|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
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 revolution. 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 cuisine. I offer them my veggie burger recipe for free: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/notmilk/message/1118 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dairy Education Board
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