Posts tagged with "McDonald’s"

McDonald’s’ secret new spin-off chain CosMc’s prepares to open

December 5, 2023

From Big Macs to nuggets, McDonald’s has already given us so much—but now, they fast-casual food chain on the verge of opening a new spin-off restaurant, reports MetroUK.

Earlier this year, Maccies bosses announced CosMc’s—described as a ‘small-format concept with all the DNA of McDonald’s, but its own unique personality.’

The first location is well on the way to opening in Bolingbrook, Illinois, and—after a passer-by managed to take pictures of their menu screens being tested—MetroUK writer Kristina Beanland says she finally has some insight into what CosMc’s might serve.

While it’s unclear if the menus were simply dummy place holders, or the real deal, glimpses from the screens reveal an array of items, including iced teas, lemonades, slushies, sandwiches, and smaller bites.

Beanland is “particularly excited” by the sound of a Churro Frappe and Tumeric Spiced Latte; or perhaps, she says, the Blueberry Ginger Boost will be more to your liking.

Sandwiches include the Spicy Queso or a more traditional Sausage McMuffin.

As well as posting the menu pictures to X, formerly Twitter, user Iman Jalali also added: “It’s not open yet and there was a full team of actors in the drive-thru filming a commercial so the menu was up and I was able to snap a few pics from afar …. Four drive thru lanes to boot.”

It’s been speculated that the new CosMc’s will be extension of the already existing McCafe menu, and a rival to popular chains like Starbucks.

McDonald’s revealed they’d be launching the new ch in back in the summer, named after a mascot from the 1980s and 1990s: CosMc was an alien from outer space with a passion for McDonald’s French fries, who featured in adverts for the chain from 1986 to 1992.

And , while McDonald’s is being fairly tight-lipped about what CosMc’s has in store for us, it’s fair to say that fans of the Golden Arches are excited.

‘Suspense is killing me,’ wrote one user on X.

However, some aren’t impressed by the potential menu: ‘I feel like I need to brush my teeth just looking at that sugary drinks menu,’ wrote an unimpressed user.

There is still no set date for the big opening of CosMc’s.

Research contact: @MetroUK

Burger King faces legal claim over size of the Whopper

August 31, 2023

Burger King is facing a lawsuit that alleges it makes its Whopper burger appear larger on its menus than it is in reality, a U.S. judge has ruled, reports the BBC.

The lawsuit accuses the fast food giant of misleading customers by showing the burger with a meatier patty and ingredients that “overflow over the bun”.

“The plaintiffs’ claims are false,” Burger King told the BBC.

Rivals McDonald’s and Wendy’s are facing a similar lawsuit in the United States.

The class action lawsuit against Burger King alleges that the Whopper was made to look 35% larger, with more than double the amount of meat compared to what was actually served to customers.

Burger King had earlier argued that it was not required to deliver burgers that look “exactly like the picture.”

In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Roy Altman for the Sothern District of Florida said it should be left to jurors to “tell us what reasonable people think”. However, he dismissed claims that Burger King misled customers with its television and online advertisements.

“The flame-grilled beef patties portrayed in our advertising are the same patties used in the millions of Whopper sandwiches we serve to guests nationwide,” a Burger King spokesperson said in a statement after the ruling.

Lawyer Anthony Russo, who represents the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment.

The Burger King website describes the Whopper as “the burger to rule them all,” which contains a “real meaty” beef patty, and other ingredients.

Other fast food chains have recently faced legal challenges over claims of false advertising. Earlier this year, Taco Bell was sued in the United States for selling pizzas and wraps that allegedly contained half the filling that was advertised.

Last year, a man in New York proposed a class-action lawsuit against McDonald’s and Wendy’s, in which he accused the two companies of unfair and deceptive trade practices. The lawsuit alleged that McDonald’s and Wendy’s burgers in marketing materials were at least 15% larger than they were in real life.

In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) looked into a complaint regarding an ad for one of Burger King’s chicken burgers in 2010, which was upheld.

“In that case, the burger was not as plump and did not have as much filling as in the ad and so we banned it,” Donna Castle from the ASA told the BBC.

“Consumers should be able to trust the ads they see and hear. Ads should not be materially misleading, should not be ambiguous, and should not exaggerate or leave out any important information,” she added.

