October 30, 2014

Back to the McFuture?

McDonald's Divisions being changed back to Zones? What's a "zone insights person"?

Is this another tactic to deflect attention away from Oak Brook?

This is reminiscent of the days when McDonald's USA Zones were changed to Divisions
to be "closer to our customers" yet four out of the five original Divisional offices were
in Chicagoland.

I pay no attention to 2nd tier McDonald's corporate people so can someone tell me who's
this James Collins? Has he been working somewhere else since 2011? Is this another rehire? 

October 28, 2014

Burger King Franchisees And Coaches

"Franchisees have complained that some of the coaches are too young and inexperienced, 
 with many of them hired straight out of business school."

Burger King Franchisees And Coaches - Business Insider

McDonald's: Millennials Aren't The Problem

Howard Penny is one of the Wall Street analysts who asks questions corporate
management hates to answer.


October 27, 2014

More on "Aggressive Change"

In February we discussed Jack Greenberg’s late 1990s attempt to reinvent McDonald’s.

Our previous post is HERE.

This is where Greenberg said:

"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".

Welcome to the 21st century version of Greenberg's statement.

On last week’s conference call with Wall Street analysts Don Thompson used the phrase “aggressive change” numerous times. This is code for “reinvention” and could be just

as destructive as Greenberg’s attempts to change McDonald’s.

Another key theme of the conference call was “localization” or “A flatter, more nimble organization that ensures key business decisions are made closer to the customer, by 

people with local market expertise.”

It’s hard to believe that a bureaucracy run by control freaks that’s been top-down for 

30 years is going to turn on a dime and encourage creativity and entrepreneurship in 
the field. But, this is a shrewd political move that takes the spotlight off Oak Brook and
puts the onus on McDonald’s Operators and faceless corporate field people.

This buys management time to deflect blame and gets them through the 2015 share -

holders meeting. If things aren’t going better by the spring it will be time for a full
on attack on the Operator community.

Which, McDonald’s veterans will remember, was another Greenberg strategy (one of 

his last).

October 22, 2014

Minimum Wage Backfire - WSJ

What used to be a starting wage is now supposed to be a "living wage"

Why Chipotle Will Never Replace McDonald's

"McDonald's domestic sales last year totaled nearly $36 billion, which was greater 
than the entire fast casual industry's sales ($34.5 billion), according to Technomic."

Analysts Discuss

Is Chipotle Really Healthier Than McDonald’s?

One Chipotle burrito can be twice the calories of a Big Mac and have nearly a full day’s worth of calories. A burrito with chicken, white rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, tomatillo-green chili salsa, guacamole and cheese with a side order of chips is 1,695 calories A Big Mac has 530 calories.

MarketWatch Reports HERE

October 21, 2014

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson on Q3 2014 Results

If there was ever an important communication between McDonald's Corp. and
their shareholders that impacts franchisees today's conference call is it.

Management is intending to turn the brand inside out and upside down to grow
sales. Do they know what they're doing? ... Study this call and decide.

Listen to the replay here 

Or read the transcript:

McDonald's Q3 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Hint - Listening to the call is more insightful. 

Another Tough Quarter for McDonald's

McDonald’s Profit Falls 30% on U.S., China Woes - WSJ

October 7, 2014

QSR Magazine Fast Food Drive Thru Study

Industry execs admit slower service and increased order mistakes caused by menu
complexity - plan to solve it with "training".

McDonald's says “It’s about going slow to go fast.” Is that Oak Brook Speak?

Fast Food Drive Thru Study Reports Speed and Performance in Industry - QSR magazine

Qdoba Mexican Grill Reworks Menu / Pricing

“They also felt the menu was overly complex and that the ordering 
process itself was more complex than it needed to be,” Qdoba pres.
Tim Casey said.
Qdoba Mexican Grill reworks menu pricing in brand revitalization effort - NRN

October 3, 2014

Build-A-Burger Going Global

No matter what the test results show, Australia is taking Build-A-Burger nationwide.
USA operators should just order the equipment now, this isn't a test, it's a reinvention.

Aussie TV reports

October 1, 2014

Dual-Point: You're Doing It Wrong

I recently had the opportunity to visit 10 McDonald’s stores owned by the
same Operator. Seven of the stores had dual-point ordering, three did not.
As stated before, I’m a big fan of Dual-Point even if all it does is to make
the customer feel better about the process.

Applying my decades of operations experience with my recent experience
as a QSR customer I can make no sense out of the change to only giving the
customer their drink cup when the food is available. Who thinks it’s a good
idea to force the customer to waste that 3 or 4 minutes they’ll wait for
their food? And then they have to carry their food over to the drink station
where there’s really no place to the set their tray or bag while drawing
their drinks?

Dual-Point has eliminated some confusion at the front counter but at the same
time created a bottle-neck at the drink station. Unfortunately the customer
bears the inconvenience and no one behind the counter or in Oak Brook is
concerned. Speaking as your customer, I hate waiting for my food and getting
my drink eats up some time. I’ve already paid for that cup and I want it now!

Can anyone offer a reason this makes sense in the kitchen? Because from my
side of the counter it makes no sense at all.


Mom-and-Pop Restaurants Feel Pinch of Minimum Wage Hike

Mom-and-Pop Restaurants Feel Pinch of Minimum Wage Hike

Wendy's BBQ

While Wendy's food is usually enjoyable I tried the new BBQ pulled pork 
sandwich and was not impressed. Too much BBQ sauce and too much slaw
made the pork invisible to my taste buds. The sandwich comes across as 
scrimping  on the pork.

Wendy's competitors need not worry, especially at $4.49.

USA Today on Wendy's pulled pork