I’m a weirdo (like I really need to put that caveat out front) and I find McDonald’s’ struggles to be fascinating. Their struggles represent the beauty of the market, even the crony and hampered one we have in the U.S. and in foreign markets. Okay sure, they still had profits of $800 million in the first quarter of the year and yes, they’re absolutely the king of fast-food still, so if you’re a smaller fast-food joint, you’d love to be in a “slump,” like McDonald’s, but with all the contextualizing aside, they’re, nevertheless, in a pretty fascinating slump, all the same.
Chipotle, Smashburger, places like that where you can customize your meals, that are better than the 60-year-old burgers McDonald’s offers (there’s a joke in that), and just simply seem more “hip,” than the Golden Arches, also contribute to that slump. Taco Bell, likewise, is competing quite well with their breakfast.
All of these things are evidenced by McDonald’s experimenting with delivery, all-day breakfast and customization of burgers.
Moreover, they have an identity crisis. They don’t know what they want to be. Not only are they trying to appear more hip, but they want to appeal to the changing tastes of consumers by offering seemingly healthier items. Which caused a ridiculously absurd, overly-convoluted menu.
Basics, man. I think that’s what sells. But that’s the beauty part of it. I think it’s fascinating that a long-established, seemingly gigantic, untouchable entity like McDonald’s still has to strive and struggle and stumble to meet consumer demands. This is what CEO’s get paid big bucks to figure out and plan and execute.
And by the way, all-day breakfast at McDonald’s would be fucking great.