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September 26, 2022

New Sheriff in Chicago

Some question a democrat talking tough about crime while cities run by democrats have terrible crime problems. Liberals normally don't want the mention of "crime" anywhere near their platforms. 

But this cycle is different. Crime and civil unrest are such a problem that democrats are forced to discuss crime publicly. There's a lot of back tracking going on.

Individuals with future political ambitions are trying to get out ahead of the more progressive wing of the Democratic party by openly discussing the crime problem and the rebuilding of police departments.

Meanwhile, progressives like Loi Lightfoot and AOC want to minimize or ignore the problem. But most of the current crop of progressives will be gone in a few years. For those democrats who aspire to elective office it's time to jump on the "tough on crime" bandwagon and be ready when their opportunity comes around.

 


September 25, 2022

Chicago, Crime, McDonald's

 

I doubt McDonald's Owner/Operators spend a lot of time wandering around the public McDonald's website. Me neither. But last week the Chicago Tribune website was peppered with banner ads like the above. Clicking on Learn More takes the visitor to an infographic about McDonald's, Chicago, and Cook County.

Interesting stuff but it's unusual to promote one county out of the entire USA.

Is this a cleanup after the CEO's crime comments or part of a master plan?

Crime in Chicago - Worse or Getting Better?

This video and article provide a different perspective - Newsnation

You may have to unmute the sound on the video

September 21, 2022

McDonald's Values

An initial review of the McDonald's Owner/Operator "Values" requirements leaves two questions:

* Are McDonald's Corporation, their employees, directors, vendors and subsidiaries also guided by these "McDonald's Values"?

* Are McDonald's corporate employees also required to be "Brand Ambassadors" by avoiding political controversies such as those currently afoot in the City of Chicago?

Pajama Boy Vs. the Mayor

Lori Lightfoot, current Mayor of Chicago is counterattacking against McDonald's CEO assertions that Chicago is "a city in crisis".

At today's press conference the Mayor said "What would have been helpful is if the McDonald’s CEO had educated himself before he spoke,” Lightfoot said. “We had those productive conversations with other members of his leadership team, I think you saw that McDonald’s itself put out a full page ad talking about their full support of the city of Chicago."  

ChiTrib covers the controversy




September 20, 2022

NYC Police Release Violent Ax Vandal


The national attention being paid to this event may be the beginning of dealing with the big city crime epidemic. Especially the fact that the ax man wasn't detained by the authorities.

McDonald's attacker says he's not unhinged

September 15, 2022

Sweet Home Chicago

Corporate CEOs and hot shot executives with liberal political leanings (aren't they all) tend to gravitate to large cities when locating their corporate headquarters. Apparently, they feel at home in a place with a large corrupt government and a social scene populated by fellow liberals.

So, it's entertaining to see the Economic Club of Chicago dither about the city's rising crime rate. It seems large corrupt governments are difficult to control.

Trouble is, multiple generations of these liberal, left leaning corporate executives built this government with their campaign contributions, back-room deals, and community influence.

And then they're surprised when taxes get out of control, there's blood in the streets and it's time to move on to friendlier truf.

Let's wait twenty years and check in on Florida and Texas to see if they've survived the influx of liberal corporate clones.

McDonald's CEO says city needs to face facts about downtown business climate - Chicago Tribune




September 12, 2022

Starbucks Now, McDonald's Later

"Let’s say a McDonald’s franchisee has three McDonald’s, they’ll try to unionize one,” and then the next and the next."

Will  Starbucks Style union push hit franchises next? - FranTimes

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September 9, 2022

Joint Employer = Greater Liability for Franchisors

The NLRB proposal goes beyond the Trump era direct-control standard for joint employers.

"Reclaim the Flame"

Sounds like BBV2020!

