Monday, December 31, 2007


Thanks to The Fast Food Maven for making The McChronicles aware of this interesting story.

According to a report from CBS News:

"A baby was born in a Washington state McDonald's restroom and the mother didn't know she was pregnant."

The story goes on to reveal that the mother :

"... was working the night shift and ... suddenly ran into the restroom feeling ill."


The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: screen grab from CBS news story.

Monday, December 03, 2007

McSkillet Burritos: evaluated

The McChronicles mused about the new McSkillet Burrito. Then, Michael Schroeder gave us the 411 on how good they are. Moved to action, The McChronicles travelled to Sarasota, Florida to sample this promising breakfast fare.

But first, the Sarasota McDonald's:

Store #: 5983
Address: 787 S. Washington Blvd, Sarasota, FL, 34239
Owner/Operator: Bob & Joan Davies
Store Manager: Heidi Martino
Time: 7:54AM

Pulling into the parking lot it was fun to see the store's windows being washed. The grounds were tidy and bright.

Walking in revealed a very typical, nothing special layout. The dining room has an old car theme, with a few basic pictures on the walls. Nothing special.

The Sandwich:
When asked about the popularity of the McSkillet Burrito, the counter person was unable or unwilling to converse in English. She turned the situation over to a manager. The manager confirmed that the breakfast sandwich is, indeed both very tasty and very popular.

The McChronicles ordered both an Egg McMuffin (control) and the McSkillet Burrito (experiment).

Bottom line, compared to the old standard (Egg McMuffin), the McSkillet Burrito is flavorful, exciting, tasty, moist, and very hearty.

A caloric or nutritional comparison was not made. Info anyone?

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Images: The McChronicles. Why not a picture of the McSkillet Burrito? The McChronicles ate it before the shot could be captured!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

McSkillet Burrito

The McChronicles was enjoying a "welcome home" lunch at McDonald's with a friend and noticed the ad (on the cup) for the new McSkillet Burrito.

We have not, yet, had the pleasure of trying this sandwich. Any opinions to share out there?

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Voice of McDonald's Competition

McDonald's is doing something kind of cool - and you can get involved.

Many countries/regions are now enjoying a TV show that pits wannabe pop stars against each other. Judges criticize, viewers vote - ahh, the drama! McDonald's has taken all that is good about this scenario and is staging a talent contest online. Introducing the Voice of McDonald's Global Singing Contest.

According to the website, the competition is for crew and managers from around the globe.

The McChronicles voted (actually "ranked") every one of the 35 contestants who are in the finals. They were down-selected from over 3,600 McDonald's crew and managers from 53 countries. Awesome!

According to a McDonald's press release:

The top ten after online voting will become global finalists and each will
win a trip with a guest to McDonald’s 2008 Worldwide Convention in Orlando, FL, April 14-17, to compete for top honors.

Cast your vote and have a say in the outcome by going to, checking out the videos, and listening to the talent.

The McChronicles certainly has a strong opinion on two fantastic talents. Want a clue? Match the images posted here with the videos online (or just read the names in the images).

Great fun! Very talented McDonald's people.

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with McDonald's.
Images: screen grabs from

Monday, November 26, 2007

A McDonald's Thanksgiving

Americans LOVE Thanksgiving. They bring the whole family together and gorge themselves on the traditional faire of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and more. At least most of them do.

Then there is the group that dine at McDonald's for Thanksgiving.

According to McDonald's -> Management Blog, a large group of people take their holiday meal at McDonald's. In their post, titled "Gobble, Gobble" they express their surprise with the amount of business they had last week - on Thanksgiving. Here are a couple of quotes:

It's incredibly surprising how busy McDonald's is on Thanksgiving. It surprised everyone, including the owner and the store manager, who cut hours down to literally nothing. Then, during breakfast from 8 all the way to 10:30 breakfast cut-off, when we were really busy, and short-staffed, it surprised our
customers, as well.

Lunch was like a normal mid-week lunch. This surprised me more than anything.
Breakfast I understand. You're cooking up a storm for dinner, who wants to cook
a breakfast too? But lunch? At 1:30 PM?

Let The McChronicles know - did you dine, have you ever dined, at McDonald's on Thanksgiving?

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: MasterPiecePumpkins website.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Europe's Most Visited and LARGEST McDonald's

According to this web page ( this McDonald's is Europe's largest and most visited McDonald's.

Located in Munich (Zentrum) this restaurant boasts 3 stories.

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: a friend of The McChronicles (thanks Anita!).

