Coalition of Franchisee Associations

July 11, 2024

Anonymous McGossip on X

@McFranchisee (Twitter - formerly @MCDtruth) claims that the typical

U.S. store will receive one case of 250 Black Garlic packets. Is that worth

while of a promotion? Sounds like a half-day supply.

                               Picture courtesy of @mcfranchisee - click to enlarge

July 9, 2024

Barbell Strategies

During one of the previous burger wars, a QSR corporate head (I think he was from Burger King) coined the phrase "Barbell Menu." The term was used to describe pricing that brought customers into the restaurant with the hope they'd forego the discount and move up to more profitable menu items. 

Today, we have a different "barbell menu" this one is more of a corporate strategy. The only "new" idea the corporate guys can come up with is discounting. But they can't admit to investors that price-off is their only idea, so they'll try to deflect attention to new product promotions. This works well because analysts and reporters are always expecting new product news. And, if there is no new product news, they'll criticize management for not having a "healthy product innovation pipeline".

If the discounting works, management will credit the new products. If sales haven't improved, they’ll blame the American consumer.

And everyone else in the system will be left asking, “How did our menu get so big and complicated?”

McDonald's has a very busy week planned - NRN

July 8, 2024

Opinion by Andy Puzder

Blame Bidenflation for holiday food costs

McDonald's NASCAR Chicago Street Race


Well, it wasn't really a "McDonald's" race, the first Chicago NASCAR race (2023) just looked that way based on photos and videos. I watched most of last year's race live and was surprised at how much visibility the McDonald's logo received. McDonald's banners covered many of the walls and barriers that made up the racecourse. These banners always seemed to be on camera. I couldn't help but wonder how much this cost.

Later, I learned the facts. Because it rained for much of the race, the TV cameras installed on high-up scaffolding or on the sides of buildings were temporarily disabled, leaving the ground-level cameras to cover the race. This meant shooting straight across the course with the racecars in the foreground and the McDonald's banners constantly in the background.

It sure looked like a race entirely sponsored by McDonald's.

June 24, 2024

‘Zarco Law Awarded “Best Law Firms” National Tier 1 in Franchise Law by Best Lawyers of America© as listed in US News and World Report’

MCD Insider Sales Continue

Pres MCD USA sells 1,098 shares - Yahoo

June 18, 2024

Is Anyone Watching the MCD Stock Price?

This year, the price has drifted from $300 to $250. Only two things can turn that around: * several miracles in international markets or * McDonald's Owner/Operators in the USA can discount their menus and invest in promotions until same-store sales turn around.

June 17, 2024

McDonald's Has No Artificial Intelligence

There is some humor in how reporters and analysts think about drive-thru technology. They seem to think the answer to everything in drive-thru is faster ordering. Of course, that's the only part of the operation they can see and hear. This is why McDonald's management can generate headlines about AI but can't actually make it work. 

McDonald's ending AI drive-thru ordering - FOX News

Jonathan Maze recaps history of McDonald's DT tech

June 5, 2024

This is What Higher Royalties Buys You?

A silly headline for a silly article. This could have been avoided if the pajama boys had taken action last fall.

A McDonald’s executive confirmed this awful reality about life under Joe Biden

Another California Chain Biting the Dust

Rubio’s and In n’ Out have been two destination brands. When folks visit Southern California, they have to eat at these two chains.

But Rubio's never did real estate well. They often went with the cheapest site, so it’s no surprise they have many marginal locations.

Rubio's closes nearly 50 locations - NRN

Rubio's files for BK - again - Restaurant Business

June 1, 2024

In Case You're Missing It


Disney has received a lot of bad press and will receive more in the future. It's time for an overblown series featuring the company. 

The fun factor is that Disney owns the History Channel. 'Nuff said.

More on Disney later.

May 29, 2024

McDonald's Didn't Have to be the Poster Child for Inflation

Today's open letter on McDonald's pricing and the attached infographic are well done but long overdue. I was originally going to claim the $18 meal deal had been in the public eye for a few months, but then I did a search. It first showed up on social media in July of last year!

Since these myths were allowed to fester it seems every media report on inflation has mentioned prices at McDonald's. This could have been squelched with a more modest version of today's release - maybe last fall.

Remember when McDonald's Corp. had something of a "quick response" team to deal with such misreporting? If there is still such a team, they must have been off attending a ESG or DEI workshop.

Your "Royalties" at work.

Analyst: McDonald's Should Keep With the Discounting

MCD YTD 2024 -

Fast food slump could be a buying opportunity - Yahoo Financial

By "buying opportunity," the writer means, for shareholders

May 21, 2024

So This is How the Economy Works!

Jared Bernstein is President Biden's chief economic advisor. He often appears on TV in front of the White House to explain global economics.