Burger King USA plans $400 million investment

“Burger King is refreshing and modernizing its brand, adding meaning and relevance to historical brand anchors like ‘Flame Grilling’ and ‘Have it Your Way’ while also introducing new brand elements to broaden its attraction for a younger and more diverse base of guests,”

September 7, 2022

NLRB Takes Opportunity to Pounce

On Monday the Governor of California signs the pro-union minimum wage will into law. On Tuesday the National Labor Relations Board moved a proposal to make franchise companies increasingly liable for the actions of their franchisees.

Coincidence?

Regulators push to make franchisors accountable for franchisees' labor practices

September 6, 2022

California Scamming

This brief article is typical of the coverage that the signing of AB 257 is getting. As we expected, nothing but discussion about the higher minimum wage and nothing about the potential damage to be done by the "Fast Food Council" and various government agencies and bureaucrats.

And of course nothing about the impact on inflation.

So far reporters from various publications have been less than interested in these additional complications. Corporate managements will assure shareholders there's no problem and shareholders will enjoy the increased rent and royalty income from higher menu prices.

This is going to get complicated.

Comments by Seeking Alpha

September 3, 2022

Send a Note to California's Governor

 

Here's a chance for franchise owners to encourage California Governor Newsom to veto AB 257.

Just click here - Governor Newsom, Stop AB 257





Tell Governor Newsom to Veto AB 257

August 31, 2022

Random California Thoughts

California as a Trendsetter  - I stand by my statement that just because a trend starts in California no longer means it will become a global trend.

From the day I heard my first Beach Boys song I knew California was the place I wanted to be and thanks to Fred Turner's push to build the McOpCo base by buying out Owner/Operators California was where I ended up.

And those indeed were the days when most innovation began in the western USA. I can't pick a date or even a decade when things changed, but today, in California, little is cutting edge. 

I could make a long list, but one will suffice. Last week the California Air Resources Board announced that only electric cars will be sold in California after 2035.

Today, the Independent System Operator (ISO -the grid operator) asked the California public to avoid charging their electric vehicles over the long, hot week to reduce the strain on the grid. Is the ISO rebuilding the grid for the future? Nope, they are spending that money decommissioning nuclear power plants.

That idiocy applies to most things that happen in California, and things will get a lot worse before they get better. Sad to say.

Speaking of California government - Having passed both houses of the California legislature AB 257 is on the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom. He has until the end of September to sign or not sign. This will be fun to watch. Newsome has big plans to run to POTUS in 2024, and he has to keep everybody happy.

On one hand, he has to worry about organized labor's support, and this is a very important legislative success for the unions.

On the other hand, he has national ambitions, and he needs to have a good rep with the global business community. Doing further damage to the California economy is not the road to the White House.

TV talking heads say that our fall electoral campaigns don't really start until after Labor Day. That means we will be full steam into the 2024 Presidential campaign two years from next week and Newsom intends to be a player in that battle. AB 257 could be a major factor in his success or failure. 

Speaking of POMCDUSA - Today's letter from Mr. McPres expresses a lack of understanding or some bewilderment concerning AB 257. That may be clever writing on his part (or on the part of the people who do his writing), but there's confusion because we don't discuss the real motivations behind this and other union-back legislation.

That's something called "Joint-Employer.", where the franchisor becomes liable for everything a franchisee does and reduces franchisees to store managers (with big loans). Joint Employer basically destroys the concept of franchising. Joint Employer is the driving force behind everything organized labor proposes. 

Joint Employer is complicated and is difficult to discuss publically. The unions know this and stick with the more emotional minimum (living) wage as their headline.

Let's hope POMUSA understands this subtlety.

Empty Threats - Opinion

On California AB 257:

"One Republican state lawmaker says that McDonald’s warned her that they may stop expanding in California or even abandon the Golden State entirely. How, exactly, is that supposed to make Californians better off?"

If this conversation actually happened, it repeats an outdated, impractical strategy.

