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Losing the battle, McDonald's tries another front


GSBravo
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As they are losing their battle for fast food dominance, McDonald’s is now trying to mount an assault on another front.

Check the story here: McDonald's to sell clothes and toys

Ray Kroc is probably spinning in his grave over what McDonald's has become today. They no longer value their core business, which is hamburgers. Sure they're cheap, and not too good, but lately...they've gotten worse and worse.

Back when they concentrated on their core business they were better, i.e. the McDonald's that was around when I was younger. Now they seem to be trying to keep up with every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

Until they return to their core business, they will not see the successes of yesterday.

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Welcome, GSBravo.

I agree with you regarding the benefits that usually accrue to a company that maintains focus on core business, and I certainly agree that today's McDonalds burger suffers in comparison to the burger of twenty years ago. But I'm not sure it's all that clear that McDonalds is in serious trouble. Their stock is hovering around its 52-week high, and it seems to be maintaing its market share -- after all, it's not the only fast-food franchiser to have gone through a difficult period over the last few years.

All of which is to say that while we may not care for the product, and we might disagree with the way the company is being run, McDonalds shareholders are not hurting. It's possible that what we think McDonalds core business is might be different than what the people running the company think it is.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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"Welcome, GSBravo."

Thank you, I discovered this website while Googling one day back in September, and have been reading thru the forums and such getting up to “speed”. A few things I especially like- the EGCI and Dispatches from a First Job. I have no aspirations to be a professional chef, I just want to cook really good for those I cook for.

”But I'm not sure it's all that clear that McDonalds is in serious trouble. Their stock is hovering around its 52-week high, and it seems to be maintaining its market share -- after all, it's not the only fast-food franchiser to have gone through a difficult period over the last few years.”

Regardless of stock value, which can be a lot like Grammy nominations, McDonald’s has seriously scaled back its expansion plans. And I think that they will see a loss in market share if the current trend continues. I haven’t eaten at a McDonald’s in the last year, I am tired of the crappy food and piss poor (can I say that) service. They should take a serious look at Hardee’s, which in the last 3-5 years has greatly turned itself around.

”It's possible that what we think McDonalds core business is might be different than what the people running the company think it is.”

I’ll second that, but it was hamburgers, value, and service that Ray Kroc pushed, along with the merchandising thing. I just think that they don’t operate like that anymore. However, most consumers are so “brand washed” that they’ll fall for it.

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In response to "Expansion plans? Where ISN"T there a McDonalds?", I offer the following evidence.

"Salads help boost McDonald's profits

CHICAGO -- Resurgent U.S. sales thanks to two new hit products helped McDonald's Corp. profits rise 12 percent in the third quarter -- the latest evidence the fast-food giant is emerging from a lengthy slump.

The success of entree-sized salads and McGriddles breakfast sandwiches, along with extended hours at thousands of U.S. restaurants, helped McDonald's impress Wall Street on Wednesday with better results than expected.

But the company said it needs to address continuing problems with spotty U.S. service and sluggish sales in Europe, its second-largest market, in order to keep its turnaround on track.

First-year CEO Jim Cantalupo, who has slowed McDonald's breakneck expansion pace to focus on sales and service at existing restaurants, told analysts more time is needed to achieve the main goal of the company shake-up: sustained, profitable growth."

This is an excerpt from an article in the Contra Coast Times- Business section. (Emphasis added.)

Additional research would yield more such results. Yes they are doing well, but they haven’t been. Also, I realize my added emphasis could cause parts to be taken out of context, but my dislike of McDonald's is endless.

"Re: decline of McQuality, I say "Bring Back the Beef Tallow!""

Exactly, almost. The changing of the French fries was the beginning of the downfall. I understand they have to sell to Hindus, who make up a fairly large portion of the population. However, if cows are sacred to Hindus, why are they going into a place that is known for its hamburgers? I don't go into a vegetarian restaurant and ask for a steak.

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"Re: decline of McQuality, I say "Bring Back the Beef Tallow!""

Exactly, almost. The changing of the French fries was the beginning of the downfall. I understand they have to sell to Hindus, who make up a fairly large portion of the population. However, if cows are sacred to Hindus, why are they going into a place that is known for its hamburgers? I don't go into a vegetarian restaurant and ask for a steak.

I don't think that losing the tallow was done for the sake of Hindus (or more likely, vegetarians: there are many more of them than there Hindus in the US)- remember a year or two back when it turned out that the fry oil had some beef products in it? Rather, the switch was done for (dubious) health reasons.

[by the way, welcome to eGullet! And here's a tip: when quoting text, use the QUOTE tags. Makes it easier to tell which ideas are yours, and which are the other guy's.]

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I just heard about thhis on Marketplace (radioshow distributed by PRI).

Oy.

