February 2, 2015, - 11:22 am

Experts’ Advice on McDonald’s is Best Suited to the GOP

By Debbie Schlussel

In the wake of the continuing decline of McDonald’s and the news, last week, that the restaurant was dumping its CEO, I thought it was time to pull out this article I’d been saving since last year. The Republicans should listen to this expert advice on McDonald’s. At least some of it.


Back on Christmas Eve, I was at a Detroit-area shopping mall doing some research for a project I’ll let you know about at some point in the future. I took a break at one of the mall’s coffee hangouts, and took out the day’s print edition of the Wall Street Journal. And I noticed an article in which the Journal solicited business experts to give advice to McDonald’s on how to stem its decline. Even though I don’t eat at McDonald’s (because it isn’t kosher–except in Israel), I’ve been following the chain’s successes and stories for years, especially since it came under attack from leftist nutjob Morgan Spurlock in “Supersize Me.” It’s one of the great American companies. And I read a lot of articles about businesses and restaurants that I don’t patronize. As I read the experts’ advice in the WSJ, I thought, “Hmmmm . . . this is great advice for the GOP, which tries to be everything that it thinks the liberals and America’s changing population demands.” I particularly thought of the push for illegal alien amnesty to allegedly please Hispanic voters and the emphasis on giving up opposition to affirmative action and abortion to please, respectively, minorities and women. So, last week, when it was announced that Don Thompson was fired as McDonald’s CEO, I thought it was time to bring out the article and the experts’ advice.

I also, by the way, would be remiss if I didn’t notice the parallels between Micky D’s ousted chief, Thompson, and the former RNC Chair, Michael Steele. Thompson is Black and many say he got his job because of affirmative action, which may be why he failed miserably. Before his promotion to the top, McDonald’s was kicking butt in both profits and stock prices. And under him, both of these (as well as same-store sales year over year) declined. It reminded me of Steele, appointed Republican National Committee Chairman mostly for his dark skin tone. His incompetence didn’t help the GOP, and he tried to reach out to low-life rappers like Jay-Z and rap impresario (and enabler of Jew-haters) Russell Simmons to get Black GOP voters. Did that help? Nope. But it made the GOP like something it’s not: the DNC. Now, Steele, long since deposed, is defending Muslims and their extremism, touting the BS that Islamic terrorists are just a few people, rather than the heroes of over a billion.

(And while a number of McDonald’s franchisees complained that it takes too long to be fast and efficient with so many menu choices–clogged by “healthy” options which nobody buys–Thompson suggested “resolving” that with allowing customers to customize sandwich toppings, likely making service even slower.)

And, so, the parallels between McDonald’s and the advice it was given over a month ago in the Journal and the route that the GOP should take, are stark:

Larry Light, CEO of management-consulting company Arcature and former McDonald’s chief marketing officer:

. . . . In the short term, the first priority is to love the customers you have. I am concerned that the McDonald’s strategy seems to be more focused on customers they would love to have. Attracting new customers is an imperative, but keeping current customers is the base upon which customer attraction yields incremental growth. Protecting the base is about never sacrificing the core principles that made the brand successful, and one of those in fast food is speed. At Five Guys if you order a customized burger you have to stand around and wait for it. McDonald’s core customer wants fast service. McDonald’s has lost trust and trust is a multiplier, so if trust is zero, it doesn’t matter what else they do.

Carl Chang, founder and CEO of fast-casual pizza chain Pieology Pizzeria:

I would embrace what McDonald’s is and not try to reinvent the brand. I have to give Mr. Thompson credit for trying to evolve the brand, but to re-identify McDonald’s as a fast-casual concept rather than what we’ve grown to appreciate McDonald’s for—consistent, fast food—seems like a really bold move.

A good portion of their revenue comes from the drive-through. McDonald’s is not a place people go into for a restaurant experience. There are core staples that originally made McDonald’s successful—the Big Mac, cheap soda and great fries that you knew would always be hot and crispy. . . . There’s an opportunity for McDonald’s to execute at a higher level and dominate the niche they’ve long held.

These are just two of the experts. Another, a millennial e-commerce consultant, wanted McDonald’s to essentially become “not McDonald’s,” just as the GOP is trying to become “not the GOP.” And that’s exactly how you fail. Remember “New Coke”?