Research contact: @BBC

McDonald’s temporarily shuts U.S. offices as chain prepares for layoff notices

April 4, 2023

Whatever happened to the personal touch? Like a slew of other major firms, McDonald’s plans to sack its staff virtually. The burger chain is temporarily closing its U.S. offices this week as it prepares to inform corporate employees about layoffs undertaken as part of a broader company restructuring, reports The Wall Street Journal

 The Chicago-based fast-food chain said in an internal email last week to U.S. employees and some international staff that they should work from home from Monday through Wednesday so it can deliver staffing decisions virtually. The company, in the message, asked employees to cancel all in-person meetings with vendors and other outside parties at its headquarters

“During the week of April 3, we will communicate key decisions related to roles and staffing levels across the organization,” the company said in the message viewed by The Wall Street Journal. 

McDonald’s declined to comment Sunday on the number of employees being laid off. McDonald’s in January said that it planned to make “difficult” decisions about changes to its corporate staffing levels by April, as part of a broader strategic plan for the burger chain.

Chief Executive Chris Kempczinski said in an interview at the time that he expected to save money as part of the workforce assessment, but that he didn’t have a set dollar amount or number of jobs he was looking to cut. “Some jobs that are existing today are either going to get moved or those jobs may go away,” Kempczinski commented.

McDonald’s employs more than 150,000 people globally in corporate roles and its owned restaurants, with 70% of them located outside of the United States, the chain said in February. 

McDonald’s in the message acknowledged that the week of April 3 would be a busy one for personal travel, which it said contributed to the decision to deliver the news remotely. Workers who wouldn’t have access to a computer during the week should provide personal contact information to their manager, the company said. 

“We want to ensure the comfort and confidentiality of our people during the notification period,” the company said. 

Companies across industries are reducing head counts amid concerns about a slowing economy. Layoffs that began in the tech sector last year have spread to retailers and manufacturers. Last month said it was eliminating 9,000 more jobs, following previously announced layoffs.

When Twitter in November notified staff about head count reductions, it said the company’s offices would be temporarily closed to ensure the safety of employees, Twitter’s systems, and customer data. Employees who were in the office or on their way to one were asked to go home.

McDonald’s sales have held up even as retailers have reported a slowdown in spending. The company told investors in January that some lower-income consumers were ordering fewer items per visit or opting for cheaper offerings, but customers generally continued to spend at its restaurants. 

McDonald’s has conducted several rounds of layoffs in recent years. In 2018, McDonald’s said that the company was cutting its management to be “more dynamic, nimble and competitive.” The company said at the time the layoffs would occur as part of a half-billion-dollar plan to shrink administrative expenses by the end of 2019. 

Kempczinski, who was the company’s U.S. president at the time, didn’t disclose the scope of the head-count reduction, but said it included regional chain offices. McDonald’s said it employed 205,000 people globally in corporate roles and its owned restaurants in 2019, down from 235,000 in 2017.

Research contact: @WSJ

How McDonald’s’ latest ad got everyone talking about an everyday facial expression

January 17, 2023

Advertising from fast food chain McDonald’s tends to feature its products–burgers being bitten into by delighted-looking customers, food items merrily bouncing as if freshly flung into buns by a cheerful chef—or in former years, a clown. But a new ad for the chain, initially released in the UK, upends that tradition, reports Quartz.

British filmmaker Edgar Wright—best known for comedy movies like Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Baby Driver (2017)—has raised eyebrows with his use of quirky choreography and one suggestive gesture.

The “double eyebrow raise”—a person raising both his or her brows twice in quick succession—is, of course, not new. But the Wright ad does cleverly align the oft-used facial expression to suggest that something like “this is a bit cheeky” with the McDonald’s “M” logo, sometimes referred to as the “golden arches.”

At the same time, the ad’s narrative captures the zeitgeist of the times. In it, two female workers instigate a comedic exodus from a dull-looking office, using their raised eyebrows to signal to colleagues that they should all go for lunch—a reminder of the months of debate over post-COVID workplace practices that really have seen workers refuse to return to their desks in favor of more flexible work lives.

The ad, set to 1985 track Oh Yeah by Yello, is also reminiscent of dance trends popularized by Tik Tok and other apps in which groups of people, often wearing ordinary clothes and in everyday settings, break into well-rehearsed coordinated dance moves.

A Twitter conversation between Tom Sussman, head of planning at the agency behind the Wright ad, Leo Burnett, and another advertising agency executive, also shone a light on the creative process behind the ad. Sussman explained that ethnographic research suggested the eyebrow raise as the starting point for the ad, and only later was that gesture linked to the McDonald’s logo, and the ultimate music choice.

Fans of Wright’s films have debated online whether he did well to accept a commission from a company that many associate with corporate America, industrial food production, and even obesity. But many others seem simply to be enjoying the sight of “ordinary” workers wielding the power of their brows to take collective action on… getting some lunch.

Research contact: @qz

Krispy Kreme doughnuts soon will be on the menu at select McDonald’s locations

November 2, 2022

McDonald’s certainly is known for testing new menu items at any given time of the year—but it’s rare to find the fast food chain testing out fare from an entirely different restaurant. However, clearly anything is possible because McDonald’s has just announced its plan to test Krispy Kreme doughnuts in select locations, reports Delish.

Yes, the hot-and-ready doughnuts are heading to a McDonald’s near you—that is if you live near one of nine restaurants in the Louisville, Kentucky, area.

During the test run, Krispy Kreme will provide three of its most popular doughnuts: Original Glazed Doughnut, Chocolate Iced with Sprinkles Doughnut, and Raspberry Filled Doughnut. The sweet treats, which can be purchased individually or as part of a six pack, will be delivered to participating restaurants fresh each day.

“McDonald’s is always looking for ways to give our fans more of what they crave, and we often conduct tests to inform future menu decisions,” reads a press release announcing the test. “This small-scale test will help us understand how offering new bakery items like Krispy Kreme could impact operations in our restaurants.”

Krispy Kreme doughnuts aren’t the only new addition McDonald’s is testing this year. In August, the fast food chain announced that it would be testing the Chicken Big Mac at select locations in Miami for a limited time.

Research contact: @Delish

Taco Bell is enlisting Pete Davidson to help apologize for its breakfast menu

October 5, 2022

Taco Bell is apologizing for its breakfast menu, CNN exclusively reports. In recent years, it has been littered with questionable foods, such as the Naked Egg Taco or even the Waffle Taco, both of which have since been discontinued.

Turns out, people just want the basics and the chain is finally accepting that. Now, the company is releasing a new ad campaign that includes with an apology of sorts for its past behavior, along with a promise that it won’t go that crazy again.

“We honestly over-innovated in breakfast,” admitted Sean Tresvant, Taco Bell’s chief brand officer, in an exclusive interview with CNN. “When you look at today’s consumer and the [fast food] breakfast business, it’s about familiarity and it’s about comfort.”

Taco Bell has been focusing on those two things. Since it was brought back last year after a brief pandemic-induced pause, its breakfast menu has been filled with unique items without going overboard compared to past creations.

Currently, the menu features breakfast-themed takes on its popular afternoon and evening foods, such as breakfast burritos, quesadillas, and crunchwraps—all stuffed with eggs, cheese, and meats.

As a result, breakfast sales have surpassed its 2019 sales levels, Tresvant said, adding that “slow and steady wins the race and in breakfast, you have to be consistent.” Breakfast makes up about 6% of its sales, the chain has previously said.

To help promote breakfast, Taco Bell has enlisted Pete Davidson, a comedian best known for a stint on “Saturday Night Live” that Tresvant said “probably took it a little bit too far sometimes,” similar to how the chain went a “little too far on breakfast.” Tresvant said it was a “great partnership” because Davidson is a fan of the chain and appeals to Taco Bell’s younger customer base.

Two 30-second TV ads featuring Davidson will be released this month and run until December 24. In one cheeky spot, Davidson walks into a Taco Bell says “Sometimes, we go too far. I have, and that’s why Taco Bell has hired me to make an apology for them.” The other ad shows Davidson waking up from a dream thinking about the chain’s breakfast.

Although Taco Bell isn’t making any changes to its breakfast menu, its competitors have adjusted their own. In recent weeks, Wendy’s has added french toast sticks; McDonald’s is selling a new cheese danish; and Tim Horton’s has a new waffle sandwich on its U.S. menus.

Bolstering breakfast is a smart business decision: A recent report from research firm NPD Group revealed that business for mornings has remained steady in the second quarter of 2022, while other parts of day (including lunch and dinner) have declined in the midst of rising menu prices.

According to new research from GlobalData, breakfast is also entering a resurgence because people are resuming their pre-pandemic routines of returning to the office.

“With such a large portion of the population regularly making a commute, it is unsurprising that breakfast sales have remained steady,” said Hannah Cleland, a food service analyst at GlobalData, in a recent note. “Consumer spending habits in response to the cost-of-living crisis have been nuanced, but it is clear that a small breakfast treat is still being incorporated into many people’s budgets.”

Research contact: @CNN

Beyond Meat stock falls following conclusion of the McDonald’s McPlant test

August  1, 2022

Shares of  Beyond Meat—the Los Angeles-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes—fell 6% in morning trading on Thursday, July 28, after J.P. Morgan revealed that  McDonald’s  had ended its U.S. test of the McPlant burger, which uses Beyond’s meatless patties, reports CNBC.

The fast-food giant confirmed to CNBC on Thursday that the McPlant test had concluded as planned. Neither McDonald’s nor Beyond Meat has announced any plans for additional testing or a nationwide launch.

 Indeed, Beyond’s stock has fallen 53% this year—dragging its market value down to $2.06 billion. Wall Street has become skeptical about the company’s long-term growth opportunities as grocery sales lag.

 Moreover, buzzy partnerships with restaurant giants like Pizza Hut owner Yum Brands and McDonald’s haven’t progressed to many permanent nationwide menu offerings yet.

 McDonald’s first tested the meat-free burger in eight restaurants in the United States in November to try to get an idea of how the menu item would impact its kitchens. In mid-February, it rolled the McPlant out to roughly 600 locations to learn more about consumer demand for the menu item.

 Analyst research reported lackluster demand for the Beyond burger. BTIG analyst Peter Saleh wrote in a June note that franchisees told him that McPlant sales were disappointing, coming in at or below the low end of projections.

 J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman wrote in his note on Thursday that some McDonald’s restaurant employees told him that the burger didn’t sell well enough, potentially putting a nationwide launch in jeopardy.

“Consensus contemplates 21% growth for BYND’s total top line this year, followed by another 25% next year. These rates will not be easy to hit, in our view, without [McDonald’s] in the United States,” Goldman wrote.

 McDonald’s and Beyond  announced a three-year partnership in early 2021. The burger chain already has started selling McPlant burgers in some international markets, including Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. 

 In May, Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said that the McPlant is selling well in the U.K. and Austria.

 Beyond is expected to report its second-quarter earnings after the bell on August 4.

 Research contact: @CNBC

Stolen Olympic gold medal found in discarded McDonald’s bag

July 12, 2022

If you came across a fast food bag on the ground, you probably wouldn’t pick it up and look inside. But, if you were to check it out, you’d expect to find maybe some ketchup packets, a half-eaten burger, and some napkins. This was far from the case for a California woman decided to take a peek inside a McDonald’s bag she saw on the pavement outside of her Anaheim, California-based office, reports Delish.

Assuming the plastic bag was merely litter, the woman, 50-year-old Maria Carrillo, picked it up and was surprised by how heavy it was. When she opened the bag, she discovered a gold medal engraved with the words Games of the  XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020, according to The Washington Post.

A bit skeptical about the authenticity of the gold medal, she phoned her husband, Noe Hernandez, who works as a barber. “Noe has a friend who works for the police department, and it turned out he was coming in for a haircut,” Carrillo told the Post. “As soon as [the officer] saw it, he told my husband it was real and that it had been stolen.”

It turns out that the Olympic gold medal belonged to Jordyn Poulter, the starting setter of the 2020 U.S. Women’s Volleyball Team. Poulter and her teammates took home the gold at last year’s Summer Olympics after defeating Brazil. The athlete, who had been showing the medal to friends the day it was stolen, accidentally left the medal in her car, which she forgot to lock.

“I’d forgotten to take it out of the car,” Poulter said. “When I saw it had been stolen, I felt instant regret. I also felt stupid for not locking the door. I thought my medal was long gone, I made peace with the fact that I’d probably never see it again.”

The Olympic gold medal has since been returned to Poulter, who says she’s “happy to have it back” and plans to send the medal to her parents for safekeeping.

