Mickey D’s: Going for a Do-Over

After noting McDonald’s tests for an ambitious design-your-own sandwich Create Your Taste initiative, it was interesting to see the latest news on the project. Apparently, the company has scaled down its program to something now called TasteCrafted, which is faster and can be offered through the drive-through (which is important, as drive through traffic represents a significant percentage of sales at McDonalds).

Clearly, executives still feel that customization is critical to the chain’s turn-around efforts. Are they right?

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2015/05/01/mcdonalds-tests-customized-foods-program.html

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3 thoughts on “Mickey D’s: Going for a Do-Over

  1. ellenbasler

    I think everyone is striving to be unique and stand apart from the crowd. We all want things that are for us, to make us feel special, to make the product a reflection of ourselves. There are several food chains that allow this, Chipotle, Subway and any self serve frozen yogurt place, but I don’t think it has a place at McDonald’s right now. Yes, we all want something customized specifically for us but we also want that McDonald’s burger as quickly as possible. McDonald’s has done a good job of rebranding and changing their image to be a more comfortable place to stay and has introduced healthier options. However, they are now looking into changing the structure and the quick and easy service layout. I think the problems with worker efficiency, initial fixed costs and consumers just not understanding what they want to customize could have harmful effects. Just as an example the new McDonald’s soda dispenser has a ton of options and the option to mix flavours. I’ve seen people spend a ton of time trying to decide what flavour they want while a huge line forms behind them. I think that customization is important but not at McDonald’s now because in these early stages I feel it will cause more harm than good. They need to create an entirely new service layout and structure to make sure customization can fit and keep work efficient.

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  2. Magdalena Szlezak

    I believe that McDonald’s is trying to keep up with chains such as Panera Bread and Chipotle who offer customized sandwiches and burritos to their customers. However, the brand image associated with those are ones of ethical sourcing, morality, and fresh, high-quality ingredients while McDonald’s is not known for those values. McDonald’s is a large operation that relies on a consistent brand image globally (consistency of service and offerings is key as people expect a Big Mac in one country vs. another country to be relatively the same). I feel like customization of your meals has a bigger impact when you “experience” the creation of your food whether it’s a sandwich, a burrito, etc., as opposed to drive-thru. Also, I feel like this program will push up costs and wait times, moving away from its core values of speed and time. I question the success of this program and feel like McDonald’s business model would need significant change. The company would need to reposition its brand in consumer mind’s with regards to its value proposition (which will be very difficult).

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  3. Hinal Patel

    I agree with both Ellen and Magda on McDonald’s rebranding. Based on McDonald’s declining sales and increasing trends of consumers becoming more health-conscious and seeking faster meal alternatives, McDonald’s is trying to shift its value proposition and brand image to reflect these changes within society. That being said, I do believe that even though the implementation costs are relatively low, it won’t be very successful in the drive-thru setting as it will delay their core competency of fast service. The drive thrus do align with current trends of consumers having limited time however, there is high difficulty for smooth implementation. In order to effectively compete with large players in the US market such as Chipotle, I believe it may be effective to implement this initiative in-store. As well, if McDonald’s wants to effectively rebrand to remind consumers of the healthy alternatives they offer, the company will need to heavily focus on marketing initiatives as there is already a strong brand reputation associated with McDonald’s.

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