Coalition of Franchisee Associations

September 28, 2015

CYT Dialogue

Before it goes too far down-screen McDonald's Operators should revisit the post titled 
"On CYT", we've had some great Operator comments.

Or, go back to the post HERE

Or make a comment about CYT on this post . 

Technology Content from Nation's Restaurant News

What customers want from restaurant mobile apps

Taco Bell launches website for PC or tablet ordering

Chipotle’s Carnitas Achieves McRib Celebrity Status

MarketWatch reports

Restaurants Look to Keep Up with Burger Trends

Restaurants Look to Keep Up with Burger Trends - FSR magazine

Wisdom From One of the Original McDonald's Operators

My first gig as a McDonald's store manager was with the partnership of Zien-Heller in Minneapolis. I didn't know much about the structure of the partnership except that they
had the rights to develop McDonald's in the City of Minneapolis and they controlled the
real estate. We knew we worked for both men but reported directly to Jim Zien, he was 
in the restaurants frequently, Sim Heller occasionally.

One day Sim Heller made an unannounced visit to my restaurant and was especially 
interested in a contractor who was tiling walls in the back of the kitchen, walls that had previously been painted. I was excited about the upgrade - him - not so much. 

Sim wiped his hand across the 4x4 salt and pepper tiles and just said, "I hope Zien can 
afford it". 

Today's McDonald's Operators should emulate the very wise Sim Heller and when asked
to get involved in questionable initiatives respond with, "I hope Easterbrook can afford it".

September 24, 2015

What Would McDonald's Do Without a Strategy VP?

The WSJ describes McDonald's as "a company long known for preferring 
internal candidates" ... well, history tells us that's not entirely true.

When McDonald's has a CEO who lacks an operations background, such as 
Greenberg or Easterbrook, the CEO tries to flush the top management people 
who have "ketchup in their veins" and bring in people who know nothing about
running a McDonald's or the McDonald's culture.

Anyone remember Alan Feldman?

McDonald's appoints strategy chief - Marketwatch

Restaurant Ad Spending Drops 10.4%

Not a bad idea - ╬▓urger╬▓usiness

September 22, 2015

Putting the New Starbucks App to the Test

Let's just say it didn't go particularly well.

Starbucks’ new order-ahead app review - Business Insider

Starbucks' Order-Ahead Application Available Nationwide

Bloomberg Business reports

McDonald's Cage-Free Egg Pledge

"McDonald's, the world's biggest restaurant chain, on Sept. 9 said it will switch to 
cage-free eggs by 2025 in the United States and Canada. However, the company 
does not plan to raise prices on its menu."

Oh yeah? ... Who says?

McDonald's cage-free egg pledge pressures farmers, squeezes supply - Yahoo

On CYT - Seeking Your Comments

Any evidence there is an actual business case for Create Your Taste.

What are the hard numbers for remodeling, equipment, and implementation?

What are CYT's increased operating costs after implementation?

What is the actual (not dreamed about) increase in traffic?

Responses can be left as comments here or sent to adams at


September 17, 2015

McDonald's Looks Outside for New Chief Strategy Officer

Not too sure what a "Strategy Officer" is but I've got your strategy right here >

Get serious about simplifying the menu and restaurant operation so you can serve more customers!

Julie Jargon from Dow Jones reports

September 16, 2015

Good For Both McDonald's Operators and Oak Brook

Good news for McDonald's Operators since activist investors want to fiddle with
the McDonald's franchise business model.

Good news for Oak Brook since it would be a PR disaster if investors were allowed
to  examine the McDonald's real estate portfolio and the secret REIT(s) that have
been created over the years.
IRS questions tax-free real estate spinoffs; could affect restaurants - NRN

McRevolt: The Frustrating Life of the McDonald’s Franchisee

McDonald’s Operators are probably weary of negative press concerning the brand 
but this Bloomberg article tells the story of an actual Operator’s career - Al Jarvis - 
former Michigan Operator.

I ribbed the reporter for quoting a college professor who likely knows nothing about 

the real business world and sent him this scene from a Rodney Dangerfield movie:

Back To School

He sent me back this scene from a Woody Allen movie:

Annie Hall

Bryan Gruley and Leslie Patton report for Bloomberg


September 15, 2015

Taco Bell to Open Upscale ‘Cantina’ Restaurants

As Taco Bell tries to go upscale to
compete with Chipotle will they be 
silly enough to try to sell "premium" alongside their $1.00 offerings?

Wall Street Journal reports

Taco Bell press release 

September 4, 2015

Why Launch Breakfast Now?

Many McDonald's Operators are wondering if, operation -
ally, it would have been a better plan to launch breakfast all day in January instead of launching at the beginning of one of busiest periods of the year.

There is an explanation - Oak Brook management needs good news NOW - and can't wait for next year.

Launching in early October gives them something new to talk about on the October 22nd conference call with Wall Street analysts. That will then carry them through their Oak Brook  meeting with analysts in November. Then things go quiet until the January 21st conference call discussing Q4 2015 with analysts.

During the first weeks of October analysts and reporters will wander through McDonald's restaurants observing people eating breakfast at all hours. Of course many of the menu 
items being consumed will be obtained for free by way of coupons (print or digital) paid for
by McDonald's Operators. MCD watchers won't know that and will be impressed with 
what they see.

So there will be something exciting to discuss on the late October call and chances are good 
that results for the fourth quarter will please shareholders when announced in January because:

* The massive amount of advertising against breakfast.

* National and local couponing discounting efforts.

* Sales in the USA went negative in the fourth quarter of 2013 so there's a good chance that  
"lapping" these two years of soft sales will produce some positive results for Q4 2015.

The more sophisticated analysts will understand this lapping but some won't and reporters definitely won't write about it so in late January there may be headlines proclaiming that  McDonald's USA has been "turned around".

And, since Oak Brook no longer releases monthly sales results this perception could give management cover through the spring conference calls and the 2015 shareholders meeting.

As the T-shirt says, "The time is now" - no matter what happens in the restaurants.


September 3, 2015

National Labor Relations Board Franchise Decision

A few have asked why there's been no discussion here about the NLRB ruling.
I have no good answer except the board's position on the franchisor/franchisee
relationship is so far from reality it's difficult to discuss.

Keep in mind, this isn't about McDonald's, it's about all franchised business. Like
minimum wage increases such rules and laws won't just apply to quick service 
resaurants but would impact muffler shops and haircut chains. If left to stand this
would effectively put most franchise chains out of business. Since the corporate 
side is the deep pocket they'd be responsible for everything that happens to a 
franchisee's employees. Not even McDonald's could afford to pay that bill.

Under those conditions why would any company sell franchises? Given the chance
of having their business unionized, why would any person buy a franchise?

We can expect a battle royal in the courts and in congress and it's probably going to
happen very quickly. But this will actually be decided in the 2016 election. 

Here's an interesting article sent in by a McDonald's Operator:

How to fix regulation without representation | TheHill

Here's an excellent opinion piece on the ruling:

 How This New Government Ruling Destroys the Franchise Business Model