Germany's OLDEST McDonald's?

A friend of The McChronicles just visited Munich and files this report.

I believe this is Germany's oldest McDonald's. It is located on
Tegernseerland Str., Munich. I used to hang out here, smoke cigarettes, and drink Loewenbraeu bier inside. Pretty cool place.

Does anyone know if this really IS Germany's oldest McDonald's?

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: a friend of The McChronicles (thanks Alen).

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Vegas, baby!

The glitz, the glamor, the disappointment.

The McChronicles was walking the Las Vegas strip last week - taking in all the opulence. Suddenly, amongst the Ferrari dealership, the waterfalls, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Eiffel Tower was this scuzzy little strip mall. And, shoehorned between FATBURGER and a tour agency, was a McDonald's.

The McChronicles has long expressed its supreme satisfaction with "theme McDonald's" - stores that adopt a local (or other) design theme. They evoke a oneness with their locale and gain energy from the synergy. When visiting a location with a strong theme (like San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury) or ... say ... Las Vegas, we HOPE for a McDonald's with a really cool local theme. Alas, it was not to be.

This McDonald's looked so generic that, upon walking in, the disappointment caused a loss of appetite. Later that afternoon, upon finding a second McDonald's on the Las Vegas strip, The McChronicles couldn't muster the enthusiasm to even check it out.

A little creative energy would have been greatly appreciated.

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

World's 2nd-Busiest McDonald's

Khamzat Khasbulatov's Pushkin Square, Moscow, McDonald's (the 2nd-busiest in the world) seats about 900 people at one time, and he still can't handle the crowds!

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, "On average, each (Russian) location serves about 850,000 diners annually -- more than twice the store traffic in McDonald's other markets."

Mr. Khasbulatov jokingly complains about having too many customers. He qualifies that by saying, "When I said I have too many customers, it's a nice problem to have. I would love to continue to have this problem."

Check out the Wall Street Journal video on this intriguing situation.

From the customer point of view, this must be a problem. The article goes on to state:

As for the persistent crowds, many customers remain indifferent. "Our country's a country of lines," says Andrey Shatskiy, a 40-year-old soap-opera cinematographer, while eating lunch at the Pushkin Square restaurant. "We all got used to it."
Walt Riker, McDonald's Vice President, Corporate Media Relations shared these photos of a trip he made to Moscow this past summer - depicting the throngs of customers crowding a different McDonald's. Thanks, Walt!

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Images: Walt Riker, McDonald's.

Specialty Coffee & Premium Beverages at McDonald's

Earlier this month McDonald's announced that they will add specialty coffee and other premium beverages to the menus at its more than 14,000 U.S. locations in 2008.

Has anyone seen this start happening yet?

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: Four Sizes of Coffee in Moscow McDonald's: Walt Riker, McDonald's Vice President, Corporate Media Relations

Sunday, September 02, 2007

FREE is Good

This arrived in today's newspaper. Can't wait!

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

McDonald's STAR Manager Interview

The McChronicles was fortunate to stumble upon a real STAR recently. We briefly enjoyed the company of Yanna Deng, McDonald's Changan Branch STAR.

We don't know what "STAR" actually stands for, but it HAS to be good. Why? Because Yanna is. The Changan McDonald's (in Shenzhen, China's Futian district) is a true "neighborhood" restaurant. Nestled amongst small shops, and at the foot of housing blocks, the store serves students, families, and the neighborhood locals.

We managed to slow Yanna down for a few seconds to ask her about her job, and her role in this store. Here is what she had to say (the interview was translated between English and Mandarin. Any translational errors are purely the fault of The McChronicles):

The McChronicles: What is the role of a McDonald's STAR?
Ms. Deng: We organize social activities, events held at our restaurants. We especially focus on childrens activities.

The McChronicles: How long have you been here?
Ms. Deng: I have worked at this store for 2 years and have been with McDonald's for over 7 years. Many employees at this store have been with the company for a long time.

The McChronicles: Describe McDonald's MOM'S PROGRAM.
Ms. Deng: We have special "Happy Family Ambassadors" who emphasize a good experience for families while in our restaurant. The specially-selected employees must truly enjoy children and have a great sense of customer service.

The McChronicles: How is McDonald's keeping abreast of the huge changes occurring in China?
Ms. Deng: One big effort, and success, is keeping up with inflation. Even with this pressure, we have managed to
keep our prices steady.

The McChronicles: What is exciting at this store?
Ms. Deng: Our new manager really emphasizes QSC (quality, service, cleanliness). Their focus has really improved our store tremendously.