The advice from the experts I quoted is spot on and would work for the GOP, too. Again, if you want to be the DNC, you might as well close up shop. I will NOT vote for a party that isn’t conservative.

And if I wanted to vote for liberals, I would vote for the Dems.

The GOP won’t be revived and victorious again by becoming the liberal Democrats-lite. But if that’s the route it takes, it will be its epitaph.

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30 Responses

Even though I don’t eat at McDonald’s (because it isn’t kosher–except in Israel)

…there is a kosher McDonald’s in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well.

Brad on February 2, 2015 at 3:18 pm

great comparison by schlussel… the only problem is that the cited experts are private sector people and their kind of common sense analysis is shunned and/or laughed at by politicians. there’s no incentive for the GOP to adopt similar criticisms and act on them when they assume their will always be a GOP party in the government, no matter how lousy of a job they do. worse case, these GOP’ers would have no problem renoucning conservativism and just climb onboard a single-party system.

kirche on February 2, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Perhaps one other similarity between the Republican Party and McDonald’s is that they are both too much under the influence of Mrs. Obama (healthy food options, ‘healthy’ politics).

Although from her recent photos, it does look like she has been enjoying her share of Big Macs.

Little Al on February 2, 2015 at 4:11 pm

Another great column, Debbie. I wonder if Rush was borrowing from your column without crediting you today. He spent a lot of time on this subject, making the same points. There is nothing but futility in having no values, selling out one’s values, and/or pandering to people who don’t appreciate the gesture. The only thing affirmative action does is affirm the INABILITY of most beneficiaries to get it done on their own.

On another subject, a bit off topic, but still somewhat relevant, because of the cultural idiocy, hypocrisy and utter futility of the gesture are the stupid Ground Hog Day celebrations. Maybe one day Debbie can do a column on this.

Punxsutawney Phil said six more weeks of winter, and Staten Island Chuck said spring is nigh. Maybe one day someone will tell the people who observe this nonsense that on Ground Hog Day, there is ALWAYS nearly SEVEN more weeks of winter, . . .

no matter how warm it gets after February 2nd.

At least Mayor DeCommio was prevented from killing another ground hog this year.

AfPR: He reads this site and constantly rips me off like there’s no tomorrow. DS

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on February 2, 2015 at 4:21 pm

And I guess now the GOP is trying to expand its base to the anti-vaccinations crowd.

Little Al on February 2, 2015 at 4:26 pm

” Another, a millennial e-commerce consultant, wanted McDonald’s to essentially become “not McDonald’s,” just as the GOP is trying to become “not the GOP.” And that’s exactly how you fail. ”

Millenial/hipsters are baby-boomer/hippie mini-clones from being immersed in their values since the womb. They both suck a$$.

DS_ROCKS! on February 2, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Yeah, McDonalds needs to stick with what they know best – horse.

corncoleo on February 2, 2015 at 5:34 pm

1) Fight Sharia Law EVERYWHERE.
2) Kill American enemies abroad.
3) Keep taxes and regualtions low.
4) Drill, baby, drill.
5) Slam the borders DOWN. Allow legal immigration, but make everyone else non-eligible. Deport, deport, deport.

The GOP could win on this.

Occam's Tool on February 2, 2015 at 5:34 pm

I concur with OT, except for No. 5. Ten year moratorium on ALL immigration, until we get things under REAL control.

Hope you saw my posts on the Teal Pumpkin thread, OT. I was attempting to explain something you took issue with, that perhaps I was misfiring on. Put up three posts, which took days to go up. Hope you saw them, as I didn’t wish to cause bad blood between us.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on February 2, 2015 at 5:40 pm

My theory on this is pretty simple and pretty much the same. Once you pay attention to the criticism of people who never really liked you to begin with and start trying to reinvent yourself to please them you’re on your way down.
The first victory was destroying your self belief.
The rest is easy for them.

japple on February 2, 2015 at 5:56 pm

This piece does address the issue of branding. Sears also decided to abandon its core customer base in the 1980’s, and it has never recovered. It insanely tried to market itself to upper middle class and above consumers, and fell flat. During that transformation process, it alienated most of its former customers. First Kmart, and subsequently Walmart, picked up the pieces left by Sears. The GOP could learn a great deal from such experiences.

