Read the business section of the newspaper or even watch the national news and you are bound to hear about the tailspin that McDonalds is on. The giant restaurant corporation has suffered slumping quarterly earnings for quite some time now. The past couple weeks it has seemed like the panic button has been activated as there are some real issues for Micky D’s.
I am not a McDonalds fan. I have ate there twice in the past two years. However, there was a time when I ate at the “Golden Arches” more often. Heck, my sister used to work there. So given my past with McDonalds and my so-so marketing IQ, I want to quickly offer my five best suggestions for reversing the declining sales of the world’s most popular restaurant chain.
Eliminate Terrible Car Smell: One of the worst smells in the world is when you enter a vehicle that had McDonalds food in it within the past 48 hours. The number one reason why I don’t eat at McDonalds is because I don’t care for the food but my number two reason is because I would never subject my car to the “after stench” of having the greasy grub riding shotgun with me. Do you think someone with a new car will go through the McDonalds drive-thru? Heck no! McDonalds could moderately increase business by finding some way to not make the food stink as bad. Alternatively, they could also introduce an air freshener that is given to you at the drive-thru window that would naturally eliminate the smell. Call it the McFresher.
Improve Chicken Nuggets: The rare times that I do go to McDonalds I order chicken nuggets. However, I think they suck. McDonalds needs to do something to make them better. I offer this suggestion: Make them bigger AND stuff them with something! How cool would it be if when you bit into a nugget cheese or BBQ sauce would come out? Or how about go completely crazy and have either honey or frosting in the middle? (yes, I just suggested putting frosting in chicken nuggets). I think a campaign that totally remakes one of McDonalds’ signature menu items would cause an exciting and profitable stir.
Social Media Deal EVERY DAY: McDonalds is starting to up its game on social media. Each day it seems like a sponsored McDonalds Instagram image comes up in my feed. This is a great first step but I want more than a stock image. I want a deal! Each day on the social media outlets of McDonalds they should offer a free small side of fries, a worthwhile BOGO deal, or the option to supersize your meal (if they even do that anymore) at no charge. McDonalds could seriously measure their social media reach while at the same time laying claim to the distinction of being the first fast food chain to offer a social media deal every single day. We all know these offers won’t break the bank, in fact they work well to increase the bottom line.
New Menu Item Each Month: Taco Bell does this so incredibly well. You turn on the TV and you are bound to see some creative and tasty looking new menu item that the chain is offering for a limited time. Dorito hard shells, quesadilla wrapped burritos, waffle tacos, etc. McDonalds no longer keeps up in this department. If they do offer something new it is boring, dry, and expensive (think salads or a fruit cup)! Taco Bell introduces items that look so good you want to tweet about it. As I mentioned above, chicken nuggets would be a good start but then McDonalds must follow by continually introducing new, creative items.
New Spokesperson: McDonalds has done away with Ronald McDonald. With so many companies successfully integrating individuals to serve as the face for their company, maybe McDonalds should follow suit. The new Wendys girl, Flo from Progressive (who I hate with a passion), and that equally annoying girl from AT&T have all provided their respective companies with an identity. I say McDonalds should invest in a female spokesperson as well…one who is attractive and who doesn’t make me want to rip my ears off. I think such a hire would give McDonalds a fresh new identity and light a spark.
It is time for McDonalds to turn this ship around. My ideas differed from the typical “healthier choices” and “more sophisticated ordering options” that all the experts talk about. I like to think outside of the Happy Meal box and offer some unique solutions. Best of luck McDonalds, time to sink or swim. Please don’t be offended though when I say I couldn’t care less if you filed for bankruptcy tomorrow. Don’t Blink.