The McChronicles: What is your favorite part of working at McDonald's?
Ms. Deng: I enjoy the collegial atmosphere, the happy environment, and the great team with which I work.

The McChronicles notes that this store was very clean and efficient. It was a pleasure to eat at this McDonald's. Thank you Yanna, and your entire team.

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

Temporary McDonald's

The McChronicles has experienced this before. Still, we marvel at it, and want to report on it again.

What is it? It is a temporary, pop-up McDonald's. A small McDonald's is set up in a special tent, wherever needed.

In this case, the restaurant served thousands of conventioners in Shenzhen, China. When bringing people together from all parts of the world, it is important to satisfy everyone's basic human needs (enjoying a satisfying meal is one of them). This exhibition offered a pop-up Pizza Hut, a pop-up Chinese food choice, and a McDonald's. The McDonald's clearly had the longest lines of all the options.

The menu is very limited (chicken sandwich, sausage sandwich, Big Mac) with canned soda. When faced with the option of these limitations versus NO McDonald's, we'll gladly take this option.

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

McDonald's Pineapple Pie

A cautious McChronicles tentatively bit into the piping hot dessert for a first taste of McDonald's Pineapple Pie.

The verdict? Awesome! Very sweet and flavorful. An excellent comfort food.

This great treat was found in Shenzhen, China.

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: The McChronicles (pie is missing - we gobbled it up too soon).

What You See: What You Get

The McChronicles enjoyed the (much) larger than life glowing sidewalk billboard depicting the awesomeness of the McDonald's Big Mac while walking along a Shanghai street last week.

After being duly influenced by the huge advertisement we decided to drop into the closest McDonald's to see if the sandwich could live up to the hype. Depicted here is what we saw, and what we were served.

The sandwich was served up in sloppy fashion, with ingredients hanging out every which way. The pickle was barely along for the ride.

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

China Olympics Countdown in McDonald's

The McChronicles snapped this image a couple of days ago. It depicts a countdown (days to go) to the Summer Olympics in China.

The sign sits right at the entrance to a Shanghai McDonald's.

There is so much fervor building up in China for these games. The McChronicles wonders if the country will sustain the energy or if they will have an emotional melt down. We'll soon see.

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

Coca-Cola China Olympics Torch Promo: McDonald's Tray Liners

Olympics Fever is really heating up in China. The McChronicles wonders how the country will manage to keep a lid on the excitement for another year.

Coca-Cola is staging a very special event for the upcoming summer games. They are asking customers to vote for one of three favorite Chinese sports stars. The winner will carry the Olympic torch into the stadium and light the main torch.

The choices are:

You'll find this promotional piece on your tray should you dine at a Chinese McDonald's in the near future.

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

McDonald's Uniform: Pants

The McChronicles has noted that McDonald's workers seem to be required to wear corporate shirts and hats, along with some non-descript, non-corporate-issue pants.

The McChronicles has noted (reminded on a visit last week) that Chinese McDonald's staff wear corporate McDonald's pants.

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

Egg McMuffin: China Style

The McChronicles went on a breakfast jag last week and started consuming Egg McMuffins nearly every day.

The cool thing was that all the meals were consumed in China - Shanghai to be exact.

Disregarding the localized wrapping, the food looked and tasted exactly like that in any other McDonald's in which we've eaten.

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

McDonald's Angus Third Pounder

Well, the name certainly doesn't roll off the tongue, now does it? But the concept is intriguing. The McChronicles just read this on the QSR Magazine website:

"McDonald's customers have shown strong support for the new Angus Third Pounders that debuted in Southern California last March. Positive customer feedback has prompted McDonald's marketing co-ops in New York and Central Ohio to introduce the newest line of hamburgers to its customers. "

"Angus Third Pounders are made with 100-percent USDA-inspected Angus Beef, with red onions, sauteed mushrooms, iceberg lettuce and sliced red tomatoes, served on a bakery-style sesame seed roll. The hamburgers come in three varieties: Angus Deluxe, Angus Mushroom and Swiss, and Angus Bacon and Cheese, for a suggested retail price of $3.99 each."

If you have had any experience with this new product, comment and share your thoughts.

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

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

McDonald's Moon Man Rises (again)

McDonald's Moon Man spearheaded the company's "Mac Tonight" promtional campaign years ago in the USA when they were introducing the concept of late- and all-night McDonald's service.

Fast forward to today, and to China, where Moon Man has been called up for more duty.