Worry on February 2, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Hope and change.

    japple on February 2, 2015 at 6:03 pm

BTW sure I noticed plenty of long faces on the all the Muslims down the street the day Osama bought it.

japple on February 2, 2015 at 6:01 pm

I will NOT vote for a party that isn’t conservative.

And if I wanted to vote for liberals, I would vote for the Dems.


That’s an argument I too have made to people who insisted that candidates like McCain (in 2008) were worth supporting. Their argument was that any Liberal/Democrat would be worst than him. But too many of his stands were identical to theirs. I recall in 1996, when Steve Forbes was being attacked for being rich by all his opponents – Dole, Buchanan and Alexander. Rush Limbaugh at that time too pointed out the same thing, but retracted on that when his MSM interviewers quoted him leaving an impression that Clinton would be preferable to those 3.

But like you point out, if we have to support candidates who are gonna be Liberals, then why not vote for the real deal? As in Obama, Clinton, Biden, Kerry, what have you.

And conversely, this is the issue that McDonalds faces. If one wants to have a fine dining experience, why would one go there, as opposed to Applebees, Ruby Tuesdays, TGIF, et al? Although my issue w/ McDonalds is less the speed at which they deliver things, and more that I prefer their competitors, like Burger King, Wendys, Arbys and Chick-fil’A as far as the food itself.

Infidel on February 2, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    The servers at Chick Fil-A are more courteous than any other fast food place I’ve been at.

    Little Al on February 2, 2015 at 9:49 pm

Then you won’t go to McDonalds and the line will be shorter for somebody else that does.

japple on February 2, 2015 at 8:34 pm

The only question is whether conservatives can hold their noses or Hillary gets to pick up where Obama left off in 2016 and finish the job.

japple on February 2, 2015 at 8:36 pm

You can fast or you can go slow.

japple on February 2, 2015 at 8:37 pm

go fast or go slow. for car crashes slow is usually better

japple on February 2, 2015 at 8:39 pm

(multiple postings for multiple post jams)

japple on February 2, 2015 at 8:40 pm

To super size or not to super size. Those are your options.

“We used to laugh a lot. But only because we thought. That everything good always would remain”

japple on February 2, 2015 at 8:44 pm

McDonalds is bowing to the PC crowd. It’s a shame. Now, when one wants a “Happy Meal”, you get these stupid apples instead of a stack of fries. It’s so stupid!

I like McDonalds. I’m vegetarian so it’s no fun eating there. I do wish they had a veggie burger but they don’t and I understand why. I like the apples, I like the salad but I recognize that is NOT their CORE clientele.

And I would STILL eat the fries if they were still cooked in beef tallow…I don’t go crazy with vegetarianism…if there is no chunks of meat in it, it’s ok with me. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So, I don’t know what the PC crowd wants Maccas to do. I can hardly eat anything there so they are not succeeding (unless they wanna drag Maccas into the ground…which is what I suspect…). Does anyone remember the OLD “Hot Apple Pies” they used to serve in the 70s & 80s? One has to go to Japan to eat those as they stopped cooking ’em that way due to the “Food Police”.

Skunky on February 2, 2015 at 9:18 pm

Yeah Skunky, those hot apple pies were the joint. Haven’t eaten at McDonald’s in about 40 years or so, but the hot apple pies were memorable.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on February 2, 2015 at 9:29 pm

I know we don’t want more RINO’s like Jeb Bush, but Scott Walker has got me worried.

Since Jihad Grover Norquist endorsed Walker back in November, I’ve become extremely suspicious. The whole Aga Khan/Islamic curriculum scandal sank Rick Perry, and it’s entirely possible that Walker is too close to Muslim incognito Norquist.

BTW: Video of UC Davis Muslims chanting “All?hu Akbar” at Jewish students after a successful BDS vote is absolutely chilling. Murderous intent.

A: Scott Walker is an illegal alien amnesty pimp, in addition to being besties with Jihad Grover. DS

adam on February 3, 2015 at 12:05 am

McDonald’s food declined over the years. The last two burgers that I ate there were so salty that I couldn’t swallow them. Burger King tastes like it’s char-broiled and isn’t as salty as McDonald’s.

