Posts Tagged ‘McDonald’s’

Service of Medium Rare Synthetic Burgers and Steak

Monday, March 1st, 2021

People of a certain age would never have believed the impact that Michael Bloomberg would have on cigarette smoking in NYC and the world.  In addition to making the habit socially unacceptable in many circles, the Smoke-Free Air Act of 2003 nixed puffing in restaurants, bars and most workplaces. The ban has moved to beaches, parks and more recently to many apartments in NYC in both public and private spaces in co-ops, condos and rentals.

Dana Rubinstein reported in politico.com that only Turkmenistan had such a ban in ’03 but, said Bloomberg in a speech 10 years later, 49 other countries had joined up.

This is why steak houses had best pay attention to Bill Gates. Nicole Lyn Pesce reported on one of many points he made in his new book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need.” She wrote in marketwatch.com: “And among his calls to action: switching to synthetic beef to reduce methane emissions, aka the gases that cattle and sheep release when they belch or pass gas.” She continued “it’s simply a biologic fact of life that the bacteria in the digestive tracts of livestock releases methane as it breaks down food.”

Companies such as Burger King tried to quell the gases by adding lemongrass to beef feed and researchers in Maine and New Hampshire are studying the impact of feeding seaweed to cattle.

Pesce quoted Gates from a piece in Technology Review: “You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time. Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the [behavior of] people or use regulation to totally shift the demand.”

She quoted a Morningstar forecast that by 2029 plant based meat sales will hit $74 billion as compared to $12 billion last year. She reported that McDonald’s and chains Taco Bell and KFC plan to “roll out plant-based sandwiches and other alternative meat items this year.” We’ll see how well they sell. McDonald’s stopped selling salads in 2020.

Bloomberg’s detractors called his a “nanny state.” Gates has arrows aimed at him as well. Wrote Pesce: “Some other critics also questioned why Gates should dictate what countries should do to address climate change when a new report in the Nation named Gates as one of the world’s top carbon emitters. It notes he lives in a 66,000-square-foot mansion outside of Seattle, and his private jet consumes 486 gallons of fuel each hour it flies.”

I wrote in “Service of Healthy Frozen Desserts–But is it Ice Cream?” that I’d rather go without than eat an ersatz treat. On the other hand who knows–maybe the burger made of weeds will remind me of the ones we got in school that bounced if they fell on the floor and weren’t reminiscent of anything I’d eaten before. But I got used to–and even fond of–them.

If you’ve eaten faux meat how did you like it? Will you switch to chicken, pasta and grilled cheese sandwiches instead if synthetic beef and lamb is all that’s available? Will we need to worry about pesticides in our “burgers” if they will be necessary to ramp up growth for increased demand for greens? What will happen to cattle ranchers and their land? Are you concerned about potential climate disaster? What are you doing to mitigate it?

Service of Marketers Ruling the Roost: When Hip Overrides Clarity

Monday, September 9th, 2019

When service or communications are poor, customers must wonder whether an operation is being run for them, the owners or the staff.

It may be none of the above.

Frequently the marketers run the show. Many are enamored of technology, to heck with whether or not the hip, new effect does the trick. It’s more important to appear to be cutting edge. Take revolving digital screens that move so quickly that customers can’t read and/or absorb the information fast enough. This isn’t a good choice for a fast food restaurant–or for anything else if the fast-moving screen features more than a few words with an image.

Britton O’Daly wrote “Wait, Where Did That Burger Go? Diners Struggle With Fast-Moving Digital Menus,” in The Wall Street Journal. In one example a customer was frustrated because he didn’t catch the name of a new chicken dish at McDonald’s so instead of waiting for the screen to return–he feared holding up the line–he ordered a burger. I wonder why he felt he couldn’t ask for “one of those new chicken dishes?”

That customer may have been intimidated by marketers who are also in love with the cutesy names they give their products. To be considered “in,” there’s pressure to use them. I break out in a rash when forced to order coffee at Starbucks [I admit you rarely see me in there]. If I want a small coffee with skim that is how I will order it. You can keep your Grande, Venti and Trenta. Phooey.

Back to the original subject. O’Daly wrote: “Digital billboards are now everywhere, and companies love them. The only problem: people have a hard time reading them.”

This harkens back to an amazing looking logo in an unreadable font that also irks me. What’s the point?

Why is the public intimidated into ordering food or drink using the names a company gives it? Why does management put aside common sense and allow marketers to incorporate the latest widget or gadget to communicate with the public even if the vehicle doesn’t do the job? And why does a marketing department, or its advisors, lead its clients down so many primrose paths?

Service of Goofy Things Kids Do: Overnight Challenges in Stores & Restaurants

Monday, April 9th, 2018

We made silly phone calls and tossed paper bags filled with water out the window into a courtyard to make a crashing sound to scare the neighbors. One Christmas Eve, kids–I assume it was kids–broke windows on the sidewalk side of every car parked outside the Brooklyn Museum. Ours was one. Kids who have no financial constraints steal candy and small items from stores for sport.

Jennifer Levitz, in “Where’s Your Teen Sleeping?” wrote about what some kids are up to these days. According to the sub-head of her Wall Street Journal story, they are “Adventure seekers hiding overnight in stores for ‘24-hour challenge’—and are really, really bored.” They hide in fast-food restaurants and big-box stores that close at night or hang out for 24 hours or more in those that stay open.

She wrote about the adventures of a few teens at a McDonald’s: “After the initial thrill of escaping detection, they passed the time by going down the small slide, flipping water bottles and filming themselves whispering in the dark.” Sleeping was hard. One tried to do so in a toy car.

“Young people boast of holding the overnight challenges in trampoline parks, bowling alleys, home improvement stores and supermarkets, too. Companies mostly seem perplexed,” Levitz reported.

What nutty things did you do when you were a kid and what wacky things do your children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren do today?

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