By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

Selling McDonald's Short

When I was a kid back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, my
favorite place to eat was Howard Johnson's. Nobody was aware
of the word "franchise" at that time. Howard Johnson's had
over 1,000 restaurants, and served the best ice cream.
Today, there are about 70 left.

Consumers change. Restaurants come and go. Today's craze
becomes tomorrow's fiasco. Who's next?

McDonald's accountants have been busy these past three
weeks, applying Band-aids and gauze to stop the bleeding
from fourth quarter balance sheets. Nothing short of
cardiopulmonary resuscitation will be able to stabilize a
dead or dying fast-food franchise. McDonald's will soon
announce their first fourth-quarter loss in history.

There are many options available to this fast food giant.
Option number one is to improve the food. How about some
vegetarian options? I'd soon be there for lunch, and bring
my three happy kids to buy happy veggie meals as soon as
McDonald's joins the 21st century vegetarian food

When a restaurant loses business and customers, they explore
the root of all problems, the food.

Instead, McDonald's expects to lure new business to its
golden arches by giving away trucks and dolls. Expect cheap
Betty Spaghetty dolls and Tonka trucks for little girls and
boys. Sounds like a successful promotion for today, but what
happens tomorrow?

McDonald's dies without repeat business. They have got to
face facts. The magic is gone.

Next week's Happy Meals will include a hamburger, French
fries, soda, and toy. Subtract the toy, and McDonald's
returns to their losing combination. They should not bank on
long term success with a short term giveaway toy.

McDonald's recently settled a suit by donating 6 million
dollars to vegetarian organizations. Instead of fighting the
tide, they should learn to swim with it. Vegetarian options
will result in greater number of Happy Meal customers.
McDonald's can become a leader in innovative fast food

I offer them my veggie burger recipe for free:

It's cheaper than beef, saves animals, and is
environmentally friendly, too. McDonald's can change with
the times, or follow that flaming path to ruin initially
blazed by Howard Johnson.

Robert Cohen, author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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