Economics for people who don't understand economics - 3 min video

May 15, 2024

Maze on $5.00 meal

Jonathan Maze updates progress of negotiations

"McDonald’s then returned with a different proposal, one that featured incentives from Coca-Cola, the company’s beverage provider. That assuaged many operators’ concerns about profitability. The proposal also has carve-outs for higher-priced markets, enabling them to run the promotion at a higher price.

The National Owners Association, an independent group of McDonald’s operators, praised Coca-Cola for providing the financial assistance."............

"But the group also said it felt McDonald’s should step up financially, too."

May 10, 2024

Remembering the Arch Deluxe - Again

Not to beat a dead topic, but there's a lot to learn from the Arch Deluxe, both in terms of product development and marketing. Most internet videos, such as the following, are snarky and juvenile. This one is professionally produced and, if memory serves, quite accurate. And it's only six minutes long.

The rise and fall of the Arch Deluxe - YouTube

McDonald's Will Offer $5.00 Meal?

Franchisees have already rejected the plan once - Bloomberg

May 7, 2024

A History of the McFuture

In a company nearing its 70th year, there will eventually come a point where the board of directors and management have only second-hand and third-hand knowledge of the company's history. That’s where McDonald’s is today.

It’s easy to make use of icons such as animated McNuggets and Shamrock Shakes, but a new management team will ignore historical events that do not fit into their contemporary agenda.

There are major things happening today, echos from the late 1990s, that management is either ignorant of or chooses to ignore:

New store growth: We’ve discussed this many times. In the 1990s, management sought to convince investors that McDonald’s was still a growth company. New store growth was “accelerated”. Cannibalization became the word of the decade. McDonald’s Owner/Operators shared in the blame because, being starved for new stores, they eagerly opened any new location corporate came up with.

Major new sandwich introduction: Convinced that “consumer tastes have changed,” management bet the farm on the Arch Deluxe. Not only was the product uninteresting, but a complete change in McDonald’s advertising style was a flop with the American consumer.

Chairman and CEO combo: McDonald’s veterans know that some of the roughest years in McDonald’s history were when the board chair and the CEO were the same person. Denying common sense and history, it’s happening all over again. 

"Overall, independent chairs are becoming more common, a trend supported by a significant number of investors over the last 10 years."

From the:

Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance

May 1, 2024

Here's an Idea ... Call It The "Arch Deluxe"

McDonald's new larger, satiating burger - Yahoo Financial

Welcome to the Fourth Branch of Government

Just when you thought the Congressional, Judicial, and Executive branches of government were enough, along comes the fourth, the Bureaucracy (or The Swamp).

The unelected bureaucracy is increasingly making rules that function as laws, and it is growing with little supervision from Congress. This rule-making is reaching a fever pitch since the bureaucrats know that a Trump administration will strip them of much of their power.

Peter Romeo covers restaurant surcharges:

Meet the industry's new government adversary

McDonald's Shifts Focus to Value

“We’re in a strong position,” CEO says. “Franchisee cash flow is at the second highest levels ever.”

The fast-food giant appears to be losing the battle for customers - Maze

April 30, 2024

First Quarter Earnings Call - McDonald's

McDonald's first quarter 2024 results transcript provided by SeekingAlpha

McDonald's Has Lost Some of its Value Edge - NRN

"Of course, these changes require alignment with the 2,000 or so franchisees in the system, but they have been generating higher cash flows and are therefore able “get more aggressive with value offerings,” Kempczinski said."

Plans to shift to a national value platform this year

Menu Prices Raise Sales for MCD USA in Q1

Executives suggested the company will focus on value this year.  

“We have a value message,” said CEO. “But we’re doing it in 50 different ways with local value. What we don’t have in the U.S. is a national value platform.”

April 24, 2024

 An Ivy League degree was once an asset; today, it's more of a stain on your resume.

- TV commentator

April 20, 2024

Pres, MCD USA Sells More Shares

"The insider transaction history for McDonald's Corp shows a pattern of 26 insider sells and no insider buys over the same timeframe."

Sells 1,098 shares of McDonald's - Yahoo Finance

April 17, 2024

McDonald's Owner in California Says:

“We have realized that we are unable to solve our way out of this challenge just with price,” said Kerri Harper-Howie, a 21-unit McDonald’s franchisee in Los Angeles County. “We can’t do it. Our customers are price sensitive.”

More from Maze - Restaurant Business Online

Higher Prices and More Locations ,,,

... drove chain restaurant sales last year - J. Maze gets into the numbers 

April 9, 2024

This Year's Legal Eagles

Franchise Times magazine has released its "Legal Issues" issue featuring the top franchise attorneys in the USA. In addition to a comprehensive graphic listing the attorneys, there are numerous articles and comments from these attorneys.

If you start with the main page HERE on the right, you'll find links to the articles. In the middle of the page, there's a link to a PDF copy of the entire section.

April 5, 2024

Earthquakes can be serious business, but as a survivor of hundreds of California earthquakes, I had to roll my eyes a little at the dramatics coming out of New York this morning.