In the late 1990s, the state of Iowa passed a set of laws that were not friendly to franchisors. Companies like McDonald's announced they would no longer build new stores in Iowa. Eventually, the state backed down and made changes to the laws that were more friendly to franchise companies.

A major reason changes were made was that McDonald's franchisees stepped forward and testified that the new laws would be bad for their businesses. Then, as today, Owner/Operators and corporate were on the same side of the issue.

But those are empty threats in 2022 as McDonald's will only open a handful of new stores a year in California. Neither the state economy nor the McDonald's system would feel the loss of new McDonald's stores.

As for "abandoning the state"? That's not really possible. The McDonald's system couldn't stand the loss of income from nearly 10% of USA stores. Shareholders would not tolerate such a sacrifice.

But a larger impact would be the breaching of 1,200 Owner/Operator franchise and lease agreements that remain in place. Some Owners would understand, but many would not.

And then there are the various lease agreements with landlords, none of whom would understand.

Long term, if AB 257 becomes law, a lot of sales will be lost because it will be very difficult to sell franchises in California. Eventually, the franchised industries would dwindle back to the small Ma and Pa operations from 100 years ago.

August 23, 2022

A Chicken Big Mac in Every Drive-Thru

This is going to be an ongoing quandary - creating new product excitement without screwing up the menu. 

Part of a new product or LTO launch is getting as much free press as possible. In this case, the Chicken Big Mac is getting a ton of ink. 

But this just whets the appetites of the media and encourages them to constantly pressure management for new product news.

And if the CEO can take all the credit, all the better. To cover up his lack of experience in the restaurant industry, he can instead become known as a connoisseur of new products.

And new products you shall have.

Two all-chick patties on a sesame seed bun - Fortune

August 22, 2022

Craving a New JIB?

 


Jack to get a tech-forward makeover

Adult Supervision in MCD Board Room?

McDonald's adds three new board members, retires Penrose

Commies on Carpenter Street

While we suggest McDonald's Owners cooperate with corporate on certain issues extreme caution is recommended overall. As for the political arena, you're kind of sleeping with the enemy.

Accepting political guidance from McDonald's corporate employees will often lead one down a left-wing, anti-business path. They can't help it - Hillary Clinton is their Godmother.

Take for example Executive VP Genna Gent. I'm sure she's an impressive and pleasant person, but where did she come from?

Prior to her five years at McDonald's Gena worked for the American Beverage Association. Her job prior to the ABA is her most interesting. Gena worked for the State of Michigan. Actually, her paycheck featured the state seal, but she reported to the then Governor of Michigan (2003-2011), Jennifer Granholm.

Who's Jennifer Granholm? She's currently the Secretary of Energy in the Biden administration. She's the lady you see on Sunday morning TV talk shows recommending that Americans who can't afford the price of gas should buy $70,000 Tesla's so they can run on electricity. And if you can't afford the heating bill this winter, you should "winterize" your home for a fifteen-year payback.

Granholm is the kind of politician who expresses a position and her entire audience thinks to themselves "She doesn't really believe that, does she"?

Granholm is a liberal's liberal.

The question is, can someone like Genna Gent spend eleven years working for someone like Jennifer Granholm without becoming entirely infected with the liberal agenda?

I'm sure she hides it well, but behind the curtains, she's working to move McDonald's even further to the far left.

And there's no one at McDonald's headquarters to stop her.
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August 16, 2022

Congratulation To Me - Here's My Award

Most business people have been exposed to organizations that exist only for the glorification of the group's members. I bought my first McDonald's franchise in a San Diego suburb that had just been incorporated. As soon as the new city name was set in stone, about 30 business owners formed a business association, and we began giving each other awards and plaques for our community work.

These self-recognitions sometime come under the umbrella of a Rotary or Kiwanis Club or the like. Do these organizations do some good work? They sure do, but the recognition keeps things humming.