There are ads on TV, on the video screens in-store, on the doors, and even on flyers. Here's one such flyer that depicts 30 of the many stores here in Shanhgai that offer 24-hour service. This makes tons of sense as this city seems to never sleep.

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

McDonald's Personalized Word of Mouth Project

According to information The McChronicles recently received from the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association:

McDonald's is currently working with Oddcast to create an avatar-based viral email campaign. At, users enter basic information about a friend or co-worker who they want to tell about the Chipotle BBQ snack wrap.

This generates an email, which leads recipients to a personalized,
snack-wrap-evangelizing avatar that knows just a little too much about them.
According to Oddcast, people who receive emails from friends are 60-65% more
likely to open them and are 30-35% more likely to pass the email along to yet
another person, making this effort one that is full of viral potential.Learn

Sounds like fun. The McChronicles just fired off a customized message to a buddy in Singapore. Can't wait for the reaction. We plan to try it out on a few other unsuspecting friends and see what happens. Let us know about your experience with this.

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: McDonald's Oddcast website.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

McDonald's: In-Store Hygiene

Here is an example of a long-outdated practice that is (sadly) still in effect today in some locations.

The McChronicles dropped into a McDonald's in Shanghai, China yesterday and saw something that it has reported on before. We remain dismayed to see unprotected (no paper wrapper) straws being dispensed from a box.

While waiting for our order, The McChronicles observed customers dispensing bare straws, getting too many, rolling them out onto the counter, putting some back, etc. We pity the next customer in line.

The McChronicles hopes that McDonald's can invest in hygiene and institute wrapped straws throughout China.

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

McDonald's: China Olympics

McDonald's is a proud partner of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. With a year to go until the big event, McDonald's (in China) is really promoting the event.

The McChronicles reports that the Suzhou, China McDonald's is curently sporting an abundance of Olympic rings throughout their restaurant. They're hanging from the ceiling everywhere.

This is in addition to the flat screen video ads of the Olympics that are playing in the store. Interestingly, the McDonald's Olympics ads often depict winter sports, like Ronald ski jumping, freestyle skiing, skating, etc.

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More On The Mega Mac

It's true, The McChronicles is a bit dazzled by the McDonald's Mega Mac. So here's a bit more:

  • I like this guy's style (succinct):

  • But this dude takes things too far (Go Matt!):

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

Mexican Commentary on US McDonald's

Typically it is The McChronicles visiting various locales, commenting on this and that, but today the tables were turned. The McChronicles hosted a lunch in Upstate New York with two visitors from Mexico.

As the food was enjoyed, and as we watched people coming and going, we had time for a quick interview. Interestingly, one visitor frequents McDonald's almost weekly (he has a young son) while the other visits about twice per year (shocking!).

  • store #996
  • North Utica, New York, USA
  • theme: '50s rock 'n roll
  • lunch
The McChronicles: Have you ever experienced a "theme" McDonald's before?
2/year: No. In Mexico they are all the same.

The McChronicles: Please explain why you visit McDonald's so infrequently.
2/year: I prefer a local fast food restaurant that specializes in chicken sandwiches.

The McChronicles: Do you know that McDonald's offers several chicken sandwiches?
2/year: I do, but the Mexican restaurant serves very fresh chicken. I also think that McDonald's doesn't offer enough (sandwich) choices.

The McChronicles: What is your opinion of this McDonald's experience?
2/year: This store is untidy and needs to be picked up. It is messy. As for the design, I like their use of colors, the decorations. the theme.
1/week: I'd like to see some Mexican McDonald's adopt local themes. Some good ideas would be the ocean, the forest, Mariachi,
ParĂ­cutin with sandwiches in molcajete packaging. Many people have children's parties in Mexico. These themes would help make the parties more special.

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

Double Filet-O-Fish: Just What Is Up???

As you know, The McChronicles first discovered the double filet-o-fish in Singapore. Then fell in love with it back home. Since then we've been ordering it with abandon.

As reported, the first time we ordered it, the front line person was confused. The manager stepped in, made it look simple, and all was well. After several visits to the same McDonald's, things were going quite smoothly. Until today.

Today The McChronicles ventured crosstown, to store #996 in North Utica New York. This store, as previously reported, is a rockin' old school design. Anyway, the order was placed, the front line person locked up, and a confusing consultation occurred. Ultimately, the word was given to charge for a regular FOF, and add in something else. After the dust settled, The McChronicles was charged for a regular FOF ($2.59) plus a crispy chicken patty ($1.50) for a total of $4.09. This contrasts with the $3.59 we are charged in New Hartford, NY (where they have a cash register button for the sandwich).

