Help Me Save McDonald’s

 

A photo of a McDonalds' McRib sandwich iI have been inspired by The Daily Shot’s reference to my McRib obsession on the one hand, and McDonald’s poor earnings reports on the other. (How often are those linked?!) We must come to McDonald’s rescue and help it deliver a menu that real fast-food-loving Americans want. No empty snack wraps for me. No more artisan grilled chicken sandwiches.

The Daily Shot’s citation of KFC’s Double Down provides a good template: a sandwich made out of two McRibs with bacon inside — no bun. That’s not an appetizer, but what we fancy pants in the Bay Area would call an amuse-bouche (I think).

So, Ricochet food lovers, what would be your suggestions for additions to the McDonald’s menu that you would actually eat? How about a sausage, pepper, and onion Philly-style hoagie? Help me rescue McDonald’s with a new menu!

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  1. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Sometimes I really wanna hug you, John.

    • #1
  2. Howellis Inactive
    Howellis
    @ManWiththeAxe

    Back when I worked at McDonald’s in 1966, they made fries from real potatoes that we dragged up from the basement in 50 lb. bags, washed, cut, blanched, and fried. They should go back to that.

    Also, they should make milkshakes out of real ice cream scooped by hand in an old fashioned milk shake blender in those stainless steel tumblers, or whatever they are called.

    They could free up the labor to do both of these things by getting rid of most of the extraneous menu items that reduce the simplicity of the system.

    • #2
  3. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    First step: do something about the buns. Less sawdust would be a good start.

    Second: hire someone from Chick-fil-A or In-and-Out who can help them train staff not to be sullen screen punchers. The few times I’ve been to McDonald’s lately I have felt like a horrible imposition at best, and at worst a symbol of everything the staff hates. And I made my orders concisely without dithering, so it’s not like I’m standing there gawking at the menu.

    • #3
  4. Palaeologus Inactive
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    Fred Cole:Sometimes I really wanna hug you, John.

    That’s lovely Fred, but you do realize that it’s about time for your water-boarding, right?

    John Yoo: So, Ricochet food lovers, what would be your suggestions for additions to the McDonald’s menu that you would actually eat? How about a sausage, pepper, and onion Philly-style hoagie? Help me rescue McDonald’s with a new menu!

    That’s not a bad idea. (FWIW, Mickey Dees needs no rescue, despite the claims of upper-middle-class-types who live at Chipotle and Potbelly).

    If I were running the show, I’d do a spicy McLegs kinda thing. That is, “frenched” fried drumsticks with a Caribbean/ Southern flair.

    You get more flavor with the bone, it seems more “authentic” to the audience, by “frenching” you remove most of the unpleasant aspects of dark meat, and it is an easily repeatable, inexpensive product.

    IOW, it’s almost the opposite of the boneless McRib sammich.

    • #4
  5. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    McDonald’s is the Wal Mart of fast food (“Always low prices… always”), and that’s going to affect the quality of stuff they sell, and the quality of people they hire. And while fast food is bad across the board for the kind of they-don’t-pay-me-enough-to-care types, in my areas, McDonald’s is particularly bad about that kind of employee. Service sucks, lines are slow, employees are surly, and it seems like something is always broken. “Sorry, the drank ma-shane don’t work”, “Sorry, we can’t make shakes, the ma-shane don’t work”.

    On the other hand, I hate going to Stuff White People Like Burger. $15 for a *&^%$#@ burger, greasy fries, and Coke at Five Guys? Pass. This applies to pretty much all of the higher end joints that appeal to honkey.

    • #5
  6. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    So, Ricochet food lovers, what would be your suggestions for additions to the McDonald’s menu that you would actually eat? How about a sausage, pepper, and onion Philly-style hoagie? Help me rescue McDonald’s with a new menu!

    How about a hamburger that tastes better than warmed over cardboard.

    • #6
  7. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Palaeologus:

    Fred Cole:Sometimes I really wanna hug you, John.

