March 17, 2018

Franchisees Push Back

Amid industry challenges, franchisees get serious about protecting their profits

The NLRB Saga Goes On

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is all in with destroying the USA franchise industry yet, if she ever runs for POTUS,  a 
large number of McDonald's corporate employees and executives will gleefully support her. And the Operator 
PAC will send her money.

Labor Board Scrambles to Avoid Pro-Worker Ruling, Lawyers Claim - Bloomberg

March 14, 2018

McDonald's Accountant Talks Operations and Marketing

On Wednesday McDonald's CFO presented at a Bank of America Conference. This comment 
appears to be gibberish. Is this some kind of McNewSpeak? 

I understand incremental sales, I understand break-evens and contributions margins.

"And so on a margin percentage basis, the franchisees get a lower margin percentage on 
this sale than they do if someone came to the front counter because the added cost is this commission. But in terms of additional dollars, the fact that 70% incremental is giving 
them clearly more dollars and our breakeven, if you will, incrementality is substantially 
below 50%. So there's a lot of room, let's say before we get anywhere close to breakeven 
from an incrementality standpoint."

Here's a transcript of the presentation:

McDonald's Management Presents at Bank of America Consumer - Seeking Alpha

March 13, 2018

McDonald's USA Increasingly Complex Operations

McDonald’s Tech Features Are Pushing Human Workers Out the Door - Bloomberg

McDonald's to Make Quick Changes to Value Menu - RBC

Analyst David Palmer is out with expanded comments on the McDonald's value platform.
Here's an excerpt from his report.

"So what now for McDonald’s? In our view, McDonald’s will likely stay committed to the
$1, $2, $3 menu with some other marketing adjustments that will be supported by its 
made-to-order fresh beef burger launch. While value remains a key pillar in the US 
turnaround—there are others including ongoing food upgrades, a massive reimaging 
campaign, and improving convenience (mobile order and delivery). McDonald’s is asking
for significant investments and has a new grading system that is designed to bolster in-restaurant execution, which may result in fewer, better franchisees in the system."

Trouble is, the people deciding on who's a "better franchisee" know very little about what 
it takes to be successful in McDonald's.

McDonald's (MCD) Expected to Make Quick Changes to Value Menu - RBC

March 6, 2018

Unfrozen Ten to One is Inevitable

Oak Brook has handed Wendy's a marketing hook for the rest of the year (or longer).
Wendy's has McDonald's by the apron strings and they are not going to let go.

McDonald's USA will have no choice but to move to all unfrozen beef.

Beyond this article McDonald's Operators should view the Wendy's Twitter feed for
the complete thread. I think it'll make you nervous. 

Wendy's slams McDonald's in fresh-beef burger battle - Business Insider

The Wendy's Twitter account is at

Unfrozen QPCs

USA Pres. - “Over the past two years, we have been listening to our customers and evolving our business to build a better McDonald’s."

Says a guy who knows nothing about running a real McDonald's.

McDonald’s Starts Rollout of Fresh Beef Quarter-Pound Burgers, Cooked Right When Ordered, to U.S. Restaurants

March 3, 2018

McDonald’s Canada Crops the Golden Arches

I have a good friend in the outdoor sign business. His only complaint is that his clients often want far too much information on their billboards. Even with that my first impression was 
that this sign concept was too simple. But, after looking at all the different iterations I think it's very clever and just the McDonald's colors will do the job, at least for directional billboards.

McDonald’s Crops the Golden Arches to Direct You to the Closest Restaurant – Adweek

February 27, 2018

McDonald's Dates Disney (Again)

Let's hope the relationship is different this time. In previous alliances Disney lead McDonald's executives and McDonald's Operators around on a very tight leash.

February 20, 2018

February 15, 2018

February 8, 2018

Profitable Delivery? What A Concept!

YUM CFO: “We did a thorough process understanding the economics to franchisees and to us,” CFO David Gibbs said. “It was a really important process to us, to make sure franchisees had good economics.
“We think we have a deal our franchisees will absolutely embrace.”
Yum Brands to invest $200M in Grubhub

February 6, 2018

McDonald's Guys at Dunkin Understand Simple Menus

Why Dunkin' Donuts is Still Winning Breakfast Customers - QSR mag

Warren Buffett’s New Man at Dairy Queen

This full article is behind the WSJ paywall but this quote is interesting:

"Dairy Queen says its relationship with franchisees has strongly improved in recent years. 
Mr. Bader, who was the company’s chief operating officer in the U.S. and Canada before succeeding John Gainor  as CEO, has worked closely with many of the franchisees. “I can 
call him in the middle of the night and he answers,” said Riz Momin, a Georgia-based franchisee who owns about 15 stores. In disagreements, he said, “Troy doesn’t like to use 
his power. He just goes in and convinces people.”

