Last week I heard in the news McDonald's was losing quite a bit of market share and closing some locations do to it. I'm presuming at head office there shaking their heads wondering what is going on. My thoughts as a consumer is they've lost focus, in doing so have diminished their brand seriously. Growing up the fast food choice for me was McDonald's, they're main marketing strategy was geared towards young parents, toddlers and teens. The playful Ronald McDonald mascot in commercials brought kids in, and parents attracted to the child friendly surroundings kept them coming back. Children are not entertained by an adult looking restaurant that's boring, and most likely would not be a place they would ask to return.
When McDonald's first hit the scene in my hometown it took the giant A&W to their knees. Now they have made a comeback, still the same colors and décor, but instead of changing their concept enhanced their burgers with the type of beef. The root beer still comes in a frosted mug, is the same formula bringing back those fond childhood memories with friends. I believe no matter how old a person becomes they like their personal nostalgia, and sharing it with their kids and family. Can you honestly walk into a McDonald's today having those old feeling stirred-up inside? This restaurant is a North American icon, from my perspective should have never been tampered with.
Moving forward sometimes businesses people get carried away with themselves, going back to the basics would probably bring some of those lost and new loyal customers in. I'm not exactly sure what McDonald's is anymore a hamburger joint, a fancy café, or an alternative healthier restaurant. The menu is too large they should go back to burgers, fries, shakes, and more kid friendly atmosphere. Fast food is supposed to be fast, which McDonald's has lacked for many years now. I'm also not liking the fact that when you order they expect the customer to pour their own soft drink. Reverting back to having have a certain amount of product cooked, so a customer orders and in a matter of seconds there ready to eat might make a difference also. Like most fast food places there is a drive through, but I can't count the amount of times they leave something ordered out of the bags, or asking me to move ahead waiting for something ordered.
My next suggestion is more on pricing and value points which seem to have been lost in the shuffle, let's be honest McDonald's is not fooling anyone thinking in terms value for the dollar. Back in the day you could come in buy a big mac, fries, and drink for under a dollar. I get it today that would not be possible, so how about trying another approach. That's where my value point comes in, anyone who has been going to McDonald's for many decades can figure out they reduced the portion sizes while increasing the pricing considerably. Returning that concept I believe would do them a world of good!
McDonald's jingle used to be you deserve a break today, get up and get away to McDonald's. I'm not loving it as much anymore, and still believe as a customer I deserve a break!
By Arnold Nadler
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