My most memorable was in San Francisco, at a joint meeting of the San Francisco McDonald’s Co-Op and those involved in their Ronald McDonald House. The venue was a hospital in the city with a spectacular view of the skyline and bay—hence, lots of windows.

The window coverings were big, heavy venetian blinds. As the building shook, the blinds began to bang against the window glass, amplifying our fear factor. 

Sensing the room’s concern, one of the doctors stepped to the microphone and said, “Not to worry; you’re already in a medical center.”

March 20, 2024

Anonymous is Anonymous

A friend sent a note asking me to check to see if their comment came through as “anonymous” with no identifying info. This reminds me that I should make my annual remarks about how this website works.

To comment in any way other than “anonymous,” one must sign in with a user ID and E-mail address. Then, after writing their comment, they confirm all of the information. That requires a lot of conscious effort versus just clicking on anonymous. Few people have ever done that.

Most importantly, as the administrator of this website, I approve everything that gets posted or commented on. If a person were to do anything but post anonymously, I wouldn’t approve it, and the information would disappear into the ether. So, it’s impossible for someone to accidentally display their identity.

There’s another security aspect here - the website and your E-mail have nothing to do with each other. My E-mail server is a completely different service than the website - two different vendors. There’s no connection. That’s why we don’t have one of those “contact us” forms on the website. My E-mail address is displayed, but it’s not a click-thru.

Just because you are in my E-mail address book doesn’t mean a thing. The website doesn't know you exist.

You are accessing the website through the weblink, not your E-mail account.

So please relax and make some anonymous comments.

March 19, 2024

Greenberg Last to Serve as McDonald's CEO and Chairman

Greenberg to retire from McDonald's - QSR mag - December 2002

Greenberg's failures weaken same-store sales - LA Times - December 2002

“They should drastically slow the pace of new store openings in the United States, preferably to zero,” said David Kolpak, an analyst with Victory Capital Management.

Three Reasons to Separate CEO and Chair Positions

The issue of whether holding both roles reduces the effectiveness of the board is a hot topic and often rears its head at shareholder meetings - Investopedia

Google this: "serve as chair of board and ceo"

Generative AI is experimental. Learn more
In many companies, the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) also serves as the chair of the board, also known as the COB (chairperson of the board)This is common in large companies, especially those that have grown quickly and still retain the founder in these roles. However, some say that the two roles should be separated to strengthen the company's overall integrity. The dual roles can involve governance risks, such as conflict of interest and excessive concentration of power, which can lead to financial, operational, and reputational issues. 

March 8, 2024

McDonald's Insider Trades

Yahoo finance looks at MCD insider trades

Keeping the System Out of Date

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a copy of McDonald’s corporate “Global Daily Briefing. “ The most recent version (3/4/24) differs from previous releases, but I can’t tell when changes occurred.

Previously, the vendor that put the briefing together threw in the kitchen sink with almost any headline, including topics that weren’t all that positive for McDonald’s or didn’t fit into the then corporate agenda.

The recent publication is more condensed and is apparently limited to topics that MCDHQ would like employees and Owners to absorb, buying into a bit of brainwashing.

For instance, ESG (Environmental, Social, Governmental) and DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) are discussed as though it was 2022, and the concepts had not been discredited over and over again. Companies are now embarrassed to admit ESG has been a priority, and DEI is being recognized as a new form of corporate-sponsored racism. 

Current polls on any political topic tell us that Americans have moved past issues such as ESG and DEI.

But MCDHQ marches on - as woke as ever and as antiquated as an EV charging station.

February 29, 2024

February 28, 2024

Wendy's CEO: "Did I say That? ... I Didn't Say That!"

Corporate CEOs often get in trouble trying to impress analysts and investors on quarterly conference calls. In this case, Wendy's new CEO implied the company might use dynamic pricing in the future. In the case of McDonald's, the CEO has recently implied that he, and he alone, would do something about "value" and menu pricing in the restaurants.

"We didn’t use that phrase, nor do we plan to implement that practice,”

The Today Show interviews Jonathan Maze -

NRN reports on political backlash

February 23, 2024

Union's Day of Action Against Starbucks

I've always thought Howard Schultz was among the dumbest people in American business. With the liberal, left-wing directions he's taken Starbucks, it's amazing he's built such a vast company and survived. But what do you get when you build a company based on your liberal "woke" policies and staff it with people who agree with your politics?

You get a Union Shop; that's what you get.

Starbucks unions stage a national day of action against chain

February 20, 2024

Who is This "Chef"?

Since the Internet's early days, when AOL and Yahoo first began providing chat or comment functions on their financial pages, there have been wackos insisting that the meat patties on McDonald's sandwiches were getting smaller.

If the patties had shrunk over the years as much as these numskulls claim, there would be nothing but air between the sesame buns. 

And now a former "chef" claims that it's true? This guy must have left McDonald's with a lot of money since he won't make much by being famous on social media.