Thursday, September 3, 2015

If McDonald's Really Wants More Business...

When I was a kid, McDonald's was the thing.  If my parents had a little extra cash, we would stop at McDonald's, and my brother and I were in kid heaven.  It was a big deal to get to go to McDonald's.  I don't even know if there were any other fast food places open at the time, because McDonald's was IT for a kid.  Sure, Ronald McDonald looked a bit creepy, and I'm still not sure what was up with that purple dude, but every kid I knew went to that place.  And I remember that the food was actually good.  Tasty.  The cheeseburger that my parents usually split between my brother and I was hot and juicy, and the french fries were crispy, with just the right amount of salt on them.

Then we went to Germany, in 1973.  No McDonald's in Germany, at least where we were.  Glum doesn't begin to describe being a kid in a place with no McDonald's.  We tried to fill the void with gummi bears, but it never worked.  We remembered the deliciousness of a McDonald's cheeseburger, and the microwave cheeseburgers they sold at the military snack bar just didn't cut it.

Oh, it was a happy day when we came home from school and my mother informed us that a McDonald's was opening nearby.  My dad was cajoled/coerced into bringing us home burgers that night, and instead of a cheeseburger, he brought us home a Big Mac.  In fact, he brought home about 40 Big Macs, because every single neighbor in the building wanted McDonald's for supper, too.  And I can remember biting into that Big Mac and falling in love with it right there on the spot.  It was now my new Favorite Food, right up there with gummi bears and weinerschnitzel.  And it wasn't just me and my uninformed palate; EVERYBODY liked McDonald's in the 70s. 

But when we came back from Germany, something had changed about McDonald's.  The meat in the burgers was dry, the slice of cheese on the cheeseburger was tinier.  There were fewer onions and pickles, and less of the condiments.  They had more competition.  Kids had more places to choose from, and their parents as well.  My family didn't go to McDonald's too much; it became rather blah.

But we all knew it was a shame.  McDonald's seemed to become way more interested in the Next Big Thing, like the McRib, to beat out the competition.  They've been chasing that prize ever since, and the result has been a huge mess. Just today they were advertising some Buttermilk Chicken-something.  Now they are planning on serving breakfast all day.  If McDonald's really wants to improve their business, I think that the best way is to focus on the sandwiches they already sell rather than trying to come up with new gimmicks. Chipotle made it big by bragging about how they use actual food in their meals, and if that make people buy their not so interesting fare, McDonald's can do it as well.  Make those burgers hot and juicy again, and maybe use a real slice of cheese instead of a tiny square.  Change up the fish sandwich, too, while you're at it, for all those Catholics that show up for Lent.  The last fish sandwich I had was so dry I actually had to use half a bottle of ketchup to choke it down.  That's no way to do business, I don't care what that Trump character hollers.  If you sell food, it should be good food. 

And for gosh sake, teach your employees to get the darn orders correct!  Nothing  upsets me more than getting home and finding half of my order is wrong.  There's a reason that Joe Pesci line from the Lethal Weapon franchise resonated with so many people; it really DOES seem like they try to mess with you at the drive thru!  It is time to stop that, it is not good customer service.  I enunciate very clearly when I order, so the problem is not with me.  Using that screen to make sure that the order is correct doesn't solve the problem, either, since what is on that screen and what goes in the bag don't always match.  Do what you need to do to fix that, McDonald's. 


  1. You are completely right. My pet peeve when eating out is when you pay $5 to $10 for a sandwich and the food is old.

  2. Believe it or not I believe the first McDonalds opened sometime in the late 50s or early 60s (I am OLD so I know this). I remember too, the first time I went there as a kid with my family and how excited I was.
    My biggest gripe with McDonalds (which I rarely if ever go to anymore anyway), is what you mentioned at the end about getting the orders wrong. Their help (at least at the drive-thru is deplorable)
    For me, they need to get healthier items....I am in Weight Watchers and the points on their food (and most fast food) are through the ceiling. McDonalds IS trying, but they have a loooong way to go.
    For me anyway, healthy food does NOT equate to FAST any establishment

  3. I know it wasn't healthy, but the old apple pie? I miss that rare indulgence!

  4. I rarely get McD's anymore, and when I do? I get oatmeal.

    And I have to wait at least 10 minutes for it and mix it all up myself.

    McD's has so many issues... I'm not sure where to start.

  5. I remember when McDonalds was all the rage. It did used to be the place a kid wanted to go when I was growing up too. Honestly I still like McDonalds but while I have tried some of the new sandwiches I always go back to the Big Mac. It is the best!

  6. I was brought up vegetarian, and my first foray into meat world was a Macca's cheeseburger (Macca's = Australian for MacDonalds). Weirdly, the patty didn't actually taste like meat so it made the transition from vego to rebellious carnivore quite easy :D But WE have the power - if the food is c**p, then vote with your feet and get it elsewhere, as we all did downunder when Hungry Jacks and their awesome juicy Whopper opened up!!


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