TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘fast food’

Fast Food Restaurants Get More Bad PR Because Reddit and Rogue Employees

funnyfast-foodsigns-10

They will do anything for a quick buck.

Despite all the health awareness floating around in food land, fast food joints continue to grow at alarming rates because people adore making easy money and other people love order easy food for themselves and the kids. That said, people can’t seem to get enough dropping a flaming bag of dog poop at the door of each eatery.

That includes current and former employees. Someone on Reddit decided to ask the $64,000 question, “Fast food workers of Reddit, what should we NOT order at your restaurant? Why not?” What happened is nothing short of crisis communications sensory overload.
Read more

Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsLearn how to use stories to inspire, connect, and persuade your clients! In this workshop starting September 3, you'll learn how to uncover stories in everyday life, incorporate stories into your media work, use storytelling techniques with clients, all to improve your pitch and presentation skills. Register now!

THIS JUST IN: McDonald’s Is America’s Most Hated Company

THIS JUST IN 2Global corporations. National chains. Even the off-shoot regional company.

They each have opportunities to hire tools, treat employees like peons and run their organizations like a sweat shop. It’s tough competition out there, but thanks to a report from 24/7 Wall Street, there’s a new King of the Mountain.

[Timpani Drum Please]

Ladies and gentlemen of crisis communications specialties everywhere: May we present McDonald’s as America’s Most Hated Company! 

Surprised? Of course not, if you read this forum for any amount of time. The franchising, fast-food juggernaut has a super-sized order #PRFail in its 2013 archives…

Read more

THIS JUST IN: McDonald’s to Purchase Sustainable Beef in 2016. Wait, What?

THIS JUST IN 2Typically, a story about ecofriendly, locavore, foodie shenanigans would be a nice #PRWin for any brand. However, when something like that comes from the Golden Arches of McDonald’s, that pungent fishy smell ain’t the filet under the hot lamp, kids.

Just in case you thought a solar flares shot across the sky and scorched your retina, you did read that headline correctly. According to CNBC, McDonald’s believes everyone will ignore that Mr. Ed, Trigger and Heigh-Ho Silver make up the Quarter Pounder, McNuggets and Big Mac and begin buying sustainable beef in 2016.

Because it’s all about paying it forward, ‘Merica?!

Yeah, right…

Read more

Central Texas Schlotzsky’s Closes for ‘Attitude Adjustment,’ Smells Like Awesome

Source: KTAB-TV Abilene (CBS)Go ahead. Take a moment. Look at the picture. Soak it in. It’s real.

Meet John Herod. He is an Abilene, Texas resident and owner of this Schlotzsky’s on 1018 N. Judge Ely Blvd. I have family in the great western yonder of the Lone Star State, so I’ve actually dined at this establishment. My memories here are less than desirable, but when I read this story from KTAB-TV (CBS) in Abilene, two things happened:

1. I knew why the service sucked so bad at this joint and felt great that it wasn’t me just being judgmental.

2. I will make it a point to visit this place every time I go visit family in that side of the world. Ever.

As you can tell by reading the sign, Herod determined his staff — in a word — sucked. More about what he did with awesome sauce is after the jump…

Read more

McDonald’s Squeezes Out Heinz Because They’re not Down with the King

mcd heinzIn media headlines, you can hear the echoes of “The Fast Food Wars” banging down the fries-encrusted, grease-stained hallways of restaurants everywhere. As PR professionals, we think a claim like that is fluff, as if the conflict will keep us watching or reading for another few minutes.

And then when we see a story like this from Reuters, perhaps copywriters are onto something. In summary, for 40 years, the Clown has provided Heinz ketchup to its millions served. Recently, Heinz has hired a new CEO for a reinvigorated era in its history. Unfortunately for them, that new CEO is Bernardo Hees…former grand poobah of Burger King. 

And so, McDonald’s is ending that relationship with Heinz. Let the wars continue:

“We value the relationship we’ve maintained with Heinz for more than 40 years. As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time. We have spoken to Heinz and plan to work together to ensure a smooth and orderly transition of the McDonald’s restaurant business, and are confident that there will be no impact to our business, our customers and our great tasting food at McDonald’s.”

Imagine you are working PR for Heinz. Your company hires a great guy with blazing executive past, but he’s got that secret — he led the dreaded enemy of your largest vendor for years. Someone care to throw up a red flag there? In the world of cutthroat capitalism, surely this idea had to be hurled against a whiteboard.

However, like a monkey with his poo, that idea was just stinky to the people making big bucks. And no, that’s not egg on Heinz’s face. Just putting that out there.

MEMO to Hunts and Del Monte: Your move.

McDonald’s Wants Employees to Seek Goverment Cheese and McHandouts

McTax DollarsIt’s no secret that working at a fast-food restaurant can be slightly taxing. Of course, I mean stress because there isn’t enough money in the fry guy’s wallet to be taxed in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why the cashiers, drive-thru folk and cooks make the minimum wage but in this economy? People can’t even afford a Big Mac, much less to make them for others. I would imagine you wouldn’t be a good steward of people’s resources if you didn’t consider the plights of your employees from time to time.

