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The Plan to Save McDonald's

The legendary eatery is on the ropes but has plans for a comeback.

By HERZ onVocal BLYTHEPublished about a month ago 3 min read
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain)

McDonald’s is easily the most profitable and famous fast food chain in the history of planet earth (data shows Kentucky Fried Chicken in a comfortable second place, owing largely to its popularity in China). But according to leading financial experts, McDonald’s is also in big trouble.

Lower income customers are deserting McDonald’s in droves.

But McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski is on record saying not only that inflation has forced the iconic eatery to raise prices — but the demand for a higher minimum wage in key states like California (where fast food workers must be paid $20 per hour) has also driven up the cost of the franchise’s operation.

A recent study showed that McDonald’s menu prices have increased a staggering 100% over the last decade (which is actually three times higher than the U.S. rate of inflation).

The study showed that a Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal (costing $5.39 in 2014) now costs $11.99 on average nationwide. The iconic Big Mac served as a meal can cost up to $18 in many places.

McDonald’s representatives, however, have been actively pushing back on these numbers pointing out that their prices are set by individual franchises and that prices vary by restaurant and location.

Many customers think that’s a cop-out.

The fallout has become so dramatic in 2024 that McDonald’s Execs are now coming up with a plan to ‘save McDonald’s’ — introducing a new $5 meal. But whether they can do that or not depends on majority agreement from their various franchises nationwide.

And what exactly is their newly proposed $5 meal going to entail?

Though requesting that his name be kept secret, a McDonald’s executive announced that the new $5 meal will include either a McChicken or a McDouble or 4 chicken nuggets with a side of fries and a drink.

Franchises have already voted to reject the plan once. But McDonald’s reps are confident that, after several insider Zoom call meetings, the new plan to save McDonald’s will roll out slowly and go into effect nationwide by the end of Summer 2024.

Less talked about is the fact that many long time McDonald’s customers think the company has a much bigger problem than just prices. Several people I spoke with above age of 35 feel that the quality and taste of the food is just not up to snuff.

“There was a time when McDonald’s fries were King” says Ladd Owens of Palm Desert, California. Owens, another faithful customer elaborated: “Their fillet of fish; Big Mac; even their tiny cheeseburgers in the yellow wrapping… all of it was so delicious. Reliably delicious! It was the ultimate American comfort food. But now — something is different. It just doesn’t taste as warming and comforting as it used to. McDonald’s food hasn’t tasted good in like twenty years!”

Owens also complained that greedy executives are hiking prices because they now have to actually pay their work force a decent wage. He elaborated, “In the old days… it was teens and college kids who worked at fast food joints. They didn’t expect to make a living — they just wanted slightly better than they got for being a paper boy. Nobody saw being a fry cook as a real career. It worked for teens and it worked for the busy customers on the go.”

“But nowadays teens have a lot more financial responsibility and older people are out of jobs, the economy is bad, all types of people are competing for those jobs… and nobody really cares about the customers. Especially the greedy executives. They just expect us to line up in our cars and pay whatever it takes to keep those Executive pockets fat. But there is a real problem in everyday American life. We just don’t have the disposable income that we used to take for granted. People literally can’t afford to eat at McDonald’s — and when they do — the food is not satisfying,” Owens concluded.

Whether McDonald’s plans to reinvigorate interest in the long-running fast food franchise will succeed is unclear. But what’s apparent is that their future may depend on it.

Will the new $5 meal be a success? Are you interested in trying it out? And what else do you think about McDonald’s and their crisis? Please let me know in the comments.

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NOTE: This article was originally published on my Medium page.

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About the Creator

HERZ onVocal BLYTHE

This is Blythe. I write Current Event stories on Vocal that mirror my HERZ magaZine account on Medium. Thanks for visiting my page.

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    HERZ onVocal BLYTHEWritten by HERZ onVocal BLYTHE

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