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Chinese Toy Recall

One big global story is the massive recall of lead paint-tainted toys from China. According to Ian Williams (on NBC Nightly News, tonight) 80% of the world's toys are made in China. Mattel, alone, is recalling over 10,000,000 toys.

McDonald's sources toys from China. In a recent Wall Street Journal article we heard this about McDonald's:

McDonald's Corp., one of the world's largest toy buyers, says the problem of lead paint is so widespread in China that the company has developed a system to monitor paint all the way through the supply chain back to the paint suppliers. The company requires its Chinese toy makers to agree to use only those suppliers.

"We never go on the open market, so we know exactly who we're dealing with," said Walt Riker, vice president of corporate communications.

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

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The McChronicles: Interviewed By The Orange County Register

As previously posted, the OC Register has an excellent fast food blog. "The Fast Food Maven" is written by Nancy Luna - and it covers all aspects the the industry in Orange County, California.

Nancy interviewed The McChronicles and her report was released today.

Read the OC Register interview with The McChronicles

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

Image: Fast Food Maven website.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

McDonald's CHAMPION KIDS Program

From PR Newswire:

McDonald's will launch its newest Olympic Games program, McDonald's Champion Kids, on Aug. 9, 2007 in Beijing.

The program will enable up to 300 kids from around the world to travel to the 2008 Olympic Games to share their stories and experiences with their local communities and hometown news outlets. Through this once-in-a-lifetime journey, the children will have the chance to see the Games, meet Olympic athletes, visit cultural sights, and interact with kids from across the globe.

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: PR Newswire website (press release).

McDonald's vs. McDonald's: Winner? McDonald's!

According to a story in this week's QSR Magazine:
"Kids don't just ask for food from McDonald's," said Thomas Robinson, MD, director of the Center for Healthy Weight at Packard Children's and associate professor of pediatrics and of medicine at the School of Medicine. "They actually believe that the chicken nugget they think is from McDonald's tastes better than an identical, unbranded nugget."


... researchers studied the taste preferences of 63 children between the ages of 3 and 5 who were enrolled in six Head Start centers in San Mateo County, Calif. The children sampled five foods: chicken nuggets, a hamburger, french fries, baby carrots and milk. The chicken nuggets, hamburger and french fries were all from McDonald's; the carrots and milk were purchased from a grocery store. Robinson and his colleagues chose to specifically study McDonald's because the company is the largest fast-food advertiser in the United States and most study subjects would likely be familiar with the brand.

Each food sample was divided into two identical portions, one wrapped in a McDonald's wrapper or placed in a McDonald's bag, and the other in similar wrapping without the McDonald's logo. The children were randomly asked to taste first one and then the other of the five identical, differently packaged, pairs of food samples and indicate whether they tasted the same or which they thought tasted better. With four out of the five foods — chicken nuggets, fries, carrots and milk — significantly more children pegged the McDonald's product as tastier, despite the fact that the foods were exactly the same.

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: QSR logo from

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Fast Food Maven

The Orange County (California) Register has a really cool feature online. It is a blog about fast food, fast food culture, and fast food trends. It is called FAST FOOD MAVEN and it is written by Nancy Luna.

We were e-introduced by a mutual friend (Jan-Willem, the prolific fast food blogger over at Fast Food Weblog - highly recommended) - THANKS, JW.

The McChronicles recently interviewed Nancy and this is how it went:

Q: How long have you been a fast food aficionado?
Maven: From the first moment I got my hands on a Taco Bell Taco Supreme in my teen years. Boy, I just loved the sour cream in those things. These days, I've definitely upgraded my tastes. I go for Fresh-Mex whenever I can.

Q: What is your first fast food memory?
Maven: Not sure if this is a "first" memory. But, this one has stuck with me forever. I remember hurling profusely after eating a 99-cent Double Bacon Cheeseburger at Jack in the Box -- forcing me to swear off that chain for years. I later asked my friend, Brian, a former Jack in the Box cook: "What happened to me?" He replied: "Nance, it was the mayo."

Q: What comments do you dread most when people become aware that you are a FAST FOOD MAVEN?
Maven: Aren't you worried you're going to get fat? (That's mostly from women, though.)

Q: "Maven" is a Yiddish term. Is there Jewish fast food?
Maven: Sorry. This Hispanic gal from sunny Southern California is unaware of most Yiddish lexicon. Interesting, though. I picked the "Maven" because I want people to know that I'm a trusted expert on this topic.

