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Sunday Discussion: My Steps To Turn Around And Fix McDonald’s

Geek Alabama Discussion

If you have not heard the news, McDonald’s is in really deep trouble!  They are in so much trouble, they actually had Ronald McDonald appear in the Anniston Christmas parade!

So, what is going on at McDonald’s.  For starters, I come to McDonald’s a few times a month.  And I can already tell why McDonald’s is going downhill.  By the way, I come to McDonald’s because I am sent $5 McDonald’s gift cards a few times a year.  And, I also use their free Wi-fi and eat there to conserve my extremely tight food stamp budget.  So, what are some of the problems I see when I come to my local McDonald’s?

  • They run out of food items from burger meat to their french fries.
  • They run out of basic supplies like ketchup and napkins.
  •  One of their managers usually has to go to another McDonald’s to get supplies until the delivery truck comes.
  • They run out of Happy Meal toys.
  • Their equipment like their ice cream machine is broken for weeks.
  • Their playplace is closed because they can’t get anyone to come clean it.
  • Their burger meat is smaller, especially on their Big Mac.
  • They run out and break their CO2 dispenser.
  • Their food is sometimes luke warm or even cold.
  • They don’t cook enough french fries, and force people to wait for minutes.

This is some of the things I have noticed while being at one McDonald’s here in Anniston.  And if you are asking, I am writing this post while at a McDonald’s.  Hope an employee does not see this post and I get kicked out!  So, what can McDonald’s do to turn around its troubles?  For starters, their management needs to get out of their offices and go out into the restaurants.  I have listed the problems I have seen in only one McDonald’s that is near my apartment.  I know other McDonald’s also have problems as well.

But, making sure the machines are working and the employees actually do their jobs is one thing.  Making good food is the most important thing a restaurant can do, or you will lose customers and eventually go out of business.  And not having good food is causing some problems at McDonald’s.  When you look at other fast-food joints, they make some things like their chicken tenders from scratch in-store, they are using premium buns and toppings, they make sure the food is hot, and they don’t skimp out on the meat or chicken.  When I get something at McDonald’s, the burger meat for the Big Mac is paper thin, the grilled chicken looks nasty at times, the bread is the same old white bread, and their food could be warmer.

Look, McDonald’s is trying to turn around, especially with their food image.  They hired  Grant Imahara and put out a video last week showing how McDonald’s makes their Chicken McNuggets at one of their Tyson plants.  So far, the video has over four million views, and the comments are flowing on this video below.

That is a good start!  McDonald’s has to put out the image that their food is real, and good.  They also need to get more active on social media.  I only see an update on their Facebook and Twitter accounts a few times a week.  Other fast-food joints like Taco Bell updates their social media many times every day!  And, social media is very popular with the Millennials.  When I visit a Taco Bell for example, I see everywhere where they want their customers to share their meals on social media with hashtags, I don’t see that at McDonald’s.  Plus, Taco Bell has an app where you can order food, McDonald’s needs to get on that ASAP and expand it nationwide!

Next, McDonald’s needs to trim their humongous menu!  They are planning to get rid of eight items to start off 2015.  But I believe they could get rid of even more items.  No question, the Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets, Quarter Pounder, and other popular items will stay.  But, who comes to McDonald’s to eat a salad, or eat a chicken wrap?  These items take way too much time to make, and it holds up the line.  I would envision McDonald’s be like In And Out or Five Guys, where you have a limited menu, and make sure everything is hot and fresh on that limited menu.  I would concentrate on burgers, fries, desserts, cafe drinks, and nothing else!  Yes, still include the chicken and fish products.  But I would trim the menu in half, and concentrate on your most popular products.

Next, get better with your PR.  For example, invite people who write online or make videos to your test kitchen!  Taco Bell does this, and earns high praise with the Millennials.  Involve regular people in the menu making process.  And yes, a good way to get people to come back to McDonald’s is to raise the pay of its workers.  No, I am not wanting an $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers, but a wage of about $10 an hour would be great!  It would get people off of tax payer funded food stamps, and give McDonald’s a great PR move.  Even if the menu prices raise a little bit, people would come to McDonald’s if they knew their workers were being paid a proper wage.

And lastly, maybe McDonald’s should consider making more items in store instead of letting a factory do it.  How about cooking the bacon fresh on the griddle?  Or breading and cooking the Chicken McNuggets in store?  Or cutting the tomato, lettuce and other toppings in store?  Or making the sauces in store?  Just some ideas I am throwing out there!  Food quality must be number one!  And I don’t think the create your own burger menu and touchscreens are going to work.  Because it takes a lot of time to use the screens, and not everyone is tech savvy!

And make sure people in the drive-thru can pay with Apple Pay or Google Wallet via their car instead of handing their phone to the worker to scan the device.  That would be great!  I don’t think McDonald’s is going anywhere anytime soon.  But, if they don’t change things, they might become a thing of the past!  I guess we will wait and see where McDonald’s goes!

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