Coalition of Franchisee Associations

December 11, 2019

Fake Meat Fail

Keep in mind when analysts are looking at Beyond Meat they are looking at total sales
for Beyond Meat products. 14,000 McDonald's stores X 30 a day is a lot of fake meat. 

Analysts who cover Beyond Meat have no concern for McDonald's unit profitability.

A McDonald's roll-out would make Beyond Meat investors very happy, even at ten a day.

Are 30 plant-based burgers a day enough for McDonald's?

JACK Franchisees Finally Get Their Way

Jack in the Box CEO Lenny Comma to Leave Company - QSR magazine

November 27, 2019

Howard Penny on Twitter

Howard W. Penney
The 3Q19 traffic trends have $MCD sandwiched in between Del Taco and Taco Cabana near the bottom of the industry! Yet the new CEO thinks the "old plan is working! I guess the "growth accelerators" should be kicking in soon!

Click to enlarge

November 5, 2019

From Today's Wall Street Journal

"The typical McDonald’s restaurant in the U.S. generated about $360,000 in cash flow annually, an executive said in March, down roughly $30,000 from two years earlier. Franchisees have formed an independent association to press their interests.".....
"Mr. Kempczinski said in an interview Sunday that operators are enjoying a record year for cash flow. Average cash flow for franchisees has grown for 11 consecutive months through September, executives said last month."
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A Small Fraction of the Avalanche of McDonald's Articles

McDonald's CEO Shakeup Higlights Franchisee Battle - Business Insider

New McDonald's CEO Has Tense Relationship With Franchisees - Crains

Another Executive Leaves McDonald's - Restaurant Business

October 29, 2019

Nightmare on Carpenter Street

Yes, last week was a rough one for McDonald's investors. I don't know what's going to happen with McDonald's share price but I can predict what the corporate suits are doing this week. They're in a panic to accelerate several initiatives.

Many Wall Street types and most in the business media are blaming the soft traffic numbers for McDonald's USA on two things.

1) The chicken sandwich wars (about to be amplified by Popeye's).

2) Lack of McDonald's fake meat products. Just because many other chains are adding fake meat sandwiches and the like it appears to be a national trend. It's not, but that's what's being reported.

So, McDonald's management will be expected to jump on these two bandwagons with both feet. Their deadline is the third week in January which will be the next quarterly earnings release and conference call with analysts. Management will be expected to report substantial progress on chicken sandwiches and fake meat.

And that's why we'll see management panicking. They have about eleven weeks to work their magic.

Unless of course,  McDonald's USA turns in some spectacular sales in November and December. If so management will be temporarily off the hook but will still be pressured on the above initiatives.

Meatless meat backlash - Vox

McDonald's expected to jump into chicken sandwich war next year - Marketwatch

Canadian fake meat hasn't been a blowout - Marketwatch

October 15, 2019

Control Freaks in Action - Part Dos

Subject: Leaks in the McDonald's system

While it's very convenient for McDonald's HQ to blame any leaked information or plans
on the Owner/Operator community 99% of the leaks in the McDonald's system come 
from employees of the outside advertising agencies and PR firms.

These people are loyal to no one and are always networking for their next job. 
important they establish connections with reporters and trade pubs who cover the 
advertising business.

But that makes NDAs a great way to shut down communications among Owner/Operators
while the agency people continue to sing like birds.

October 7, 2019

The 2019 QSR Magazine Drive-Thru Study

There is a lot of data here - when on the main page look to the right under the silhouette 
of an auto and you'll find "More Stories" that break down the various drive-thru attributes.

The 2019 QSR Drive-Thru Study

Franchisee Debt a Problem?

Restaurant Stocks Could Have a Debt Problem If Their Franchises Do - Barron's

September 29, 2019

Fake "Test" of Fake Meat

Folks, this is not a "test", it's a done deal. It's no more a "test" than McCafe was "tested" in the state of Michigan in 2008. Both companies generated this week's publicity with press releases and announcements on their websites.

Consider this - a major chunk of the share price of Beyond Meat (BYND) is their investors' expectation that McDonald's would eventually serve the product. If this was a real "test" it would have been done in an obscure market without much fanfare. Because, if the "test" 
didn't pan out the value of a BYND investment would drop like a rock.

The fact that both companies created so much press and the "test" is being done in a prominent marketplace means they can't go back. 


September 25, 2019

Bloomberg Celebrates McDonald's CEO

They got some things right and somethings wrong but at least they talked to a few Owner/Operators.

Steve Easterbrook Wants McDonald’s to Think Like Silicon Valley

September 17, 2019

The Plastic Straw Fraud

"Straws account for a nearly immeasurable amount of refuse in the ocean, yet laws are being changed at the whim of a widely shared conspiracy that they pose a significant risk to the planet despite significant evidence to the contrary." 

Why Plastic Straws Are Actually Better For The Planet Than Paper Straws

September 16, 2019

Fast Times on McDonald's Agency Changes

Why the future of McDonald's marketing looks a lot like Nike's

Don't Go To McDonald's - Says McDonald's Corp.

McDonald's urges customers to 'stay home'

McDonald's is calling the world's attention
to its huge and ever-growing delivery business this month with a special 'Global McDelivery Night In' on Thursday, an event the mammoth burger-based QSR is pulling off in partnership with Uber Eats...

September 12, 2019

Seeking Alpha on McDonald's

I don't usually post articles from Seeking Alpha because it's just some one's opinion and the articles are written for money, not necessarily for insight.

But this one is different as the author recognizes the importance of the Owner/Operator in 
the future of the McDonald's business.

