April 21, 2015 — Leave a comment

In my lifetime, McDonald’s has grown and prospered achieving the American dream of immense wealth. The first McDonald’s I every visited was located in West Lafayette, Indiana, in approximately 1960. Since then, they have popped up all around the world.

They employ great market research to identify where new stores should be built. I know of only one store that failed because the local market wouldn’t support it. It was on SR 135 just north of Perry Meridian Dr. It just never drew the crowd.

McDonald’s became popular because of advertising (Ronald McDonald and Happy meals), good food at a good price, clean facilities, and quick service. Some of their products were without a doubt the best of any that could be found; french fries, fountain cokes and coffee. These three products are what keeps me coming back.

Whenever you stopped at McDonald’s you knew what you wanted, the choices were few and youv were waited on by someone with a smiling face and your order completed while the change was counted out.

Everyone loved McDonald’s.

It was a treat and a good time to go visit Ronald McDonald. McDonald’s was the first and the best of the many “fast food” places to come. They all tried to copy but few if any succeeded. I think the one that came closest was Burger Chef and Jeff, they are long-gone-ate-up, if you will, by Hardies.

However, (notice all stories have a big however) McDonald’s has fallen on hard times.

Sales and profits are down and corporate management is being shaken up almost weekly. In my humble opinion, they have shot themselves in the foot simply because they have forgotten what brought them to the top!

First of all, today’s menu is overwhelming. Unless you visit every day it takes nearly 5 minutes to read the menu. I know the folks behind me are impatiently wondering, “what’s wrong with that old man? Why is he taking so long?”

Now the bigger challenge: ordering. If you’re lucky the young person understands English and speaks in a fashion you can understand.

Your name please so we can call you when your order is ready.
My order is ready? I have to wait at a “fast food” restaurant?

Once you pay and you’re handed a receipt with some money all while you hope it’s the proper amount. They only return what the computer tells them. You may be in trouble if your change ends in 68 cents. It seems to be very difficult to count out 2 quarters a dime a nickel and 3 pennies, but you always hope for the best and you count it yourself if you want while you wait for your order. Oh, now the challenge is to find a clean table. Have you ever watched them clean a table? Probably shouldn’t. Someone needs to give lessons.

I am now at the crux of the reason for this rant: the drive-thru. Maybe it’s just me, but I have always thought drive-thru was for fast service. NOT! If someone were to calculate how much gas is wasted waiting in line – not only at McDonald’s but all the other “fast food” places, banks and Walgreens – drive-thrus would be outlawed. Not only is the wait unbearable it causes my blood pressure to rise. The odds of getting what you ordered decrease in direct proportion to the time waited.

Last week my order was as simple as could be: small fries and a large coke. Everything was well and good until we arrived home and realized it was a cherry coke. A cherry coke that was promptly poured down the drain. More times than I care to recall, I’ve been 10-15 minutes down the road waiting for the coffee to cool (you can’t drink hot coffee out of a sippy cup) and discovered that I had cream and not sugar in my coffee. I cannot drink coffee with cream! Just can’t do it! The only time it was worse was late one night going to a dog show and when I thought the coffee should be cooled down enough to drink it was “stone cold.” I’ll let you imagine what that did to my blood pressure.

In closing, I hope McDonald’s gets their priorities straightened out and they return to their original business plan. Good food, fast food, good service, and served with a smile.

Good luck, McDonald’s, but I think you are running out of time.

Thanks for listening,
Richard Isley

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