    That’s lovely Fred, but you do realize that it’s about time for your water-boarding, right?

    I know.  I’m forced to separate the John Yoo that I want to hug from the John Yoo that I violently disagree with.

    • #7
  8. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    My advice to McDonald’s is the same kind of advice I gave Exxon-Mobil when I sold my shares.  BE YOURSELF.  Stop catering to the “healthy-food” activists, take the apples out of the Happy Meals, and devote yourself to making the best hamburgers in the world.  I like the idea of going back to roots, fresh potatoes for the fries, real ice cream shakes (Jack-in-the-Box does it), and good buns.  Emphasize the fresh ingredients, and provide them.   Emphasize the customer service, and hire kids who are “people” people.  Get rid of the “McCafe” stuff, too-not core competency, and who drinks coffee with a burger? Acknowledge that nobody eats at McDonald’s every day, so when they do, they want a good reason.

    • #8
  9. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @DanielWood

    They should do something about that weird tasting cheese. its just…odd. I’m fairly certain McDonald’s cheese never has even a passing acquaintance with an actual cow.
    Oh yes, there is also a problem with the “beef”: it doesn’t taste like meat that has been harvested from a cow. In fact, it doesn’t taste like anything at all, other than sodden grease. It’s just a spongy grey mass, put there to separate the two styrofoam buns.
    Basically, McDonald’s should incorporate cow derived products back into its menu.

    • #9
  10. Caroline Inactive
    Caroline
    @Caroline

    They should return to frying the fries in beef tallow instead of Frankenplantfats.

    • #10
  11. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    John Yoo: No more artisan grilled chicken sandwiches.

    Maybe. But not until I’ve used up my two coupons for free ones.

    • #11
  12. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    This is the greatest piece in the history of Ricochet.

    • #12
  13. user_1065645 Contributor
    user_1065645
    @DaveSussman

    All I need to know about McDonalds circa 2015 is my kids despise it.

    That pleases me greatly.

    • #13
  14. user_139157 Inactive
    user_139157
    @PaulJCroeber

    The menu is something of a mess.  Back in the day you had a favorite number meal and could recite it just as easily as your address.  On my last visit there were 14 numbered combos on the board!!

    The unit prices for sandwiches, drinks, fries, pies, are in a font so small this 40 year old needs reading glasses to a avoid accidentally purchasing a Filet O’ Fish.

    McDonald’s has no chance to carve out a place in the specialty burger niche a la Five Guys or Shake Shack and they shouldn’t.  Keep it simple, keep it fast, and remain unabashed about what you do.

    • #14
  15. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    Sneak over to KFC and learn how to make fresh coleslaw as a side instead of the limpy fries they sell without trans-fats. And the first scientist that learns how to make fast food tomatoes taste like tomatoes should be given generous stock options.

    • #15
  16. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    RushBabe49: Get rid of the “McCafe” stuff, too-not core competency, and who drinks coffee with a burger? .

    We’re in the age of Starbucks. Coffee is consumed all day long now. McCafe is one of the things they’ve done right lately. And they were always big on coffee, serving it longer throughout the day than other fast food joints. I agree that they shouldn’t jump on every fad that comes along, but the coffee culture isn’t a fad. It’s here to stay.

    • #16
  17. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Paul J. Croeber:

    McDonald’s has no chance to carve out a place in the specialty burger niche a la Five Guys or Shake Shack and they shouldn’t. Keep it simple, keep it fast, and remain unabashed about what you do.

    There’s also the strong possibility that fast food is more or less saturated, with no real room for truly massive growth. A place like Five Guys prospers by being “high end”, charging more, and thus carving out a profitable… but smaller… customer base.

