Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Monday, 24 March 2008

Is the average Joe going to be the death-knell of McDonalds?

Don’t be too sure…

I was greeted with this article this morning over my ordinary cup-a-joe.  It’s all about how McDonalds stock is being dumped by insiders because they are trying to sell better coffee and bill themselves more as a coffee shop where you can get even crappier food even cheaper.

A quote:

Consider demographics and brand personality. Starbucks is urban, born in Seattle, and populated by graduate students looking for single-origin coffees from Africa. McDonald’s is Mainstreet U.S.A., packed full of blue-collar men, moms and kids, and broke teens ordering off the dollar menu. If you can’t picture a truck driver from Wyoming ordering a double-pump vanilla non-fat latté, then McCafé is doomed -- especially with all the competition entering the field.

 

Obviously, this guy has never been to a Dunn Brother’s in Bemidji and seen a huge guy in Carharts get out of his rusted pick-up, walk back into the store with a stylish paper car cup, and declare that he ordered a skim-no-whip-caffe-caramel-macchiatto, and this one clearly had whip on it.

My neighbor, the professional carpenter and general contractor extraordinaire has a Caribou coffee addiction that rivals his ability to calculate slope, area and volume in his head simultaneously.

I was disabused of this silly notion that the average guy was not into caffeinated novelty drinks when I was in a hotel lobby in Bemidji listening to a trio of hocky dads from the Iron Range discuss the relative virtues of Starbucks, Dunn Bros, and Caribou.

If McDonalds is in trouble, it’s not because the average Joe cannot appreciate the subtle finery of specialty coffee.  

No, I could see an assertion of cultural tone-deafness if they, for instance, insisted on putting little pastel umbrellas in said confections.  There IS some silliness that the Average American Male simply will not put up with.  But adding sugar, cream, and flavored corn syrup to something containing the highest level of caffeine possible simply doesn’t fall into that catagory.

Monday, 24 March 2008 05:40:03 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [4] |  | #
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 18:41:03 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
"they are trying to sell better coffee and bill themselves more as a coffee shop where you can get even crappier food even cheaper."

Sounds to me like a can't miss strategy.

They just built a new one across from my daughter's gymnastics program. She begged and begged to go there. Well when we got into the playroom I was pleasantly surprised to find a touch screen video game machine with over 20 pretty neat games. I was hooked. Now I beg to go there. Gosh, I need to get a life. HA!
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 19:05:58 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
TT,

Exactly. McDonalds is trying to re-invent themselves. About frickin' time. I don't think our family has stepped into a McDonalds in ten years. If I'm going to eat food that is going to kill me, them I at least want it to taste good. Cheap or not.

I mean, they could improve the food quite a lot and STILL have it be cheaper than the monster muffins that you practically have to take out a second mortgage for in Starbucks or wherever.

That's just why I don't get why the news media seems to think it's a done-deal for failure, or why they seem to think it will fail because the public isn't responding to the improved coffee.

And once again, it's the fault of those unsophisticated poor worker-types.
Teresa
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 20:20:58 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
" it’s not because the average Joe cannot appreciate the subtle finery of specialty coffee."

Absolutely! The average Joe wants more than... average Joe? (Sorry, I couldn't resist. Still can't muster up the dignity to delete it.)

Poor students like good coffee. I've heard that McDonald's has good iced coffee and have been meaning to grab some when I next take a warm-weather road trip. Perhaps they started off with their iced coffee, found out that it did well, and are expanding.

Starbuck's is really, really expensive. It's fine to spend $4 on a cup of coffee if you and your friends are going to chat in there for two hours, but it doesn't make sense to pay that much for drive-through coffee. As Starbucks goes to drive-through, should we be surprised that the original drive-through is going to fancy schmancy coffee?
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 21:55:50 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
theo,

Some people would say that you chucked your dignity when you came here and commented in the first place. :-)

Anyway, I'm still trying to figure out whatever possessed this person to write such a pointless and off-base article.

It makes me think of the '80s when the Japanese were kicking our butts at manufacturing, and the geniuses that came up with and implemented the idea of "planned obsolescence" also sold the public the idea that the problem was the American worker's lack of "pride" in his work.

Heh. Seems that pride can fix intentional design flaws...

...and somehow Joe six-pack's alleged inability to understand and adapt to "rebranding" is responsible for McDonald's projected failure.

sure...couldn't ever be the suits fault, could it?
Teresa
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