the accounting or
supply chain functions.

Here are the corporate bios: