McDonald’s Franchisees See Writing On The Wall

For McDonald’s, things are going from bad to worse as the corporate makeover-that-isn’t continues to take shape (or doesn’t).

29 franchise owners took part in an ongoing survey conducted by Mark Kalinowski.  July’s results reveal an outlook even more dour than sentiments captured in April, the former low-water mark for franchisee confidence as rated by Kalinowski’s model.

Meanwhile, Chipotle, despite some market disappointments of its own, continues to thrive because it understands that people just want better food.


When Did We Start Eating Chicken?

Sometime between 400 and 200 BC?  So says new evidence being reported by NPR and Grist.

An interesting line from the Grist piece, noting that eating chicken (though not meat in general) seems to have been a relatively recent cultural decision:

Perhaps we can just decide that we’re not gonna raise animals in horrific conditions just so we can have our all-you-can-eat buffets and cheap burgers. Perhaps we can just decide that we’ll start eating insects or lab-grown meat or weird veggie-based imitation meat simply because it’s better for the planet…

NPR here. Grist here.

Chipotle Friend or Faux: While You’re Waiting For Chipotle to Post Second Quarter Earnings, Play This Fun (Disturbing) Chipotle Online Game

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) is set to report second quarter earnings today.

While you wait, or while you wait in line at a CMG near year, play this fascinating little game the company rolled out exposing what it calls “faux” ingredients in the food of traditional fast food (that’s a thing, I guess) competitors.  Oh, and you get a free burrito.

Being Healthy Sucks Most of the Time, but Here’s a Free Guide to Being Healthy


It’s the middle of January, “Resolution Month” at the gym. In the past, I’ve railed against “resoluters,” with their shiny new workout gear and lack of follow-through. But as I get older, I realize, hey, we’re all human. Maintaining a healthy weight means making the right choices most of the time. Making these choices takes time and often sucks. At the same time, the fitness and nutrition markets are flooded with svengali promises made by the cross fits and diet plans of the world.

The truth is, to get healthier, you don’t need to pay $200 a month for someone to yell at you or for some crazy diet that is impossible to maintain in the long-term. So I created this totally free flow chart to help guide you toward a healthier lifestyle or toward complete and utter ambivalence toward a healthier lifestyle. Happy New Year.



diet flow



No Veggie Burgers At McDonald’s?

Venessa Wong with the original story, shared here by Ashley Lutz.    White Castle announced their own veggie burger on January 2nd, joining Burger King and countless fast casual concepts in catering to meat-free palates.

McDonald’s says it doesn’t carry veggie patties because no one buys them.  As Lutz notes, MCD CEO David Thompson told investors that when the world’s largest burger joint did offer meatless burgers, they “sold four a day” per location.

To me, that means veggie burgers are scalable.  If Burger King can do them, so can McDonald’s.  They just have to want to.  And they should.


McDonald’s Had the Solution. It Was Called Chipotle.

Millennials want authenticity.  Because Chipotle has good food and invests in the kinds of things Millennials care about, they forgive the fact that Chipotle Mexican Grill is not authentically Mexican.  But when McDonald’s has to put out a video defending the authenticity of their chicken as chicken, you have to wonder what else is coming home to roost.