I realize it is nutritionally incorrect to admit you eat at McDonald’s. For decades it has been a bastion of unhealthy food choices. Thus, I am a fan of McDonald’s.
Lately I have noticed that every time someone speaks to me about having something to eat from McDonald’s it is as if they are confessing to a sin. They look at their shoes, lower their voices and shamefully say, “I ate a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. The only time an adult freely admits to eating at McDonald’s is when they speak of taking the kids to get something to eat.
I am predicting the demise of McDonald’s. It is not nutritional incorrectness that is going to be the down fall of McDonald’s; because we talk a more nutritional diet than we really consume. For example I was working as clergy on a Woman’s Walk to Emmaus several years ago. It was me and 62 women on a campground for 72 hours. There were many challenges for me, the only guy for miles. One of the challenges was the meal menu. We had low cholesterol eggs with no bacon for breakfast. Lunch and dinner featured a salad bar with tofu and bean sprouts and several other rather tasteless items to choose from. Dinner was something like baked chicken and green beans (Hold the bacon grease.) and baked potatoes with no butter to be found. (Trust me, I searched the place.) All of the women were talking about how this was the way they ate at home; and I knew they were lying. The truth came out when I caught a “food team” returning to camp with several large McDonald’s bags containing some very unhealthy yummy food. What a bunch of phonies. We Americans always talk healthier than we live.
There are three things about McDonald’s restaurants I have observed over the past several years that lead me to believe they are doomed.
- The quality of food has declined. I know they still claim their hamburgers are 100% beef but it just doesn’t taste as good. Perhaps part of the 100% is made up of hooves and eyelids and tongue.
- They are attempting to make their menu more nutritional, lower calorie and generally healthier. I don’t care how long they attempt to travel the healthy road; McDonald’s will never be the place that comes to mind for most of us when we think of healthy eating. The formula will always be McDonald’s = hamburgers and French fries. The more they insist on selling themselves as a health food store, the less successful they will become.
- They are making bad decisions and are not listening to their customers. Here is an example.
A friend of mine heard that McDonald’s was test marketing a new product in Boston – Lobster Rolls. Lobster Rolls in Boston… in Boston, the lobster capital of North America. That is stupid to the point of being ridiculous. And so my friend, in a spirit of helping an old established company make better decisions, wrote a letter to corporate headquarters. His letter, in a nutshell, said: Testing Lobster Rolls in Boston is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of and whoever thought that up should be fired immediately. The letter he received in return tells me that McDonald’s is turning a deaf ear to its customers.
His return letter read:
Dear Mr. VanMetre:
Thank you for taking the time to let us know you enjoy our Lobster Roll. We appreciate your feedback.
McDonald’s restaurants across the country may offer varying menu items due to local market options and the rotation of promotional products which are offered for a limited time only. It is our goal to provide menu items that are popular with the majority of our customers while maintaining quick and accurate service.
We are glad you enjoy our food. Your comments are important and will be shared with our regional management that oversees the menu in your area.
Again, thank you for taking time to share your feedback with us.
Sincerely, Tanya, Consumer Satisfaction Representative, McDonald’s Customer Response Center
The people at McDonald’s Customer Satisfaction Center obviously failed to read Mr. VanMetre’s letter. Or if they did read it, failed to comprehend what it said. My guess is that had a machine scan it and the only words the scanner recognized were Lobster Roll and spit out the form letter my friend received. McDonald’s doesn’t seem to be listening to their customers and that is deadly for any company.
So my advice is to drop by McDonald’s in the near future and stock up on some really bad, unhealthy food while you still have the opportunity.
Copyright © 2015, William T. McConnell, All Rights Reserved
Bill McConnell is Senior Minister at Lindenwood Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee and is a Church Transformation consultant and a Christian Leadership Coach. He is a frequent speaker at Church Transformation events. His latest book on church transformation is DEVELOPING A SIGNIFICANT CHURCH and is available at Westbow Press.