How Warren Buffett’s New Man at Dairy Queen Plans to Keep a Classic Brand Fresh - WSJ

If the article comes out from behind the paywall we'll post a new link.


February 1, 2018

Price Collusion Suits Against Tyson - Others

Price collusion suits mount against Tyson Foods and other poultry companies

Talking Operations - With Zero Operations Knowledge

Someone named Lucy Brady is suddenly an expert on McDonald's food quality and thinks
30-minute old fries are a good thing. She'll be shocked to learn about the short holding 
time for fries at the fry station, and that's under heat lamps.

January 30, 2018

WSJ on McDonald's Q4

"But some franchisees worry the strategy isn't sustainable. In a recent anonymous survey conducted by Instinet, many McDonald's franchisees in the U.S. said they fear low-price
items will eat into their profits, especially as commodity prices rise. One franchisee said 
the new menu is "good for buying guest counts" but isn't likely to be profitable. Another predicted that the new dollar menu won't last the year."

Value Meals Drive McDonald's Sales

Probably Not an 8.5% Rent Store

         A sleek new McDonald’s is replacing the chain’s former Rock ’n’ Roll restaurant


But First a Word From the Accountants...

“The fight for talent continues,” Chief Executive Officer Stephen Easterbrook said on 
a conference call following Tuesday’s earnings report. “It’s going to get increasingly 
challenging to attract the talent you want into your business, and then you’re going 
to work really hard through training and development to retain them.”

Spoken by the guy who downsized all of the knowledgeable McDonald's people.

McDonald's Menu Gets Hit by Labor Costs - Bloomberg

January 29, 2018

$1,2,3 Menu Should Boost SSS

Analyst David Palmer at RBC Capital knows more than McDonald's Operators -

"Contrary to franchisee commentary, RBC Capital Markets think McDonald’s pricing 
strategy is maintaining average check totals.

The ‘barbell’ approach of $1 any size soft drink and premium priced Signature Crafted sandwiches has recently been helping the chain deliver traffic-driven growth, but with a 
stable check,” analysts wrote in a note published Monday."

McDonald’s earnings: ‘$1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu’ should give same-store sales a boost - MarketWatch

Even More Survey Comments Taken Seriously

Franchisee Frustration Could Stifle McDonald's Corporation Stock

More Press Coverage of Operator Survey Comments

A McDonald's Franchisee Just Revealed the 1 Stunning Problem That Threatens Everything the Burger Chain Is Trying To Do -

January 25, 2018

Hippies Are Idiots

Study blames sandwiches for global warming.

Erasing McDonald's History: People Edition

What's the fastest way to change an organization's culture? 

Dilute the culture with entirely new people.

The recent memo from McDonald's Oak Brook's Melissa Kersey lists five people who
have been hired into important positrons in the company. Only one of the five have 
any McDonald's experience.

Who better to reinvent McDonald's than people who know nothing about McDonald's?

And Melissa Kersey, the person making these announcements? She's been with McDonald's
for a little over 90 days. 

January 23, 2018

QSR Mag and Restaurant Business on Latest Operator Survey

McDonald's Franchisees Share Predictions for 2018 - QSR mag

Restaurant Business Magazine takes the positive spin

More From CNBC On Operator Survey

McDonald's Owners not happy with headquarters


CNBC Covers Latest Operator Survey and $1,2,3, Menu

Franchisees said that McDonald's new $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu will likely 
drive sales in the first part of the year, but many fear that the new menu 
will drive checks lower, diminish the franchisees' ability to control menu 
prices and raise their food costs. The new menu kicked off at the start 
of January.
"The $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu does give customers choices, but it isn't 
profit-oriented," one franchisee told Nomura Instinet. "It's good for 
buying guest counts."
McDonald's franchisees see Dollar Menu boosting sales in early 2018

January 20, 2018

Gaunt Leadership

I don't sit around ogling pictures of McDonald's executives because, face
it, they're gone by the time you can memorize their image.

But, I recently stumbled across a nearly full length picture of the current USA president. All I can say is - Dude, EAT something! 

You can't hang around a restaurant company looking like you were just released from a prisoner of war camp.

It would not be good for the brand's image if a top QSR executive weighed 
in at 300 pounds.

Conversely, a QSR executive should at least "appear" to enjoy the food they're  selling. Plus, one can't be the Alpha Male of a large organization if you haven't gained a pound since middle school.

I suggest the President Donald J. Trump diet - a couple of Big Macs, a couple of Filet-O-Fish, and a few milk shakes or McFlurrys - three or four times a week.

