Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Can McDonald's Say What Its Strategy Is?

Corporations, especially those with world-wide locations in extremely competitive industries, invest a significant amount of resources in the development of their strategy. Once the organization has charted a course and pointed its compass in that direction, shouldn't it stay the course (barring a paradigm shifting event)? McDonald's doesn't seem to think so.

I've been a regular McDonald's customer for about 20 years. I eat a lot but prefer not to spend a lot of money or time doing so. McDonald's fit that bill perfectly. I could walk in, order without having to look at the menu, and be eating in my seat in less than 5 minutes. Then things changed. The menu expanded to include wraps, smoothies, and many other options that I had no interest in. If that wasn't enough, the cashier told me that the food I usually ordered was no longer on the menu and I now had to choose something from the cramped, convoluted mess they now called the menu. My 5 minute order-to-eat time was a distant memory as well.

What do you want to be McDonald's? Do you want to maintain your traditional position as a fast food hamburger restaurant, do you want to be a more relaxed or a slow paced smoothie bar? No person, or organization, can be all things to all people, or customers. 

If you eat at McDonald's, has your recent experience mirrored mine? If you don't patronize McDonald's, are there any number of changes the chain could make to turn you into one?

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