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August 30, 2019

Crain's on Chicken Sandwich Wars

McDonald's plays catch-up as Chick-fil-A, Popeyes race ahead
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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.
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Whole Foods CEO on Fake Meat

Whole Foods CEO: Plant-based “meat” not all that good for you
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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
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August 8, 2019

August 5, 2019

It's Not Raining Men

Why is restaurant traffic down? Look to the men
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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
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McEmbarrassment in the United Kingdom

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