An open letter to McDonald’s
I just saw a McDonald’s commercial, in which you show Quarter Pounder with cheese, wrapped with your whole “loving it” campaign. Then I thought about all those reports how your earnings are down 20% in recent time. Forgetting for a moment how the stock price is up about 50% in the past 5 years, let me give you my explanation for your one-fifth decline in business.
Everyone knows your commercials are a lie.
Your new marketing plan is intended to lure back the people who have abandoned the brand – people just like me. Your commercial shows a beautiful sandwich being assembled with tasty-looking ingredients. McDonald’s has also been struggling to “enhance” its menu with healthier foods, but the attrition is not slowing. Why?
Allow me to explain.
In the real world, your food looks nothing like it does in commercials. It’s smashed, smushed, smaller, rushed and definitely not as tasty-looking, or as tasty as I had hoped it would be.
I’ve got guilt issues here.
Your commercial is all warm and fuzzy. Yay! No guilt! But I don’t feel it because I want a cheeseburger, and cheeseburgers aren’t a healthy choice, so I feel guilty. And if I’m going to eat one, it’s had better be a damn good cheeseburger, made with real food. I’m not going to go eat bread that doesn’t mold, meat that doesn’t rot, with a side of fries that come from potatoes that will never sprout, and an HFCS-laden beverage that will do more to hurt my insides than just about anything else the FDA claims humans can be fed. Then there are the sub-par wages and working conditions for your employees. I’m just not lovin’ it.
If you want to know how a burger should taste, go have a Five Guys.
Yes, I said that. And if you sold burgers that taste like that, and doubled-down with organic meat and bread and toppings, and fries made from organic potatoes… I’d be in for a number-one-combo today.
You already know this is true, because you dumped your holdings in Chipotle when they refused to lower their food standards and combine their food sourcing and distribution with yours.
You’re just afraid of reinventing the wheel. I’m sure the brand purists don’t want you to change. Well, newsflash: the crap you serve today is not what you served 50 years ago. I’ll concede that this is largely due to the commercialization of the food production industry. But you’ve just made it worse by cheapening your product so you could maximize shelf-life and profit.
And don’t tell me I could get a salad wrap instead. I’m not interested in eating your salad that never turns brown, topped with dressing that will put more calories and fat in me than a Big Mac. It’s not about avoiding the unhealthy foods. It’s about you serving chemicals – poisons – in your food. The pink slime opened my eyes; and although you claim to not use that stuff anymore, I know your food is still devoid of anything nutritional. The slick food quality section of your web site, to me, looks like a heavily researched and produced spin, intended to reverse the perception of your food being sub-par. But I don’t buy it.
There’s a difference between a cheeseburger and fries being high in fat and sodium (which isn’t really good for you) versus eating amonium-hydroxide, sodium propionate, and other crap you infuse into your foods, which is really bad for you. Yes, yes, I know, the FDA says it’s safe. Well I disagree. And you’re down 20%. Do the math.
And while people have explained that chemicals aren’t why your foods don’t spoil, you know McDonald’s tastes differently in other countries. Your food tastes better, in my opinion, in Canada and Mexico and all over Europe, where they don’t allow you to feed the consumer the chemicals and nonsense that the (arguably useless) FDA allows here in the States.
The problem is not what you serve, is what’s in what you serve. Change that, and I’ll come back (every now and then).
Hey, that’s better than never!