Is the Mighty McDonald's Empire Facing Its Final Days?

McDonald's is facing a "deep depression" and could be in its "final days," according to some US franchise owners who were surveyed about the restaurant chain's recent performance.

In an attempt to shore up a slump, McDonald's introduced all-day breakfasts in its US stores, part of CEO Steve Easterbrook's 'turnaround plan' which also included digital ordering kiosks and other new menu items.

However, it seems like the new initiatives have simply caused headaches for restaurant operators, as they said in a survey conducted by analyst Mark Kalinowski.

"We are in the throes of a deep depression, and nothing is changing," wrote one franchisee.

"The CEO is sowing the seeds of our demise. We are a quick-serve fast-food restaurant, not a fast casual like Five Guys or Chipotle. The system may be facing its final days," said another.

The all-day breakfast has reportedly thrown a spanner in the works of the kitchens, with an extra range of menu items resulting in more pressure on the staff and a higher chance of mistakes.

Other new ideas from head office currently in place in the US is the 'Create Your Taste' option, which allows customers to create their own burger from 30 different ingredients - obviously a big change for a restaurant chain more accustomed to dishing out a few staples at fast pace.

Other initiatives, some of which have been restricted to a few locations, include 'healthier' menu items like the kale breakfast bowl, and a gritty reboot of the chain's beloved Hamburglar character.
It's part of McDonald's plans to reverse an almost two-year decline in sales in the US, but some restaurant operators aren't impressed.

"The system is very lost at the moment. Our menu boards are still bloated, and we are still trying to be too many things to too many people."

"Things are broken from the franchisee perspective," one wrote.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.