So, a CSR program was invented by the home of the golden arches — Meet the McResources Line. This is a hotline the clown created to suggest options for its employees to get by…because they surely can’t do it on what they are earning.

This McJoke made national news thanks to 10-year employee Nancy Delgado. She has two kids and lives under the poverty line. We don’t know her. We can’t judge her. But McDonalds certainly has the resources to support her.

However, the smarmy operator had a better idea — make the government pay for you. Don’t believe me? Here’s the call and a quote from the Clown after the jump…

Read more

A ‘Happier Meal’? I’m Not Lovin’ It.

Happy-Meal-Sad-MealBack in my fare burgh, health and family reporter Nancy Churnin has a lovely question posed to her readers but it should get the ears perked of us flacks: “Changes coming to the Happy Meal. PR stunt or the real thing?

(SPOILER ALERT: It’s McDonalds. There is no real thing there.)

According to the story, McDonald’s latest CSR campaign is going to be a partnership with Reading Is Fundamental. This is a valiant cause, and as the honored spouse to an elementary school teacher, one that requires more attention — but through a Happy Meal?

Are we sacrificing one cause for another? Fight illiteracy to ignore childhood obesity?! The goal is to get 20 million books to kids by giving out paperback books instead of toys for two weeks in November. Two weeks. That’s it, and probably just enough for the home of the Golden Arches.

However, there’s a rub to this abrasive campaign:

The print books will be shamelessly self-promotional and feature McDonald’s Happy Meal characters learning to eat right by eating guess what? Food you can find at McDonald’s. RIF will help distribute 100,000 Happy Meal Books to kids who don’t have easy access to books, but is the goal really to promote a love of reading or to sell McDonald’s?

Let me get this right: We have the second-largest fast-food conglomerate in the world pimping itself and its brand under the guise of an award-winning publisher’s ardent cause? Granted, the clowns at McDonald’s (see what I did there) have the Ronald McDonald House – also very admirable of causes — but why not focus on its own charity instead of making its number one item better by offering a free commercial color-by-numbers book that is printed by someone else?

That’s not PR. That’s not CSR. That barely marketing. It’s an issue of ethics. A big, deep-fried, artery-hardening, fat issue of ethics.

McDonald’s Canada Wants to Show You Where the Beef Is

Yeah, no.

In case you never watched Dudley Do-Right as a kid, we’ll let you in on a little secret: things are different in Canada. For instance, McDonald’s Ontario recently added the McLobster to its menu. Let that one sink in for a minute.

Why do we mention our great white neighbor to the north? Because Canada has given us Jim Carrey, Rick Moranis, at least one member of Arcade Fire, and this week’s best case study in proactive social media PR!

Most food brands take one of two routes when confronted with tough questions about ingredients and product preparation: either change the subject or say nothing at all. Yet the Canadian branch of fast food’s reigning champ decided to do something completely different last year: listen to customers’ questions and give them all the dirt on the ginger clown with the beef-and-cheese addiction.

This isn’t just social media community managers tweeting “We’re sorry for your experience, customer X. Please email us at LikeWeCare@yahoo.com for more info!” McDC promises to answer any consumer’s question—as long as he or she connects on Twitter or Facebook first. Crafty!

So how does this project work?

Read more

Taco Bell Takes on Chipotle with ‘Cantina’ Rebranding

Let’s be frank—the Taco Bell chain has never been known for the quality of its food. It’s a reliable source for beer-fueled midnight snack runs that your stomach will regret in the morning, but Chipotle has been the recognized leader in “quality” Mexican-style fare for some time. Its “food with integrity” tagline couldn’t be clearer.

Of course, the folks behind the Chihuahua would love to change that equation—and it seems like they’ve had some success with the “Cantina Bell” rebranding project and its celebrity chef spokesperson, Lorena Garcia. The goal of this exercise was clearly to compete with Chipotle Mexican Grill, which is something of a “cult favorite” despite being a big-money national chain once owned by McDonald’s.

Well, it worked–According to the YouGov Brand Index, Taco Bell’s quality perception among consumers rose throughout the summer after it debuted the Cantina brand—and its scores are now closer to those of its nemesis. The success of the Cantina project even inspired venture capitalist David Einhorn to warn investors about buying shares of Chipotle—and the company’s stock value quickly dropped in response.

Read more

Fast Food Brands Must Admit There are Better Options

Photo: Getty Images/Amana images

According to a recent study of New York City diners, only one-sixth of fast food customers pay attention to the calorie counts that are now listed on menus.

Those who do take notice of the calorie counts eat fewer calories, however, which is encouraging. The key, according to TIME, is putting the information in the same place in the same font as the rest of the menu details. “Most restaurants only matched calorie stat fonts and sizes to menu items some time after the ruling was implemented,” the story says.

With obesity a continued health concern in this country, communicating information about what and how we should be eating has reached the legislative level. A new law will go into effect that will be adding calorie counts to an additional 200,000 fast food restaurants around the country. And we have a new nutrition guide that’s meant to clarify what it means to eat healthfully. Fast food brands will now have to make certain concessions about how good their food is for their customers.

Read more