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June 27, 2018

Freestanding McCafes to Grow in Canada

...most franchisee agreements contain geographical exclusions which prevent 
cannibalization from new stores within the network, but McCafés would be 
an exception to the rule because they are a different concept with a different 
menu that includes a lineup of grilled cheese and specialty sandwiches. “You 
could put (standalone McCafés) in areas where you would not put an existing 
McDonald’s,” Arifuzzaman said. “It is a way to grow McDonald’s footprint 
and potentially steal more share.”

McDonald’s extends its cafe chain rollout as it battles Tims and Starbucks - Fin. Post
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How Do the Third-Party Delivery Players Stack Up?

Restaurant Business reports on Technomic study
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June 25, 2018

McDonald's to Close 13 Year Old Oak Brook Flagship Store

This is the 50th anniversary store opened in 2005. We will see more and more of this kind of real estate wheeling and dealing in the future as McDonald's looks for more ways to return cash to shareholders. This time it involves a McOpCo so there's no franchise agreement to terminate. But, if it was franchised the Operator would have to be bought out or be talked into walking away from the remaining seven years.

A McDonald's isn't always the highest and best use for a property.


With McDonald's moving to Chicago, Oak Brook's 22nd Street restaurant will close Saturday
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Are Sugar Worries Weighing on Frappuccino sales?

Are sugar worries weighing on Frappuccino sales?

Starbucks Frappuccino sales tell a troubling tale
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June 19, 2018

A Reporter's Rant

I've had the same experience - walk into a McDonald's and it appears there is no one
involved in customer service. Everyone's in the grill area and all of the managers are 
working drive-thru. 

It's just me and the kiosks - no human contact.

Kiosks Won't Solve McDonald's Problems
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Starbucks Stops Growing - Again

Starbucks Pumps the Brakes in Its Home Market
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June 17, 2018

Does McDonald's Have a Plan or Just Following BK?

Aside from a click-bait headline this short article does a good job of summarizing 
what's going on in McDonald's. 

Reporters often write about the McDonald's "turn around plan". Sure there's a "plan" 
but it's modeled after what Burger King (Restaurant Brands International) has been 
doing since 2015.

* Refranchisng

* Larger franchisee organizations

* Stripping corporate overhead to the bone (downsizing).

* Maximum cash returned to shareholders

The McDonald's plan is fancier, has more McSpin, but is the same financial engineering.

There's little new here. Wall Street likes what Burger King has been doing so McDonald's 
must do the same.

McDonald's Discovers Employees Get in the Way of Profits
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June 13, 2018

Jonathan Maze on Quiznos’

"... there are lessons to be learned here for the restaurant business. And the biggest one is this: Make sure your franchisees can make money"

A brief history of Quiznos’ collapse

June 11, 2018

Field First?


Here's the place for McDonald's Operators to make anonymous comments about the "Running the Play" 
memo and Tuesday's Town Hall.

June 9, 2018

Kalinowski Upgrades McDonald’s

And yet, because Mark publishes reports with McDonald's Operator comments, McDonald's HQ labels him a "McDonald's hater".

Why Did Kalinowski Upgrade McDonald’s? - Market Realist
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June 5, 2018

Waiting For A Clue

Continuing with our theory that McDonald's management doesn't know what's going on 
in the restaurants - here's another example.

On Monday a CNBC host attended the opening of the new Chicago office building. During 
an interview with the McDonald's CEO, CNBC's Jim Cramer popped in with a question 
from their studios in NYC. His question, or complaint, was about the slowing speed of 
service at quick serve restaurants.

The response was pathetic. It was all about the new gimmicks to speed up customer ordering. Nothing about what's going on in the kitchen. Nothing about operational complexities.

Speaking as one with decades of operations experience, and now a frequent McDonald's customer, the problem isn't about the ordering process. The problem is how long I have 
to wait for my food after I order.

If all management intends to do is fiddle with the ordering process then things are only 
going to get worse and working at McDonald's will only become more difficult.

As one person put it on twitter, "Thanks McDonald's for the more comfortable furniture. 
It gives us a place to sit while we wait for our food".

It's going to be tough to fix an operations problem when so few of the people in charge 
know anything about operations.

The service question and the weak response is at the six-minute point in this video.

McDonald's CEO: We are evolving the business in a meaningful way:
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June 4, 2018

Waiting On A QPC

Feedback from McDonald's Operators, my experience during visits to McDonald's, and chatter on the internet confirm that service times at McDonald's have slowed since the introduction of HOTG. That's understandable during a major operational change. 
Hopefully McDonald's Operators will work the bugs out of the program and service 
will improve.

But in the middle of this change Oak Brook comes up with the idea of deep discounting 
QPCs? An operational change is screwing up service times so Oak Brook wants to vastly multiply the number of HOTGs sold or given away?

Congratulations to OPNAD for rejecting the idea.

It becomes more obvious every day that the lack of real restaurant experience among 
those in upper management has potential to do great harm to the McDonald's system.

McDonald's corporate employees should be encouraged to visit some real McDonald's restaurants. Time some customers, wait for some product, stand around waiting with real McDonald's customers.

According to the mapping function on mcdonalds.com there are 14 McDonald's locations within five miles of Oak Brook. And, about the same number can be visited on a leisurely
walk from the new Chicago headquarters to Navy Pier.

These corporate aristocrats need to get out of their safe spaces and experience what's happening in real McDonald's restaurants.
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