Q: As a FAST FOODIE, where do you fit in the OC Register pecking order?
Maven: I love fast food because it's convenient. And, it's not as bad to eat as some might think. My 7-year-old daughter loves Del Taco bean and cheese burritos, and McDonald's Happy Meals. I have no problem giving her those in moderation.

I love getting a load of El Pollo Loco chicken at the drive through that will feed my family over the course of three days.

Fast food is unavoidable in our fast paced world. I get paid to cover the industry. How sweet is that?

Q: You go to restaurant conferences. Is that purely for your blogging or do you have another connection?
Maven: I hit conferences because it helps me meet sources on my beat. I cover the Southern California food industry, which includes writing about fast food, as well as sit-down restaurants, food manufacturing and grocery stores.

Q: Any plans to expand your blog's scope beyond the OC?
Maven: Of course.

Southern California is the birthplace of America’s most enterprising
industry: Fast food. Yet, fast food -- culture, news, trends -- goes
beyond this region. Obviously I have to cover my bases here in Southern
California. That's my job. But don't be surprised if you see me writing
about Five Guys when I go to Virginia next month. (FYI: I'm told this
burger joint rivals my Irvine-based In-N-Out Burger. So bring it on.)

McChronicles note: Our In-N-Out Burger t-shirt is one of our most prized possessions - and a reminder of an awesome fast food road trip on the US west coast.
I hope to engage people in conversation about trends. Just because I write about Angus burgers coming to McDonald's in Orange and Los Angeles counties, doesn't mean someone from Upstate New York wouldn't be interested in that. It could mean, one day, you get Angus burgers, right?

Q: Any advice for The McChronicles?
Maven: I love it. Keep up the good hustle. And, keep McDonald's on its toes.
The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: Fast Food Maven blog.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Double Filet-O-Fish TESTED

The McChronicles recently posted on something intriguing going down in Singapore, the DOUBLE FILET-O-FISH. Turns out it isn't all that unusual.

Today we walked into our home McDonald's, flashed them a live view of The McChronicles website on our Treo and asked them if they could whip us up a DFOF. The register person had to ask, but the manager glanced at the image, smiled, and said, "Double filet-o-fish. Sure!" They even have a button for it on the register. It was simple.

One minute, and $5 later (also ordered a small Coke - the sandwich was $3.59) came the big test. The expectation was that it would have an imbalanced taste (too much fish). Wrong! To our taste, this sandwich was surprisingly fantastic. You can bet that The McChronicles will be ordering another double filet-o-fish in the near future.

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

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Big Mac: Inside the McDonald's Empire"

According to the CNBC website:

"Big Mac: Inside The McDonald's Empire" will premiere on Wednesday, July 25th at 9PM and 12AM ET. The show repeats on the following dates:

* Monday, July 30th at 9PM and 12AM ET
* Sunday, August 5th at 10PM and 1AM ET
* Tuesday, August 7th at 9PM and 12AM ET
* Tuesday, August 28th at 9PM and 12AM ET
* Sunday, September 2nd at 10PM and 1AM ET

The McChronicles watched this special and enjoyed it considerably. We were a bit surprised to hear the feeble negative commentary offered by a couple of people on the show. It seemed that the best they could muster were things like this:

  • McDonald's largest burgers have a lot of calories
  • some of the food McDonald's sells is not really great for a person
  • etc.

We felt that the McDonald's executives interviewed did an excellent job of answering all questions openly and frankly. We really liked it when Jim Skinner agreed that certain combos had a lot of calories. He shared that people have to be responsible for their food choices.

It bothers us that most anti-McDonald's people point out that certain McDonald's items aren't high-quality foods while:

  • ignoring the fact that some McDonald's offerings are, in fact, excellent choices
  • failing to mention that EVERY mainstream grocery store also offers items which are not high-quality foods
We all know that the critics are blind to these issues since it does little to suit their purposes or gain them their 15 minutes of fame.

Be sure to check out the show's special detailed website which offers:

  • program highlights
  • a video gallery
  • background on the show host
We would love to know what you thought of the CNBC McDonald's special report. Please comment.

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: CNBC website

China Basketball Promo

China is understandably proud of the Olympics which are coming soon. One of the hottest sports in these games will be basketball, thanks in no small part to the popularity of Yao Ming.

As a major sponsor of the Olympiad, McDonald's is whipping up the roundball fervor by promoting the sport (and the NBA) with a special sandwich and special tray liners.

The McChronicles was pleased to experience this promotion.

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