Research contact: @DelishDotCom

Number of job postings requiring COVID-19 vaccination has nearly doubled since early July

August 16, 2021

Vaccination is increasingly a requirement to be hired, as employers ranging from accounting and software firms to schools and restaurants are asking applicants to get themselves inoculated against COVID-19, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The share of job postings stating that a new hire must be vaccinated has nearly doubled in the past month, according to the job search site Indeed.

The total number remains low, roughly 1,200 postings requiring a vaccination per million in the first week of August. But that is well up from about 600 in early July, and about 50 per million job postings in early February.

Many of the postings don’t explicitly name COVID-19 as the virus for which the vaccination is needed, said Indeed economist AnnElizabeth Konkel, who wrote the report, but broader context of the job descriptions suggested most employers were referring to the coronavirus vaccine, as opposed to other shots.

Early this year, before COVID-19 vaccines were widely available in the United States, very few job postings outside of healthcare positions indicated a vaccination requirement, she said.

“While the number of postings requiring a vaccine is still low, it’s a trend that’s really taking off,” Konkel told the Journal. “I think a growing number of employers are trying to keep workers safe and do not want to shut down again this winter….They see vaccines as the way out of this pandemic.”

The increased number of job postings requiring vaccination comes at a time when the number of coronavirus cases is surging because of the fast-spreading Delta variant. Employers ranging from the federal government and State of California to McDonald’s and Walt Disney are saying that at least some of their workers must soon be vaccinated against COVID-19 to report to worksites—or, in some cases, face frequent testing or other requirements.

Consumer sentiment in the United States soured early this month as Americans grew more worried about the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, according to a University of Michigan survey released on Friday, August 13.

The university’s index of consumer sentiment fell sharply to 70.2 in the first half of August—down from 81.2 in July. Consumers reasoned that the economy’s performance would weaken in coming months, said Richard Curtin, the survey’s chief economist, adding, “the extraordinary surge in negative economic assessments also reflects an emotional response, mainly from dashed hopes that the pandemic would soon end.”

As evidence, the share of job postings, per million, in the education sector that required a vaccination rose to 2,166 in July from 33 in February, according to Indeed. In food service, the rate per million rose to 814 in July from 43 in February. The rate per million for accounting rose to 1,184 from 39, and in software development the rate increased to 438 from four.

Konkel told the Journal that there is no evidence in Indeed data that job searchers are looking specifically for positions that require or don’t require vaccinations. She said some job postings mention that the existing staff have been vaccinated or that the company is offering a small bonus to workers willing to be vaccinated.

“The labor market is tight enough that there will likely be employers who are willing to overlook vaccination status,” she said.

Research contact: @WSJ

Bulletin to stress eaters: Krispy Kreme, McDonald’s offer free ‘noshes’ on Election Day

November 4, 2020

More than 90 million Americans voted early or by mail this year. But, with the U.S. presidential election on track to have the highest voter turnout since William Howard Taft was elected in 1908 with a 65% turnout, that still leaves over 100 million who should be hitting the polls on November 3.

And for most Americans—whether they are going to the polls or watching the results vigilantly—that could mean a very stressful Election Day. However, Business Insider reports, help is on the way.

If stress eating is your thing, several food chains are offering freebies that will take away the pain—among them:

  • Krispy Kreme is giving customers free doughnuts. The chain also is handing out “I Voted” stickers, in case customers voted early or by mail.
  • McDonald’s is offering a free Apple Fritter, Blueberry Muffin, or Cinnamon Roll with the purchase of coffees starting on Election Day. The “post-Halloween” deal will last from November 3 through November 9.
  • Boston Market is giving away free sliders from 9 p.m. until close nationwide, with no additional purchase necessary. The chain launched its new late night menu in October.
  • McAlister’s Deli is doing a buy-one-get-one-free sandwich deal to celebrate National Sandwich Day, which also falls on November 3. Customers need to sign up for the chain’s rewards program to access the deal.
  • Chili’s $5 Presidente Margarita deal is ending on Election Day. Customers can use the hashtag #PresidenteForPrez for a chance to win free Chili’s for a year.

Taking advantage of one or more of these offers could give Americans something to “chew on,” besides the election results.

Research contact: @businessinsider