Tag Archives: fast food

McDonald’s and Millennials


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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McDonald’s New Strategies


McDonald’s is one of the world’s largest and best-known businesses. Yet, even this company has faced its share of challenges in operations and consumer relevance. Recently, the company’s executives addressed how the chain plans to tackle problems. It boils down to three primary strategies: improving marketing, focusing on core products, and stepping up digital efforts.

Improving marketing: Reorganizing from a product-based marketing approach to one organized by consumer group (e.g., families, adults, millennials).
Core products: The company had operational problems when it launched four new products in the U.S. too quickly (McWraps, blueberry-pomegranate smoothies, Egg White Delight McMuffins, and new line of Quarter Pounders). The focus will be more on core products like burgers and breakfast.
Digital efforts: Testing digital payments and digital ordering around the world.

The key is to focus on a specific strategy, and manage products and tactics to fit that strategy.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
1. Before discussion McDonald’s in class, discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
2. Ask students which strategy should McDonald’s use, and why?
3. Can it use multiple strategies? How and why?
4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market McDonald’s.
5. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
6. Debrief the exercise and share McDonald’s strategy.

Source: Ad Age Daily, USA Today, other news sources

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Packaging Fast Food for Cars

Forget about the dangers of texting while driving and consider the risks behavior seen by people take every day as they eat while driving! How many times has a driver spilled a drink, dropped a French fry, or had to reach into a small space to retrieve a chicken nugget?

Enter new packaging from KFC with the KFC Go Cups. The new plastic containers can fit a KFC chicken entrée in the cup holders of roughly 83% of all U.S. cars. Big deal, you think. But there is more! The Go Cup also has wider top so that it can fit more food, even dividing the chicken from the potatoes with a convenient divider.

KFC stated that the new design stemmed from a survey it authorized in which 53% of 18-32 year olds said they would be more likely to eat in their cars if the food container would fit in a cup holder.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show the KFC commercial and view the Web site: http://www.kfc.comHave

  2. Have students brainstorm about related problems with eating in cars.  (e.g., messy food, spills, large foods, heat, cold, etc.)

  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a research project related to one of the highlighted problems.

  1. Have students determine the research objective. What type of research should be done to help answer the research question? How should it be conducted?

  2. Discuss the role of social media for promoting this product. How is it being used? Is it effective?

Source:  Brandchannel.com, Ad Age Daily

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