So it's no surprise that a bunch of corporate CEOs would do the same thing for the same reason. Undoubtedly there are thousands of organizations similar to the group that is giving Chris K. his latest self-aggrandizing award.

The group is  https://www.ced.org/about

The announcement is here   https://www.conference-board.org/events/CED-Distinguished-Leadership-Awards-Dinner

How do we know the Committee for Economic Development is a group such as I've described above?

The person introducing Chris K. at the banquet is John W. Rogers Jr. - Founder of Ariel Investments. John Rogers has an impressive life story and coincidently was a recipient of this same CED leadership award in 2021.

He is also a member of the McDonald's Board of Directors.

You may now commence rolling on the floor laughing.

August 15, 2022

From the People's Republic of California


The Fast Act is just the latest effort by organized labor to make QSRs "Joint Employers." If put into force, it would be a very bad thing for the entire industry. But given that it's moving through the California legislature, it may just be summertime hot air.

Historically changes in our culture began in California and moved east. Those days are over, at least for a few decades. Silly states like New York or Illinois may fiddle with copies of the new law, but it won't go anywhere nationally.

The Fast Act would give employees a loud voice in their pay and job conditions.

August 8, 2022

Self-Inflicted Salads


Most would agree that one of the best things McDonald's USA did over the past three years was to reduce the size and complexity of the restaurant menu.

So, while McDonald's Owner/Operators are making careful business judgments about what products and procedures to add back to the operation, there is a group of people trying to stir up McDonald's customers and risking a return to the days of serving products that sell eight or ten units a day.

Oddly, these people get their paychecks from Carpenter Street in Chicago. I don't know who or how many people handle the social media accounts for McDonald's Corp. I've always assumed it's a few interns who work from home in their pajamas and don't really answer to anyone.

But one thing is for sure, they are not in touch with what's happening at McDonald's.

Here's what happened. Someone got on the corporate Twitter account in April and simply posted, "bring back ______."

The Twitterverse knew what that meant, and the account was flooded with suggestions and demands.

And now, none other than the Wall Street Journal has picked up on a trend toward McDonald's salads.

The kids who run the McDonald's Twitter account are likely thrilled at the number of likes they've gotten, and they think it's a big deal for the company to be featured in the Wall Street Journal. This kind of discussion will likely fall into the "listening to our customers" category and become a major contributor to menu creep.

A suggestion? Pressure corporate to provide some adult supervision to the McDonald's social media accounts to ensure they reflect the corporate culture, not some pajama-clad millennial's idea of what McDonald's should be.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/mcdonalds-salads-customers-miss-11659716718 (Paywall)

4 Discontinued Items McDonald’s Could Bring Back Next — Eat This Not That

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August 6, 2022

From Anonymous...

This is an interesting topic that shouldn't get lost in the shuffle. Originally posted at "MCD Dividend Announcement":

A one to one cost relationship between "IBM's Watson" taking orders vs an employee taking orders is ridiculous. Oh, and the current "test" results are returning order accuracy reports of +/- 80%. Go online and google it. Customers aren't loving it. If my drive through was inaccurate 20% of the time.....my customers would stop coming. This is the third recent iteration of remote drive thru order taking testing. 2015 & forward. The first one tested in Chicago had 100% drive thru accuracy and was projected to be a 2 for 1 labor change out. Oh, and it grew average drive thru check by over 5%. But it was not brought forth by the corporation, it was started by owner operators. It was eventually turned aside in favor of Apprente's technology, which McDonald's acquired for Millions and subsequently sold to IBM in the deal that established IBM as the technology leader for automated drive thru order taking. FYI; Watson failed in it's medical diagnostic application. "One of Watson Health's biggest setbacks was the revelation that its cancer diagnostics tool was not trained with real patient data, but instead with hypothetical cases provided by a small group of doctors in a single hospital." No question at all that this is about developing technology that drives revenue versus bringing forward technology that relieves pressure from the owner/operators.

Frustrating.

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