It's Not The End Of McDonald's Tug-O-War With U.S. Franchisees

Uber Continues to be a Cash Burning Machine

California Just Made Uber’s Survival Odds Even Longer - Bloomberg

September 10, 2019

McDonald's Announces Another Tech Aqusition asks, "Is McDonald's in the food business or the tech business?"

We ask - Are these technology companies intended to improve productivity or are
they meant to be a profit center for McDonald's Corp. funded by franchisees?

McDonald's Just Made Another Surprising Move, and It Could Change Some of the Biggest Things About McDonald's -

Here's the corporate press release

August 30, 2019

Crain's on Chicken Sandwich Wars

McDonald's plays catch-up as Chick-fil-A, Popeyes race ahead

A Consumer Reports

After three Impossible Whoppers at three different Burger Kings, my verdict is in - sellers 
of real meat do not need to be concerned.

It's not a bad product. I finished all three. But it's all bread and condiments. I found no meat
flavor and the patty's relationship to beef is only in appearance, not in taste.

If your intention is to enjoy the sandwich, don't look at the patty. It has a very manufactured look and the broiler marks appear to be painted onto the patty. I suspect they are cooked on
flat grill, not on the broiler.

I only consume a few Whoppers a year but that's enough to be familiar with the distinctive charbroiled flavor of Burger King beef. The Impossible Whopper lacks that taste entirely.

After all the advertising and hype, when Burger King moves on to other products or deals,
the typical Burger King store will sell 10 or 15 a day.

QSR players should ignore fake meat products and focus on the chicken sandwich wars.

August 21, 2019

Blunders in Architecture

The McDonald's brothers and Ray Kroc apparently agreed that it's important to erect a building that would pull drivers off the thoroughfare and into the restaurant parking lot.

While I've never been a fan of the shoe-box McDonald's store architecture I understand that the McDonald's building must evolve. But they don't have to become butt-ugly. The first two pictures above are stores that just completed an MRP. At first glance it looks like the same store but look more closely. One is in the Midwest and one is on the east coast. The third picture is the shoe-box design from a decade ago.

Imagine, you're a parent with kids in the car - would you rather visit the third store pictured for some Food, Folks, and Fun or would you visit the new design that has all the warmth of a Federal Penitentiary.

Whole Foods CEO on Fake Meat

Whole Foods CEO: Plant-based “meat” not all that good for you

August 13, 2019

Forbes on Delivery

"The economics of the delivery service on overall profitability is still clouded and will take some time to get a clear picture.  As expected, franchisors are jumping on the delivery service bandwagon whereas franchisees are less enthusiastic. "

The Rush To Offer Food Deliveries Is Leaving Franchisees At The Crossroads

August 8, 2019

QSR Mag Covers BK and Wendy's

Burger King Braces for an International Boom

While closing 100s of stores in the U.S. They finallly figured out that stores
doing one million or less are not profitable.

Wendy's CEO Hints at big menu changes.

August 5, 2019

It's Not Raining Men

Why is restaurant traffic down? Look to the men

America's Favorite Quick-Service Restaurants Revealed

McDonald's Operators have expressed concerns about being beat by thirteen competitors 
in the latest Market Force survey.

I say - don't worry about it. It's due to attributes that McDonald's USA can't/won't change.

* McDonald's is the biggest in the industry, and the loudest. Being omnipresent turns 
   people off.

* McDonald's is the oldest. All but the most senior Americans have never known a life 
   without McDonald's. Many of the U.S. competitors are relativity new on the scene. 
   They're more interesting and customers haven't been hearing about them all of their lives.

* Reduced local store marketing means less warm feelings about the local McDonald's. 
   Firing Ronald McDonald didn't help.

* More stores per Operator. Twenty years ago there was a good chance a U.S. consumer 
   knew or knew something about their local McDonald's franchise owner. This helped to            mellow out many people's opinion about such a big company. If an Operator has 
  30 stores they are not going to know very many of their customers. McDonald's is just              a huge corporate entity.

And, as someone has already pointed out, when Americans vote with their dollars, McDonald's blows these other burger competitors into the weeds.

America's Favorite Quick-Service Restaurants Revealed in Latest Market Force Study

QSR Mag covers Market Force survey more extensively

McEmbarrassment in the United Kingdom

McDonald's hated 'environmentally friendly' straws cannot be recycled – but plastic can – Sun

July 29, 2019

Goldman Sachs Agrees With NOA

Goldman Sachs warns that Chick-fil-A is taking a bite out of Wendy’s, KFC, Popeyes

Deep Thoughts

Apparently MCD investors and analysts are comfortable 
with sales increases driven by menu price increases. 
They must assume McDonald's Operators can take 
unending price increases to buoy up the stock price.

July 28, 2019

Jonathan Maze on McDonald's Second Quarter Results

"Franchisees’ cash flow, meanwhile, has increased for eight straight months. By May, higher cash flow had already eclipsed last year’s decline in cash flow—a decline that prompted operators to form an independent franchisee association.
Ozan said that “more stability in the restaurants” is helping drive labor efficiency, while the higher sales are improving profitability."
Remodels push McDonald’s sales higher

McDonald's Q2 2019 Results Transcript

McDonald's Corp Q2 2019 Results - Seeking Alpha

July 26, 2019

How Much of the 5.7% Sales Increase Was Menu Price?

Management says menu price increases were 1/3 of the increase and their brilliant
initiatives were responsible for the balance. What do McDonald's Operators think?

Higher Prices Drive McDonald’s U.S. Sales Gain as Traffic Lags - Bloomberg

July 24, 2019

Why Are Delivery Companies So Poorly Run?

These delivery companies seem to be run by people who've never operated a business 
before and who've never seen a restaurant P&L statement.

DoorDash drops policy of keeping tips meant for workers - CBS News