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McDonald’s and Millennials

McDonalds

When was the last time you ate at a McDonald’s? Long the staple of families, teens, and college students, sales at the world’s largest restaurant company have been in a slump. For U.S. locations (about 40% of its restaurants), sales at McDonald’s restaurants have been flat or declining for much of the past year.

According to data compiled for The Wall Street Journal, the problem seems to be one of age – not age of stores, but age of its customers. A large portion of McDonald’s sales have traditionally been to customers age 20 – 30. However, that age group is now in search of healthier, fresher fare and has been switching their loyalties to restaurants such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Five Guys, and Panera.

Although McDonald’s has introduced new, healthier McWrap sandwiches and is increasing digital marketing to help win back millennial customers, there are more choices than ever for fast-food patrons. A decade ago, there were more than 9,000 fast food restaurants in the U.S., plus another 14,000 McDonald’s; today, there are nearly 21,000 fast food restaurants competing with 35,000 McDonald’s. That’s a lot of competition for the same dollar.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about their fast-food eating habits: What restaurants do they frequent? Why?
  2. Next, ask students when was the last time they ate at McDonald’s? Why?
  3. Discuss the factors that millennials use to choose a fast-food restaurant.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a list of criteria that they (as millennials) use to determine which fast-food restaurants they frequently eat at.
  5. Next, have each team select five of the criteria and create a plan for McDonald’s to use to attract more millennials.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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What’s in McNuggets?

 

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People are often fairly picky about what they eat – both at home and in restaurants. We can control what is in our own home meals, but it’s a different story when it comes to foods prepared in a restaurant. Many consumers express concerns about “pink slime” in beef products prepared at restaurants and fast food chains, giving all-natural food chains such as Chipotle an edge in the healthy eating market. Consumers want transparency and answers to the question “What in the world is in this food?”

 

So, what does that question mean for fast food restaurants and suppliers? For McDonald’s, this was an opportunity to provide consumers with a look into exactly what makes up a Chicken McNugget. In several videos, a supply-chain manager for McDonald’s in London, Ontario, gives a tour of the McNuggets production and shows just how the tasty little treats are made. The product is comprised of pulverized chicken breasts, water, modified corn starch, salt, seasoning, and natural rosemary extract – no “pink slime” to be found anywhere!

This begs the question for other restaurants – “What’s in YOUR food?”

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

1. Discuss eating habits. Poll students: who has eaten fast food in the past two weeks? Eaten Chicken McNuggets?
2. Show the videos:
http://youtu.be/Ua5PaSqKD6k
http://youtu.be/k6L2m4apXfI
3. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
4. Divide students into teams. Use this information to develop a positioning map for McDonald’s. What are the axis labels? Why?
5. What products are competitors?
6. Have each team draw their map on the board.
7. Debrief exercise.

Source:  Brandchannel.com, 2/6/14

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