Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Note to McDonald's: Fast Food should be Cheap. It isn't anymore.

Cheap fast food drive-thru restaurants lost one of their selling points, they’re no longer cheap. “Fast food” should not be expensive. Getting a meal in 60 seconds isn’t a new concept or a selling point anymore. The popularity of the dollar menu should be telling McDonald’s, Burger King, Hardee’s and Wendy’s something they just won’t accept, fast food should be cheap.

I was 10 when McDonald’s entered the Milwaukee marketplace about a mile from my home. The big thing back then was McDonald’s promise of giving you change back from…a dollar. It's true, a new generation doesn't come with that baggage, but instinct tells them, something is wrong.

Look at the chain’s prices now. If I wanted a $4 or $5 burger, I’ll go to a nearby pub or restaurant. I could probably get a burger and fries for a lot less than buying a puny $2 bag of fries with a McDonald’s burger.

The Wall Street Journal is now backing my hypothesis:
In a consumer survey of 23 fast-food chains conducted by Goldman Sachs, McDonald’s finished 23rd. Franchise owners complain that a crowded menu leads to slow service, and charging a buck for a single Mighty Wing is totally insane. Said one owner: “I think McDonald’s has reached its apex.”

Many of the franchisees remarked that the chain’s new Mighty Wings promotion is costly and at approximately $1 per wing, priced too high for many consumers.

“Mighty Wings are proving once again that we can’t sell premium items in large numbers because we still have the Dollar Menu,” another franchisee said.

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