Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Help Wanted at McDonald's (II)

Okay - it must be a regional thing.

We just posted on the huge "Help Wanted" sign in the New Hartford, NY (store #825) McDonald's yesterday. And today we encountered the same type of sign in the Utica, NY Mohawk Street store (store #5340).

We'll repeat ourselves and encourage the management to hire great people. Remember, the customers are counting on you.

The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: The McChronicles.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Sign of the Times: Help Wanted at McDonald's

In what has been semi-seriously referred to as "the world's largest 'HELP WANTED' sign", the Sangertown Square Mall (New Hartford, NY) restaurant (store #6079) is clearly seeking some new employees.

Based on this report The McChronicles jumped into action and paid the store a visit. Our food was great, and the service, though slowed a bit by the Presidents' Day no-school crowd, was fine. And, sure enough, we witnessed "the sign".

This store experiences widely-varying demand and usually handles it quite well. This reflects positively upon the store's team of managers. They seem to be great.

We sincerely hope that, though possibly desperate, these great managers only hire truly well-qualified crew. The front line and grill people ARE a huge part of our McDonald's experience.

The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: The McChronicles.

Deconstructing McRib -- the story, the photographs...

The good people over at FastFoodFacts weblog have done the fast-food world a great service recently. They deconstructed the McDonald's McRib sandwich.

For those McChronicles fans who are also McRib lovers, this is "must see" blogging. We do feel compelled to warn you, though, that this is some pretty rough stuff. After all, it takes a set of pretty strong eyes to stare down a McRib that has been stripped of its dignity (and condiments) and bared for what it is. And, due to the fact that this controversial sandwich is now discontinued, true McRib fans may see this site as little more than a tease. Still others wonder why McDonald's would go through all the trouble of building a website for a discontinued product. The people at FastFoodFacts address all these details, and more.

For complete coverage, including a slew of revealing images, cross-sections, a complete description of the McRib, McRib trivia, McRib nutritional info, and a comments section, visit the
FastFoodFacts website's McRib special section.

The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
FastFoodFacts.info website.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

McDonald's Sasquatch Ad

OK - first there was the BK fiberglass-faced King ads (freaky, scary, frightening, all come to mind).

Then, McDonald's unleashed their equally peculiar "Hamster Ad" (see previous post on that) during the 2006 Super Bowl.

Now we've got the "Sasquatch Ad" (Bigfoot, Yetti, whatever). We just spied it while watching the Olympic Women's downhill events.

Both the Hamster Ad and the Sasquatch Ad follow the same format: a Ronald McDonald statue sits in repose (like the stoic King, ho hum) grinning mindlessly while the other character does their own unique thing.

Are these ads supposed to make us aspire to "join" the team? Are we expected to identify with these situations? Or are they supposed to be edgy and cool? Whatever they are supposed to be, we think they are a tremendous waste of money.

Too bad McDonald's didn't "Reebok" Burger King during the Super Bowl. And too bad McDonald's isn't featuring some cool, heart-warming stories about their Olympic Champion Crew at these games. Now those would have been cool ads.

The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Images: McDonald's TV ad screen grabs.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

McDonald's Nutritional Information on Label

McDonald's Bob Langert, the man behind the company's "Corporate Responsibility Blog", just announced an interesting new initiative.

According to Bob's post:
"We are rolling out an iconic way of putting nutritional information on our packaging. Check out the graphic here, which shows the five key elements that will help customers more easily understand their choices at McDonald's."

The McChronicles really likes this effort. We know that there are tables in the restaurants, and online, regarding nutritional info. But we think that having the data in our hands while we are eating allows us to peruse the data (without fetching the table) and consider it while we are eating. It won't change our existing purchase, but it will guide our future actions.

This is a great step towards helping consumers make informed choices.

According to McDonald's website,
"McDonald's launched the official global rollout of nutrition information on our food product packaging in Torino, Italy, the 2006 Olympic Winter Games host city. Our two official Olympic venue restaurants and 24 other restaurants in the Torino area are the first McDonald's restaurants to have the updated packaging for customers. By the end of 2006, we plan to have the packaging in more than 20,000 of our restaurants worldwide. "
Look for this in a store near you soon. If you want to let Bob know your opinion of this effort, go here.

McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: McDonald's Corporate Responsibility Blog.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew Blog

McDonald's recently unveiled their Olympic Champion Crew Blog.

According to their inaugural posting:
"For the first time ever, McDonald's is offering an inside look at the Olympic
Champion Crew program by bringing you a series of blogs written by the crew members and managers present at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. You will have the opportunity to read blogs from McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew members from all around the world, each with a unique story and perspective, through which they will tell you about their experiences in Torino, Italy."

What a great scrapbook of comments, observations, and experiences from McDonald's elite Olympic Champion Crew.

The site's security is expectedly tight (who wants crackpots contributing weird stuff, or spam?) and comments don't seem enabled for each posting. Still, this particular blog seems to be working.

We will enjoy checking it our periodically to see what the crew has to say.

The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: Screen grab from McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew Blog.
Topic: Submitted by Jan-Willem (thanks friend!)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

McDonald's Corporate Responsibility Blog

The McChronicles has posted about the new McDonald's Corporate Responsibility Blog and commented to it a couple of times.

We are really positive about the effort because: 1) we believe in McDonald's and 2) so the author, Bob Langert, doesn't get discouraged.

Once the mainstream blogosphere latches on we fear they will flame him for everything from trash to nutrition to the rainforest to animal rights to "Americanization" to ... you name it. He knows it. Quoting from one of his recent posts, "McDonald's is in the middle of many issues that people care about. They are complex. They deserve a lot of space and discussion." For sure! When the s*%! hits the fan he will probably want to quit (who wouldn't?!?!?). It's going to get ugly before it gets better. We think Bob will hang in there.

He reviews every comment before he puts it up (one of ours is in the incubator now). We guess that is the hand of his legal department at work. This makes the experience slow, cumbersome, and unbloglike. He'll really get it for that.

Bob needs a little confidence, a little rope from his legal guys, and some starch let out of his shirt (loosen up, Bob). We think he'll accomplish all three - but he'll still get kicked silly by haters.

It's nice to see Shel Israel coaching Bob (and to see Bob appreciatively taking the support).

Wish him well.

The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: Screen grab from McDonald's blog.

SMS Report From Dissatisfied McChronicles Field Reporter

"Beep-Beep-Beep!". Field reports fly in from around the world here at The McChronicles. This SMS had an ugly tone.

We will quote directly from the report so the true feelings can come through:

"Waiting time was 20 seconds without anyone in line in front of us. Order taker didn't know about the meal we ordered. Had to seek assistance from a colleague. Didn't know how to remove receipt from the machine. Delivered food "to go" when we asked to eat in. Fries were cold. No paper towels in the rest room."

The McChronicles believes that any one of these minor nuisances is usually overlooked. It's when they begin adding up that customers start to take notice. It's sort of like we give the crew just one strike. In this case, the overall experience was quite poor.

Attention McDonald's crews! During our brief transaction/experience with you, please remember that we're typically in a good mood and ready to overlook a little trouble. But when it begins to accumulate, it ruins our McDonald's experience.

And this isn't just about the crew at the counter. We are touched directly by the maintenance staff, the trainers, the cooks, the managers, the owner/operator, etc. Every one of you is there for a specific customer-related reason. You all touch us in some way. Thanks for typically making it a great experience. And please be vigilant about all these details. It really matters to us.

The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.

Image: The McChronicles.

New Hartford McDonald's: Impressive Drive-Thru Service

A McChronicles field reporter has reported some consistently tremendous service at the New Hartford, NY McDonald's drive-thru.

The quote we grabbed is: "They must have put some really good people at the drive-thru recently because the feeling I get there has been great for several weeks."

Its no secret that customers like their fast food served competently, with a smile. This store gets it. Great job New Hartford.

The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: File photo from The McChronicles.