Edited by bloviatrix (log)

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I don't think that losing the tallow was done for the sake of Hindus (or more likely, vegetarians: there are many more of them than there Hindus in the US)- remember a year or two back when it turned out that the fry oil had some beef products in it? Rather, the switch was done for (dubious) health reasons.

As I recall it, and I will admit my memory is faulty at times, it was a Hindu that sued McDonald's after discovering that the French fries had beef tallow in them. And again, nothing against the Hindus but I don't go into a vegetarian restaurant and order a steak. The problem is that McDonald's has to be all things to all people. Which is not possible, so you have to please most of the people most of them.

Mostly my problem is my extreme dislike for what McDonald's has become. I reckon it's one of those "things were better when I was kid" deals.

(Andrew thanks for pointing out the quote tags feature. Lord knows I'm opinionated enough that I don't need to confuse my opinions for others.)

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McClothes, McToys, McInteractive McVideos and McBooks.

"You know.

For the McKids."

-The Hudburger Proxy

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Mostly my problem is my extreme dislike for what McDonald's has become. I reckon it's one of those "things were better when I was kid" deals.

You are right. Things were better when you were a kid. The hamburgers weren't steamed in a drawer, the restrooms and the rest of the place was clean, and they actually seemed interested in serving the customer.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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You are right. Things were better when you were a kid.

Yes.

When I was a kid, McDonald's did not exist.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Now, when they're weakened...attack!

My perception is that the attack, began a few years ago, and rightfully so. The fast food industry has taken so many wrong turns, trying to put out so many fires, on so many roads, they have driven directly back into the firestorm. It refuses to go out, being constantly refueled by people who really enjoy food.

woodburner

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My perception is that the attack, began a few years ago, and rightfully so. The fast food industry has taken so many wrong turns, trying to put out so many fires, on so many roads, they have driven directly back into the firestorm. It refuses to go out, being constantly refueled by people who really enjoy food.

I think McDonald's setback has more to do with it's identification as an American export than anything else. The Anti-American sentiment in the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, and Europe can't be helping them, and is driving down overseas expansion more than any negative foodie feedback on the quality of their wares.

Domestically, they've been doing well, having recently experienced a spike in sales due to their popular Monopoly ad campaign.

Don't ask me about the Hindu chap ordering fries in a burger joint....I'm still reeling from the woman who sued and won over spilling a cup of McD's coffee over herself and discovering it was hot.

Then again, I've been known to scarf down a McD cheeseburger when I'm hungry enough, so what do I know? :laugh:

Be polite with dragons, for thou art crunchy and goeth down well with ketchup....

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I don't think that losing the tallow was done for the sake of Hindus (or more likely, vegetarians: there are many more of them than there Hindus in the US)- remember a year or two back when it turned out that the fry oil had some beef products in it? Rather, the switch was done for (dubious) health reasons.

As I recall it, and I will admit my memory is faulty at times, it was a Hindu that sued McDonald's after discovering that the French fries had beef tallow in them. And again, nothing against the Hindus but I don't go into a vegetarian restaurant and order a steak. The problem is that McDonald's has to be all things to all people. Which is not possible, so you have to please most of the people most of them.

Actually, the issue was one of mis-representation. When McD's changed the fat for frying they claimed it was vegetarian friendly. When in fact, even a small bit of beef tallow renders it elsewise.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I think McDonald's setback has more to do with it's identification as an American export than anything else.

A good point. I just picked up a copy of Petrini's "Slow Food" and that was my initial response.

People have a lot of fast food choices, even just within the burger genre. And most people interested in fast food have taken the opportunity to try the competition, at least the other big names. And for whatever reason, they seem to keep going to McDonald's.

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the restrooms and the rest of the place was clean

McAnecdote,

Kroc once mandated that the franchisees go out each morning and pick-up all the McTrash in a two-block radius around their stores.

PJ

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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Anyone ever listen to Steve Martin's bit on McDonald's about everything coming from one giant mulch or something like that. Pretty funny bit. I used to have it on vinyl when I was in elementary school. There should be an MP3 archive of such things on eGullet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Forget clothes and toys! Hasn't anyone heard of the Golden Arch Hotel?

In Switzerland, McDonald's actually had two hotels; each room decorated in red and yellow, complete with the McDonald's theme, littered with the Ms and an actual "golden arch" as a headboard for the beds. <insert your own bawdy joke here> :blink:

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In Switzerland, McDonald's actually had two hotels; each room decorated in red and yellow, complete with the McDonald's theme, littered with the Ms and an actual "golden arch" as a headboard for the beds. <insert your own bawdy joke here> :blink:

oddly enough, egullet is now decorated like McDonalds. :biggrin:

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oddly enough, egullet is now decorated like McDonalds. :biggrin:

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

I just spit wine all over my laptop.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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