Friday, April 20, 2012

Why McDonald’s is Really Making a Profit

Yes friends, once again this morning I came across a story on Google News about McDonald’s and how their profits have risen 4.8% in the first quarter of 2012 according to a report by Leslie Patton posted on Bloomberg.

I guess this fast-food conglomerate is thanking new menu items like white chicken breast McBites and their many McCafe offerings (these drinks are good if you can ignore the bazillion calories). I’m not so sure that’s the reason for the increase in revenues, however.

Work, Work and More Work  

I’m sure statisticians behind the 4.8% increase could offer real data on exactly how many McBites and McCafes were sold in the first quarter of 2012 and let’s face it, McCafe drinks are cheaper than Starbucks, but in today’s economy, too many of us are working more than one job, are too tired to cook and yep, there’s a McDonald’s on almost every corner. What sort of parents would we be if we didn’t feed the family?

Sure I know there are great meals you can whip up in a jiffy but unless you have the items in the pantry and refrigerator, that’s a trip to the store, standing in line, lugging the groceries to your car and inside your house, cooking and cleaning up. Whew—McDonald’s wins here.

And, I should point out those Campbell soup commercials with simple recipes like pouring soup over rice or leftover mash potatoes sounds like “Depression Era” food. Well, we are leaning toward that I guess as far as the economy goes—only the rich are getting richer, not the poor or the middle class who are indeed, working, working and working just to keep their homes and food on the table—even if that food is McDonald’s.

New Choices Do Help, But It’s Because We’re Bored

There are only so many Big Macs one can eat so I’m sure if McDonald’s is on the way home after a tiring day, why not try some new McBites?

Family doctors preach to us and tell us to avoid fast-food. They want us to eat veggies and meat free of all the additives and fat and cut down on things like fried foods, sugar and well, anything processed with too much of whatever attacks our hearts.

We don’t listen though—we’re too tired.

Cookbooks are online, on iTunes and grocery store checkout lines are full of them—all promising quick and healthy meals and healthy meals on a budget, but if we’re working so many hours, who has time to read these cookbooks, get the ingredients and start being smarter about cooking?

We’re urged to exercise and I was saddened to learn once I reached 50 years of age, my half hour workout is no longer enough—women over 50 need at least an hour a day! Does typing count?

Eating Right

I live next door to a family of four (two teenagers) and they are busy folks. The son has this practice or that practice, the daughter has dance practice and is always trying out for this or that. Mom works all day and then runs to the school—sometimes more than once a day to pick up the kids, take them back and even offer rides home to friends.

Dad works from 7:00 am to 7:30 p.m. so he’s tired when he comes home and often the chore of bringing home dinner falls to him with all the running around his wife is doing. The easiest choice for this busy family? Fast food!

Because my kids are grown and gone (unless you count my six dogs who love McDonald’s but don’t get it), I think my husband and I eat well.

A piece of grilled chicken and some veggies and we’re full. We never eat dessert and we usually fall asleep watching our favorite primetime television shows. Most of the time, we skip lunch and for breakfast we grab a fiber bar or yogurt. For us, skipping fast food is a conscious decision and a body decision.

No we aren’t worried about the calories—it seems the older our intestinal systems get, the less we can tolerate all that fat! Not worth the bathroom trips.

And, our neighbors who we adore told me they spend up to $800 a month on fast food!

Revenues Up for Wrong Reason

So, all in all, I think McDonald’s revenues are up for the wrong reason. People are tired, don’t have time to cook or are too tired to cook. Passing through the drive-through window is easier—it’s really that simple.

I do have a protest to make on the Bloomberg story.

In the piece, Peter Saleh, an analyst from Telsey Advisory Group located in New York City says of the chain “McDonald’s is taking market share just because their restaurants are more up-to-date, more modern and cleaner than competitors.” Really dude? You need to visit more than the one in Manhattan.

There’s a truck stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike—very near Route 22 and yes, there’s been a McDonald’s there for years. If you go in there and actually buy something to eat—you have more guts than I do. The place is so dirty it’s unbelievable! And, the one that’s closest to my home (yes I did go in and buy a McCafe) is pretty dirty as well. I really don’t think Mr. Saleh eats at McDonald’s or he’d know these things!

So, will you skip the fast food tonight?

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