Coalition of Franchisee Associations

December 23, 2022

December 22, 2022

Skynet Will Cook Your Big Mac

It's amusing that the press coverage ignores the fact that the store still needs to be staffed with humans who prepare the food.

McDonald's launches first automated restaurant?

December 12, 2022

Great Explanation of ESG

Many fans of former Carl's Jr. CEO Andy Puzder visit this site. Here's Andy's explanation of ESG. It's a five-minute video and yes it's a promo for PragerU but that's tiny.

Andy Puzder - Woke to Broke - PragerU

December 11, 2022

Here Come the Thugs

The previous two topics are, of course, interrelated. 

Joint Employer creates a unionized situation.

Unionization makes Joint Employer a given.

That's why the same people are pushing for both initiatives.

Warning "Joint Employer" Ahead

The next step toward widespread unionization - Restaurant Bussiness Online

December 6, 2022

Vanguard Group Backs Away From ESG

Vanguard is the top owner of MCD controlling 67 million shares or over nine percent of the company, valued today at over $18 billion.

Vanguard quits net zero climate effort - Reuters

December 5, 2022

McDonald's TV Commercial Nostalgia

This article is a few years old but still insightful. I don't watch a lot of conventional TV but the McDonald's commercials I see are just selling discounted food, even McRib. The last "Food. Folks, and Fun "style commercial I remember was, I think, titled "Maria" and was about a young lady working her way through school at McDonald's.

Of course, these days, if McDonald's management and their agencies were set loose to produce "feel good" commercials you'd end up with drippy global warming messages and other politically correct (Woke) themes. 

The McDonald's commercials that live in our minds, rent free

December 4, 2022

Latest Attempt at a Mini-Mac

Just about the time a bunch of limited-parking restaurants are open the green government(s) will demand two or three stalls for EV recharging.

To go - Or not to go - NRN

November 29, 2022

State of Florida Sick of ESG

"Florida's Treasury Division is divesting from BlackRock because they have openly stated they've got other goals than producing returns,"

State CFO to pull $2 billion of assets away from Blackrock

Goofy Politics

Major companies with large marketing budgets who seek to appeal to the general consumer base (including families) should follow Disney's moves closely. They are painted into a corner, can they get out?

Disney's Iger on politics vs. storytelling - Fox News

November 28, 2022

Will There Be a "Strange World" Happy Meal?

Be careful with whom you partner up.

Disney's latest movie to lose $100 million in theatrical run

"Disney opted to not submit “Strange World” to several smaller markets, including the entire Middle East, Malaysia and Indonesia, because the movie features a gay character. Films with LGBTQ references have been regularly targeted by censors in those territories and Disney wasn’t willing to cut out parts of the movie to comply with their guidelines."

November 23, 2022

Someone Was Right About ESG

Earlier this year I tried to bring attention to the sickening tone of the McDonald's Chairman's 2021 letter to shareholders. As I said, the letter "dripped" with political correctness, wokeness, and an obsession with ESG. 

I'm sticking with my prediction that when 2022 annual reports are published there will be a lot less mention of ESG. Directors will pretend they don't know what those three letters stand for.

FTX bankruptcy exposes ESG's flaws - Americans for Tax Reform

FTX And ESG: A Panorama of Failed Governance - Forbes

Fired Twitter Employee Applies For First Real Job

Former Twitter employee on a job interview

November 21, 2022

Menu Prices - Ma & Pas vs Chains

Inflation forces restaurants to lean on their unique strengths

"Consumers care more about prices when they’re visiting a chain restaurant, according to findings from a survey of roughly 2,400 U.S. consumers. More than a third of respondents said everyday prices mattered when picking a chain restaurant, while just 22.5% said it factored into their decision-making when selecting an independent eatery."

November 20, 2022

November 15, 2022

Illinois "Workers Rights" Admendment Passes

"giving unions more latitude in collective bargaining with their public employers will lead to higher costs for government that will be passed on to taxpayers, including through property tax hikes."

Another reason to leave Illinois - Associated Press

November 14, 2022

Subway's New Grab N Go

 Unattended vending fridges - NRN

I'd put one just inside the front door of standard location(s) to service customers who want to avoid standing in line for custom sandwiches.


October 31, 2022

ESG and Beyond


If you attended the McDonald's meetings last week you're probably full-up with Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance.

So it's a good time for a refresher on the negatives involved with ESG. One of the more articulate experts in the field is Vivek Ramaswamy, a venture capitalist, and a vocal critic of ESG investing.

Or, if you've got 35 minutes to listen to Vivek be articulate,

I don't normally publish podcasts, but I think this one is on the WSJ-free side. If there's a problem please let me know.

October 13, 2022

Menu Simplification is Getting Complicated

We've discussed how the pressure to junk up the McDonald's menu comes from all directions - analysts, reporters, Twitter freaks, and cheese heads from other companies.

Of course, guess who worked for Kraft before he left them to reinvent McDonald's?

Kraft pushes on McDonald's for Big Mac collaboration

McDonald's Gain's Nearly $10.00 on Thursday


              Goldman and McDonald's provide biggest point boost


October 12, 2022

Expanding Your Horizons

There's been much conversation about the National Owners Association (NOA) and the Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA). For everyone's convenience links to both organizations are in the header above.

September 30, 2022

McCEO Has a New Fan Club

Restaurant Business magazine thinks McCEO is golden - by Jonathan Maze

"..... one thing has become clear: Kempczinski has put his mark on the Chicago-based burger giant and is in as strong a position as any other CEO of a publicly traded restaurant company."

Jonathan Maze E-mail -

FOX News and Getting Serious About Crime

Greg Gutfeld: To get Democrats to care about crime, you almost have to have elections every month

(8 minutes)

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


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.


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.

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

The announcement is here

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. (Paywall)

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