Coalition of Franchisee Associations

July 5, 2020

Will McDonald's USA be Ready for the New Normal?

During the June 19 NFLA call management was asked about a "Drive-Thru" only option. Management seemed to poo-poo the idea based on previous experience. This is the new normal and previous research and knowledge mean very little. The typical McDonald's 
drive-thru percentage of sales is going to settle in at 5 or 10 percent above of what it was 
pre-pandemic. If it was 70% before, it may be 80% in 2021. 

This is now a germaphobe nation and your customers have been retrained. They'll also have a little PTSD and it's going to be difficult to get folks to feel comfortable eating next to strangers. Drive-thru only new stores and rebuilds as options might make a lot of sense in the future.

And on the June 19 NFLA call management was evasive about the future of Self Service Beverage Bars. SSBBs are another thing that will keep guests out of the dining room.

I've already admitted to being a germaphobe and that I think SSBBs are disgusting, always have. Restaurant operators of all brands should prepare themselves for a world without SSBBs. 

Following is a video from a radio station that appears to be a local patch job with some corporate video. Can you imagine customers viewing this or similar messaging and then be willing to use an SSBB in a restaurant?

The more you boast about cleanliness and safety (as you should) the less your guests will go anywhere near an SSBB. As said before, if guests are afraid to touch your outside door handles they're not going to touch the levers to get ice or pour a drink.

This rejection of SSBBs will drive more customers to the Drive-Thru where they will feel 
that the McDonald's crew person handling their drink is more trustworthy than the customer before them at the SSBB.

Video from an Atlanta radio station

How the pandemic will change how restaurants are built - Restaurant Business


Anonymous said...

I don’t think us operators have an issue with adapting and overcoming to this. The corporation is gonna have big problems and will create real big problems forums.

Anonymous said...

Our New freestanding stores need to have 50%+ smaller dining rooms. SSBB should disappear, as should indoor playland/playplaces. Ghost kitchens are a great idea too. The wild card here is will top MCD execs even listen??

Richard Adams said...

Ghost kitchens were originally intriguing but a smart Owner/Operator explained it to me this way - It might benefit a small chain to have a ghost kitchen since they only have a few locations. But McDonald's has stores in every makretp[lace, sometimes hundreds of stores, that are probably closer to the customer than the ghost kitchen would be.
I guess that argues that you should keep doing what you're doing. Assuming you want delivery business in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Minions on corporate that believe that owner operators are their employees will never let go of their pet projects no matter how much money owners lose. They will,protect zombie projects until every restaurant is bankrupted. They have no other skin in the game. You kill their project, they lose their job.

Anonymous said...

For decades, McDonalds salvation was its community trust. The local connection of ' We're not just on your corner, but in your corner' allowed the brand to weather much turmoil.

Now with larger conglomerates, nationalized programs, McDonalds has made a near complete withdraw from that trust bank.

Simply put, people trust what they know - and they lost that local connection they once had with the brand. The 'my McDonald's' is dead, its not Ray Kroc's brand anymore.

To recuperate, McDonalds needs to get back to the basics that made the brand great in the first place. Question is, is there anyone left in the brand who remembers enough to get it there?

All it knows anymore is discounting. And discounting doesnt build brand trust, it weakens it.

Anonymous said...

I’m tired of the non service I get and pay for. My FBP mails it in from his home. Disgusting

Anonymous said...

If McD Corp realizes that they have extra room in the lobbies, imagine the kitchen expansion projects that they could come up with! Imagine the new equipment that we could buy! Who needs oatmeal cookies when we could have a blank slate to try to reinvent ourselves again? and again... and again...

Anonymous said...

Kitchen expansion?! Just think of all the products we can be forced to carry that our customers don't buy! Imagine the plethora of fake meat options that will weight down our dumpsters as our customers avoid them with prejudice, but the corporate pukes get huge kickbacks on and use to please stock analysts to pump up their stock options!

It's gonna be a wild ride.

Anonymous said...

No worries, after the McDonalds McSafe video, who will visit your restaurant? 50% will not want the hassle, the other 50% will be pissed as no store has that crap installed. A sink at the front door exterior...

Remind me, how many stores does Corporate run?

Anonymous said...

I think about 5% of U.S stores. But they are the highest volume, most profitable stores. They have no limits to remodel spending.