    There are fast food chains on every major street, often crowding each other. My own modest, small suburb in the South has three McDonalds, two Hardees, two Wendy’s, a Steak n’ Shake (the flat out best deal in fast food, period), a Dairy Queen, and then all the assorted honkey joints… Five Guys, Moe’s, etc. Know who’s always busy, non-stop here? Taco Bell. There’s only one of them. And of course, there’s a “real” Mexican place on every two dirt roads here, and nearly as many Chinese buffets. It could be that McDonald’s profits are shrinking simply because, fast food-wise, we’re full. There’s no more room for growth.

    • #17
  18. user_75648 Thatcher
    user_75648
    @JohnHendrix

    RushBabe49: Get rid of the “McCafe” stuff, too-not core competency, and who drinks coffee with a burger? Acknowledge that nobody eats at McDonald’s every day, so when they do, they want a good reason.

    OBJECTION!  I like McDonald’s coffee!  McDonald’s has always had decent coffee; then they upped their game when Starbucks became a thing.

    • #18
  19. user_75648 Thatcher
    user_75648
    @JohnHendrix

    Caroline:They should return to frying the fries in beef tallow instead of Frankenplantfats.

    I was going to rant about returning to vulcanizing the fries in beef tallow, but Caroline beat me to it.

    • #19
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    John Hendrix:

    Caroline:They should return to frying the fries in beef tallow instead of Frankenplantfats.

    I was going to rant about returning to vulcanizing the fries in beef tallow, but Caroline beat me to it.

    picard

    Make it so.

    • #20
  21. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Bacon and ribs, even McRibs need to go. They are disrespectful to Muslims.

    • #21
  22. TKC1101 Inactive
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    Improve the meat, go back to original fries, improve the buns. Hire more inspectors for service audits on franchisees.

    I can get a better burger at any number of competitors.

    Expand breakfast to 2 pm

    • #22
  23. Darth Vader Jr Inactive
    Darth Vader Jr
    @NedWalton

    Sorry John, can’t/won’t help you here, even though the State of Washington has a large sawdust industry. Now I realize that you’re a young kid and have probably never experienced the really good drive-in food that I grew up with way back when. Mc D’s destroyed so much good food!

    • #23
  24. user_75648 Thatcher
    user_75648
    @JohnHendrix

    TKC1101:Improve the meat, go back to original fries, improve the buns. Hire more inspectors for service audits on franchisees.

    I can get a better burger at any number of competitors.

    Expand breakfast to 2 pm

    you had me at “breakfast”

    • #24
  25. user_75648 Thatcher
    user_75648
    @JohnHendrix

    John Yoo:How about a sausage, pepper, and onion Philly-style hoagie?

    I could go for that!  Provided, of course, that they designed a sandwich with suitable pizazz in the taste department.  Of course some red and green bell pepper would appealing BUT it would also need to have some chilies that would brings some heat to the party.  Say, jalapeno or Serrano

    • #25
  26. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @DadDog

    Truncate the menu to the basics, a la In-N-Out.

    • #26
  27. David Clayton Inactive
    David Clayton
    @DavidClayton

    OK, OK, guys. Fast food talk….Membership renewed.

    • #27
  28. user_199279 Coolidge
    user_199279
    @ChrisCampion

    Dad Dog:Truncate the menu to the basics, a la In-N-Out.

    Here’s what I suggest:

    If McDonald’s can’t figure out how to figure themselves out, the market will, and it is already, so I don’t need to do anything.

    If I actually wanted a Mickey D’s burger, I’d be buying one.  They don’t have one I want, so I don’t.

    • #28
  29. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Amuse-bouche?  Let them find their own fun.  And don’t mention the war!

    • #29
  30. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    John Hendrix:

    TKC1101:Improve the meat, go back to original fries, improve the buns. Hire more inspectors for service audits on franchisees.

    I can get a better burger at any number of competitors.

    Expand breakfast to 2 pm

    you had me at “breakfast”

    I was going to say breakfast all day.  Sometimes I  for a get a hankerin for an egg mcmuffin and an order of hash rounds for dinner.

    • #30

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