January 9, 2018

Deep Thoughts on Field Consultants

For decades McDonald's operations people progressed from McOpCo store management
to McOpCo supervisor to field consultant. The consultant level acted as a filter to select those who had the qualifications to work with McDonald's franchisees in future positions.

Not everyone with solid store operations experience has the temperament or persuasive 
skills to work with franchisees. A trial run in field service kept the wrong people from moving up the corporate ladder. 

Most importantly, the previous system sorted out the worst consultants - the "control freaks". People who thought they could treat McDonald's Operators like McOpCo store managers.

But today, McDonald's is developing a new culture of control freaks. Not only are control freaks preferred, but they are hired off the street and placed in the highest positions in 
the company.

Speaking of Dunkin'

Former McDonald's guy Dave Hoffman has hired former McDonald's zone president 
Rick Colon.

Dunkin' press release is HERE

January 6, 2018

Desperately Seeking Field Consultants

How can McDonald's Corp. be short on Field Consultants? This has to be a 
deliberate act. Were the former Field Consultants too easy on  McDonald's 

Or, is this an effort to pirate away the long term employees of McDonald's Operators?


  • From
  • From Portland ME
MCD Field 

McDonald’s is looking for a Field Operations/Franchise Business Consultant for the New England region. The role consults with an assigned group of Owner/Operators to deliver QSC superiority and improved customer experience, in order to maximize sales, guest counts, and cash flow. A successful Consultant will consistently demonstrate McDonald's values and leadership behaviors to build positive business relationships with key stakeholders including Owner/Operators, Corporate and Functional Partners for the primary goals of delivering a great customer experience. The role will report to a Field Service Manager. 

This role is based in Portland, Maine. 

Requisition Number 5744BR 

Country United States 

EOE Statement McDonald’s Corporation is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. 

Job Type full-time 

Minimum Requirements

· 5+ years of Restaurant Operations experience at the Supervisor level managing more than one location- Quick Service/Quick Casual Industry Preferred. 

· Business Degree 

· Ability to Communicate Effectively and Build Relationships 

· Strong Business Writing Skills 

· Quick Learner 


A job with McDonald’s offers the flexibility you need to succeed at work, and the experience it takes to grow into a Leader! Other Benefits include for this role include: 

Highly Competitive Salary and Bonus program 

· Company Car including Fuel card and Insurance 

· Company- Matched 401k Savings Plan 

· Company paid Cellphone 

· Tuition Assistance 

· Highly Competitive Medical/Dental/Eye/Life Insurance Packages 

· Company Laptop 

· World Class Paid Time off Program 

· Earned Sabbatical Time 

· Professional Development Resources 

· Access to Diversity Networks 

State Maine 


· Conducts restaurant evaluations (i.e. ROIP) for assigned Owner/Operators including consulting with the Owner/Operators to develop agreed upon action plans to address restaurant system opportunities. 

· Identifies priority Owner/Operators and restaurants based on Quality/Service/Cleanliness (QSC), customer facing metrics and demand potential. 

· Consults collaboratively with each Owner/Operator to improve execution of restaurant systems and to deliver short and long term business results (QSC, customer facing metric and demand potential). 

· Recommends and coordinates assistance from regional support staff and peer Owner/Operators to optimize business results when appropriate (e.g. construction, finance, real estate, training, HR, marketing, technology, and other subject matter experts). 

· Proactively provides recommendations to Owner/Operators on how to leverage resources and opportunities to improve business results (e.g. new initiatives, upgrading equipment, new technology advantages) 

· Provides feedback and support (e.g. Owner/Operator training, system information) to Owner/Operators to ensure Gold Standard Execution of Local Store Marketing (LSM) and national marketing initiatives across all restaurants in the Owner/Operator organization. 

Operator Relationships 

· Utilize consulting skills, critical thinking, franchisor resources and experience to diagnose root cause(s) for QSC opportunities and deliver appropriate recommendation(s) to resolve. Provide appropriate support (i.e. coaching, collaborative or resource referral) based on recommendations. 

· Demonstrates knowledge of the National Franchising Standards and applies to hold Owner/Operator accountable to consistently meeting franchisor standards. Includes providing consulting support to Owner/Operator to cure and improve compliance. 

· Offers feedback, based on quantitative and qualitative information, to provide current recommendations on growth and rewrite status to the Field Service Manager based on the 6 national franchising standards. 

· Provide feedback and assists in the evaluation of assigned Owner/Operator candidates as needed. 

Job Title Franchise Business Consultant 

City Portland

Americans Fall in love with Walmart, McDonald's Again

Americans fall in love with Walmart, McDonald's again - Business Insider

Restaurant Performance Outlook

Restaurant Performance Index inches higher as outlook improves