JOEY HEADSET: Saving Micky Ds
What happened to McDonald's?
McDonald's used to be the big daddy of fast food franchises.
They had it all - burgers, fries...larger burgers, larger fries. But
while the competition innovated, the Golden Arches stagnated. Wendy's currently
offers salads and baked potatoes, Hardee's provides fried chicken and biscuits.
Burger King...well, they're doing straight up crazy shit. Remember the BK
Stacker? And what does Mr. McDonald have to say about all this? "Hey guys,
here's a new 'Premium' Chicken Sandwich...and, uh... we're thinking about
offering breakfast all day along!"
McDonald's holds a special place in American culture. They
are the fatteners of our asses, the bringers of diabetes to our children - they
are the reason why the terrorists hate us. Journalist Thomas Friedman once
wrote that no country that has a McDonald's has ever gone to war against
another country with a McDonald's. The decline of the McDonald's franchise
doesn't just threaten the economy, it could eventually cause World War III!
Though war certainly makes for great television, I
can't in good conscience let this happen. For this reason, I offer the
following humble suggestions for how McDonald's can once again claim its title
as the premiere fast food restaurant in America - and the world.
First and foremost, McDonald's needs more
menu variety. When Ray Kroc founded the franchise in the late 50s, it was
sufficient to serve nothing more than burgers, fries and shakes. You know,
traditional drive-in fare. But in the modern fast food era, this is not enough.
Customers crave variety, and though Micky D. has taken a few tentative steps
toward expanding their menu, they need to start thinking outside the box.
Way outside the box! Let's brainstorm for a moment... what's the last
thing you would expect to see on a McDonald's menu? Sushi? Herb encrusted lamb
shanks? Baked bean sandwiches? Yes, these would be surprising...perhaps even
surprisingly delicious! However, I've got an even better idea. McDonald's has
never really capitalized on the uniquely Scottish nature of their franchise's
name-identity. In the long history of the restaurant, they have never served
any traditional Scottish cuisine. I say it's time for the company to embrace
their ethnic heritage.
Mmm! Americans will love the taste of McHaggis just like
they love the taste (metaphorically) of ignorance and violence! And McDonald's
already has a classic slogan they can adapt when marketing this delicacy: "Two
all-sheep lungs, liver, heart, onion, stock, oatmeal, spices in a boiled
Speaking of edible viscera, I've always been a big fan of
Chicken McNuggets. They are everything I like about chicken, but in convenient
bite sized chunklets that may or may not be made of chicken. I wonder, why
can't McDonald's make all of their menu items available in some kind of
McNugget format? Cheeseburger McNuggets would be pretty awesome, as would Big
MacNuggets. Who knows, in the future we might even be able to enjoy an icy cool
Coca-Cola in the form of refreshing CokeNuggets.
Also, do you remember Ronald McDonald? That
ass-clown has got to go. Clowns are freaky and unpleasant. They are not funny,
they are not entertaining, and most people who dress up like clowns are
actually child molesters. It's a fact. McDonald's needs a new mascot, and they
don't have to look far to find one. They already have a wonderful character who
would serve brilliantly in this role.
This is Grimace. He was named after the facial expression
most McDonald's executives make when they first learn the terrible secret of
"special sauce". Grimace is a spokeman, er...spokesthing we can trust. He's
blobby, he's androgynous, he's purple. He looks like America. Except for
the androgynous and purple part.
When lefty activists need a poignant symbol to deface at
anti-globalization protests, they need look no further than the Golden Arches.
And, if McDonalds makes the simple changes I've proposed, those arches will
represent corporate greed and American gluttony for decades to come.
For more Joey Headset:
September 25, 2006.