Sunday, April 30, 2006

I'm Wearin' It (not)

As usual, our good friends at Fastfoodweblog have tipped us off to something exciting. Seems McDonald's nostalgia has become one of this Spring's fashion "must haves".

According to an article in Pittsburgh's, "One of the hippest designs showing up on must-have fashion lists for spring doesn't come from Prada or Marc Jacobs. Instead, it is a line of vintage T-shirts emblazoned with a McDonald's logo."

Well, The McChronicles was down with that until we read a bit further and learned that we'd all have to cough up US$55 per shirt. No way!

Of course, we learned that the target audience is high-income, fashion-conscious hipsters (not our crowd). The article quoted Mary Dillon, McDonald's global chief marketing officer, as saying, "It's just trying to find more-authentic ways to connect with this crowd".

A similar article appeared in the Wall Street Journal online. We grabbed this image from their site.

The McChronicles would love to see some retro McDonald's shirts available to the company's core market - people who spend significantly less than $55 on a t-shirt. We'd love that.

UPDATE: After a little online research, The McChronicles uncovered these online options for scoring a McDonald's t-shirt on the cheap:

The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: The Wall Street Journal online website.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The McDonald's You Don't Know

Squidoo is a website that allows people to make "their own "lenses" on their favorite stuff and ideas". One of the coolest "lenses" is about, you guessed it, McDonald's!

This lens, called The McDonald's You Don't Know, is written by Steve Wilson, McDonald's Senior Director of Web Communications. He introduces the site as follows:

"The golden arches are a global icon and a familiar part of many local landscapes. Most of us have frequented more than a few of the restaurants during our lifetime and with 1.5 million working for brand McDonald's, many of us have worked there too. So it easy to believe that we know all there is to know about McDonald's but that would be just scratching the surface. This lens is dedicated to presenting a comprehensive, positive perspective. It is a work in progress..."

The McChronicles has communicated with Steve (briefly) and he seems like a very good guy. His lens on McDonald's minutia is very interesting in and of itself. We spent quite a while poking around, exploring the many links, and learning some cool stuff. One interesting tidbit: "Astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, and many other well-known leaders started working in McDonald's restaurants. "
We were flattered to find a link to The McChronicles. Thank you for that, Steve.

This site is worth a look. Have fun.

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


Flickr is a great photo sharing tool. People use it for many purposes. One cool way that The McChronicles has seen it used is to share and enjoy images of various McDonald's restaurant designs.

The person behind this is named mckroes, and we suggest you check out their interesting collection of McDonald's store images. Most images are of stores in Europe, particularly The Netherlands (a truly beautiful country and people).

mckroes says, "McDonald's isn't all the same. Every McDonald's is unique in it's own way." The McChronicles shares this level of appreciation. Thanks mckroes!

A smaller but more international collection of McDonald's photos appears in francoishavard35's Flickr account. The McChronicles enjoys the comments on this site (not to mention the exotic locations, like Marrakesh and Paris) .

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

Thursday, April 13, 2006

McDonald's Global Casting Call

McDonald's Senior Director of Web Communications, Mr. Steve Wilson, reminds The McChronicles readers to check out the McDonald's Global Casting Call site. It is an opportunity for you to get your picture on McDonald's bags and cups next year.

Just direct your browser to and let the creative juices flow.

The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: McDonald's Global Casting logo, from the McDonald's website.

The "Big Mac Index"

Did you know that economists use the local value of a McDonald's Big Mac as a guide for evaluating currency?

The Economist magazine's website reveals the details behind this intriguing fact. The Big Mac Index (a part of "Burgernomics") is explained on the site as follows:

"Burgernomics is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity, the notion that a dollar should buy the same amount in all countries. Thus in the long run, the exchange rate between two countries should move towards the rate that equalises the prices of an identical basket of goods and services in each country. Our "basket" is a McDonald's Big Mac, which is produced in about 120 countries. The Big Mac PPP is the exchange rate that would mean hamburgers cost the same in America as abroad. Comparing actual exchange rates with PPPs indicates whether a currency is under- or overvalued. "

The McChronicles particularly enjoyed the video clip on the topic.

As this table indicates, you can buy a Big Mac in China for only US$1.30 but will have to pay nearly US$5.00 for it in Sweden. These values change daily as currency values fluctuate.

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

McDonald's Videos

Check out the McDonald's clips on Google Video. 118 at this posting.

This feature will likely explode as video on line burgeons.

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

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Fighting Through The Clutter

There is a ton of competition for a person's attention on the streets of China. The McChronicles grabbed this image while walking the streets of Shenzhen in southern China.

In this case, customers are guided as to where and how to cross the extremely busy street so they can get to the store.

The classic McDonald's red and yellow logo colors are extremely similar to the traditional Chinese red and yellow which are used in great abundance throughout the country. This really teases The McChronicles' subconscious as it seems like there might be a McDonald's at every turn. In this case, we were not disappointed.

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

The McChronicles Meets Its Waterloo

The Waterloo, NY McDonald's (store #3481) offers up a convenient, clean, and festive environment in which to eat. Additionally, it features a huge, outdoor Play Place. Parents and kids will really dig that.

Unfortunately, The McChronicles recent visit to this store didn't go too well. Here's why:
  • Issue #1: We enquired as to the differences between the three salads. The crew person didn't know or couldn't articulate them. The manager, when asked to join in, did a great job of describing the differences.
  • Issue #2: The salad and a Big Mac took several minutes to be delivered. We didn't time this experience (and we know that it always seems longer than the actual time turns out to be), but it seemed to take about 5 minutes. The crew was even complaining to the grill people about it.

When it all arrived the food tasted great, and was prepared perfectly.

This store features the previously-mentioned outdoor Play Place (a curious choice for the climatically-challenged Upstate New York region) and a few large, cheerful, McDonald's-themed murals on the walls. It was fairly clean, bright, and cheerful. The large flat-panel TVs are a nice touch.

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

Images: The McChronicles.

Singapore's Jurong Super Bowl McDonald's: Nice

When a person is out in the industrial west side of Singapore and hankerin' for a McDonald's meal, the Jurong Super Bowl McDonald's is the perfect spot to pick.

The McChronicles likes this store for its convenient location, the polite and capable crew, and for the clean dining room.

At first glance, there doesn't seem to be anything special about this store, but the details begin to grow on you after a while. Speedy, clean, friendly, bright ... just what we all expect and hope for. Not what we always get at McDonald's.

Count on the Jurong Super Bowl store to meet your expectations for a great spot to eat.

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

Chicago's O'Hare Airport International Arrivals McDonald's

The McChronicles remains puzzled as to why McDonald's doesn't spruce up their store that is situated on the traveler's right as they emerge from customs at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

This store ( not a restaurant - a walk-up only) always seems to look like it isn't quite done with construction. Maybe it's the color scheme, or maybe it is due to the airport property that is adjacent to the store front. Whatever it is, The McChronicles feels that this facility reflects poorly on the company's image.

That said, it is AWESOME to know that the minute you emerge from customs after a long flight, you can immediately grab a McDonald's meal. The location is completely awesome. Thanks for that!

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

Singapore's Tanglin Mall: Still Kind of Poor

Singapore's Tanglin Mall McDonald's is a very convenient store - and it exists in a fairly high-scale area. So why does it consistently disappoint?

As The McChronicles has noted in the past, the decor is uninspired, and the interior is very noisy (due to hard walls and glass). Additionally, the crew does little to keep the place sparkling clean. The service seems below average, too.

It wouldn't be too hard to benchmark some of the local stores that do it right. We wonder why they don't.

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