Tuesday, October 28, 2008

McDonald's International Media Days 2008 (Day 2, Part 1)

The McChronicles enjoyed an excellent Day 2 of McDonald's International Media Days 2008.

This morning started out with a presentation on McDonald's Strategic Beverage Initiative. Speaking was Mr. Lee Renz, Vice President of U.S. National Beverage Strategy (top image). Mr.Lenz stated that it is McDonald's goal to become, "a beverage destination". In addition to the company's carbonated and bottled beverages, and the shakes, coffees, etc., McDonald's is moving into latte's, espressos, frappes, and smoothies. These beverages will come to us from an increasing number of McCafes.

Now, there will be two distinct McCafe strategies. "Globally" a McCafe will include beverages and food - sometimes a restaurant in a restaurant, sometimes (as does already exist in places) a stand-alone. In the USA, a McCafe will be a beverage-only affair and will only be found within a McDonald's restaurant. This is said to be because corporate research strongly indicated that U.S. customers prefer beverage products only versus a beverage and pastry offering.

Renz went on to say:

  • "We are trying to develop a new brand underneath the McCafe umbrella."

  • "We focus on our customers, their desires, and their behavior when they visit us."

  • The goal is that, "all eligible restaurants are able to offer these products". (there are about 12,700 "eligible restaurants" in the U.S.)

The full rollout of the U.S. McCafe project will conclude near the end of 2010 and has already started. Renz added that McDonald's "has tons of great ideas" for the expansion of the project. It seems that this idea has a great chance of florishing beyond the current scheme

Later in the day The McChronicles sampled existing and prototype McCafe beverages. From hot chocolates, to caramel and coffee frappes, to smoothies - this product suite seems to have something for most everyone. The McChronicles does NOT like coffee, yet we found the caramel and coffee frappe very tasty - even with the distinct coffee flavor. Interesting!

The next event began when Bob Langert, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility (bottom image), took the stage. Bob started McDonald's Corporate Responsibility blog - a very meaningful tool for both reaching out to, and opening up to, the world. Do make the link.

Bob took this opportunity to announce the McDonald's 2008 Corporate Responsibility Report (being released later today). You can read the report using the link, so we will stick to Bob's presentation and discussion.

Bob continually emphasized "responsible food" and said, McDonald's wants to go beyond rhetoric and "bring corporate responsibility to life".

The McChronicles wants to thank Bob for taking the more difficult high road and continually making McDonald's activities more transparent while being a part of the team making McDonald's actions increasingly exemplary. For these (and other) efforts, "The Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College has given McDonald's an A+ for the quality of our voluntary reporting on environmental and social issues. We are the only company in the food services sector to receive so high a grade."

The McChronicles' bottom line is, "Chronicling the McDonald's Brand Experience From The Customers' Point Of View", so, as customers, we really appreciate any and all efforts to make both our McDonald's dining experience, as well as our time here on Earth, a more enjoyable, responsible, and sustainable event.

More to come! Stay tuned.

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

Images: The McChronicles.


Big D said...

It has been said that beverages offer some of the highest profit margins of anything offered at a restaurant. When they rolled the iced coffee out I noticed that not only did our family start going to McDs for the express purpose of the iced coffee, but I started to notice that many people ordering around me were just going there for the iced coffee.

I joked to my wife that whoever came up with the idea to roll out iced coffee at McD's was probably given a big bonus but then terminated for not thinking about doing it years ago.

They have probably already thought of this, but if they could get their brand into the grocery stores like other restaurateurs, they could really capitalize.

McChronicles said...

Wow! The McChronicles will inquire about this suggestion at tomorrow's meeting. You ARE a thinker!

Anonymous said...


They just finished building a McCaffe in my local store In Clinton, NY. I've had the impression that the our local McDonald's were not well kept and the staff was less that friendly or even clean, but maybe that's changing, seems like their early on the McCaffe program.

McChronicles said...

Thanks! The McChronicles will travel to Clinton and check this out. Stay tuned for as much info as we can gather.

Heard you guys just got some snow!


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