Dmk on February 3, 2015 at 10:17 am

See, I would agree with you on this one. I’ve even personally experienced this issue, at Columbia University, where my manager got his job for being black, had no idea how to show me what was going on at the lab, could not produce SOP’s, did not know how to operate the machinery, etc. But at that same establishment, a crypto-Zionist tool did his damnedest to make me look racist, assisted by the various foreigners who had it out for me for being white. And no one said a thing about what was going on. It was all in glances and sideways expressions.

The moment I agree with you that affirmitive action is bad and puts incompetent people in positions of power, that empowers Jews like you to persecute me for being white. And that’s just not a good trade. You find a way to destroy the human inclination towards hasty assumptions and double-speak, even at our nation’s allegedly most prestigious science centers, and I’ll agree that affirmitive action is racist… right after we have a long discussion about structural violence and the horrors of world inequality.

The world is a relative place that struggles hard to define itself. Be an agent of good and try to help define it in a way that is UNIVERSALLY compassionate and reasonable for everyone. As a minority, being a white non-Jewish student at Emory University, I know exactly what you are talking about. And I know how dangerous the alternative can be. My request then is for people who have influence over the media and power over opinion to encourage consideration towards everyone and inclusivity. Be a friend to the world. Thank you.

Cody Scoles on February 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Ben & Jerry’s tried the affirmative action idea for a new CEO a decade or so ago and it didn’t work out for them.

One of the things Gordon Ramsey does when he tries to help a failing eatery is to pare down the menu and sell those dishes and food items that the chef or cook is good at making.

One suggestion for McDonalds – keep breakfast open to 11:00 AM, not to 10:30 AM. I don’t order food from McDonald’s except for their breakfast items and vanilla milkshakes. Burger King and Wendy’s have better burgers, although McDonald’s fries appear to be the best. By the way, McDonald’s used to make its fries in animal fat (lard, etc) but changed to vegetable oil for “health reasons” and the fries have never tasted as good.

And I miss the McBurglar.

Concerned Citizen on February 3, 2015 at 1:46 pm

I tried to drive through a McDs late at night while driving home from the airport, I was feeling a bit tired and needed a pick me up, big mac fires and coke would do the trick. The place didn’t have a burger ready to cook, they had not taken any out of the freezer, I had to wait 20 minutes as they explained this to the driver in front of me. I never liked the food do so much and this was the last straw, never again. In N Out is just as fast with a much superior burger and costs about the same, plus the service is superior. No wonder McDonalds is going down hill.

Dave on February 3, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Jay Z- A low life? Do you believe people can change for the better) How is that, when he sells out Madison Square Garden and give all his proceeds to the Wounded Warriors Project. Even though I know it is not the main focus of your article, but your attack on him, inaccurate.

One point is accurate, Steele was appointed to his post simply to counter the President who has a hue darker than blue. GOP with their infinite wisdom, thought “hey lets put someone in that looks like the president.” Which was stupid and senseless.

G.O.P needs to get it together. All these Ivy league schools and they have yet to figure out how to apply their acquired knowledge. Romney spewing the same crap that failed to work twice. Trying to make him look like an everyday man, sad. They may be incapable of evolving.

I am Wise on February 3, 2015 at 7:13 pm

Oh man! Don’t get me started.

McDonald’s has declined due to corruption within its ranks. You touched on the surface noting the AA mishigas.

When the Big Three fell, some were quick to blame it on unions. There are no unions to blame for McDonald’s decline.

There’s something deeper at play. It’s called corruption. You actually touched on it in your article, Deb. I question if you know exactly where. Moreover, you just touched the surface.

The corporation is now corrupt. That’s why they’re sinking.

Let me change the subject slightly. Did you know that Ray Kroc’s widow gave a fortune to NPR? Ray Kroc founded McDonald’s. At the time Kroc’s widow gave this fortune to NPR, the network was on its knees and federal funding was in jeopardy. The estate donation guaranteed NPR’s continued “service” for decades. Needless to say, I know how you feel about NPR.

As you know, I’m not kosher. I go to McDonald’s when:

1. I’m hungry
2. Alternatives are few
3. I want a biologically clean, hot meal.

Other than that, McDonald’s serves little other purpose.

There is NO Santa Claus on February 4, 2015 at 12:28 am

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