Summary of “The Inside Story of How McDonald’s Innovated the Quarter Pounder”

“McDonald’s new fresh-beef Quarter Pounder is hotter and juicier. It’ll leave you speech-less. I can almost feel that juice sizzling…. Oh baby, the melted cheese is hugging every corner of that grilled patty…. That cheese is so hot, so melty.”
It was timed to the arrival-at every one of the restaurant chain’s 14,000 U.S. outposts-of fresh, never-frozen beef patties in its signature Quarter Pounder burgers, a change that execs say has been as seismic for the company as the introduction of all-day breakfast, in 2015, or even the drive-through window, which McDonald’s began experimenting with in 1975.
Menu chief Linda VanGosen, who joined McDonald’s from Starbucks last year, works closely with chefs and food scientists at McDonald’s suppliers and keeps a close eye on food trends, which have to reach a certain level of mass appeal to make sense for McDonald’s.
McDonald’s began testing fresh-beef Quarter Pounders a few years ago at restaurants in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Dallas, markets selected because they are serious burger country.
On a late-spring Tuesday, not long after the new patty began being served nationwide, Christa Small, one of the company’s top operations executives and the person whose team was responsible for coming up with the procedures that make fresh beef possible, visits a McDonald’s near the old campus in Oak Brook.
In crafting the new Quarter Pounder, McDonald’s has made subtle improvements to the entire sandwich, adjusting grill time and the bun-toasting process, for example.
McDonald’s switched from batch cooking to preparing each Quarter Pounder when ordered.
To demonstrate, Small takes me to the other side of a McDonald’s counter and asks an associate for a Quarter Pounder.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Inside Story of How McDonald’s Innovated the Quarter Pounder”

“McDonald’s new fresh-beef Quarter Pounder is hotter and juicier. It’ll leave you speech-less. I can almost feel that juice sizzling…. Oh baby, the melted cheese is hugging every corner of that grilled patty…. That cheese is so hot, so melty.”
It was timed to the arrival-at every one of the restaurant chain’s 14,000 U.S. outposts-of fresh, never-frozen beef patties in its signature Quarter Pounder burgers, a change that execs say has been as seismic for the company as the introduction of all-day breakfast, in 2015, or even the drive-through window, which McDonald’s began experimenting with in 1975.
Menu chief Linda VanGosen, who joined McDonald’s from Starbucks last year, works closely with chefs and food scientists at McDonald’s suppliers and keeps a close eye on food trends, which have to reach a certain level of mass appeal to make sense for McDonald’s.
McDonald’s began testing fresh-beef Quarter Pounders a few years ago at restaurants in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Dallas, markets selected because they are serious burger country.
On a late-spring Tuesday, not long after the new patty began being served nationwide, Christa Small, one of the company’s top operations executives and the person whose team was responsible for coming up with the procedures that make fresh beef possible, visits a McDonald’s near the old campus in Oak Brook.
In crafting the new Quarter Pounder, McDonald’s has made subtle improvements to the entire sandwich, adjusting grill time and the bun-toasting process, for example.
McDonald’s switched from batch cooking to preparing each Quarter Pounder when ordered.
To demonstrate, Small takes me to the other side of a McDonald’s counter and asks an associate for a Quarter Pounder.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I was a fast-food worker. Let me tell you about burnout.”

We don’t put nearly as much time and energy into exploring the stress of unskilled, low-wage service work – even though the jobs most Americans actually work could be mistaken for Pits of Despair.
Often overlooked is how those same technological advances have made it possible to control and monitor unskilled worker productivity down to the second.
Even former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has often played up the summer he spent “Flipping burgers” at McDonald’s as a teenager, seems not to realize that it’s much more difficult to work fast food in 2019 than it was in 1986.
Even having done a lot of research, I was shocked by how much more stressful low-wage work had become in the decade I’ve been working as a journalist.
Last time the National Employment Law Project checked, the average age of fast-food workers was 29, and more than a quarter of workers were supporting a child.
In a country with a moth-eaten social safety net, health care tied to employment, and few job quality differences between working at McDonald’s, Burger King, or Walmart, corporations have long since figured out that workers will put up with nearly anything if it means keeping their jobs.
Free market capitalism doesn’t assign a negative value to “How much stress workers are under.” It just assumes that unhappy workers will leave their job for a better one, and things will find a natural balance.
They’re doing burnouts with the bodies and minds of millions of American workers, because either workers or taxpayers will pick up the bill.

The orginal article.

Summary of “On the Uncanny Adaptability of American Fast Food”

In lieu of traditional territorial expansion or colonies, there would be American culture and language along with science and technology, all orbiting out to the world’s far-flung corners.
The spread of Big Macs, Blizzards, Whoppers and Frosties projected the American character-approachable and agreeable, charismatic and casual, evangelical and democratic, hectoring and capitalistic.
Through this lens, the international footprints of American fast-food chains represent a form of cultural hegemony, a dynamic that upends traditional diets and foodways, kills national culinary traditions, and foists American dietary norms and values upon unsuspecting communities.
The McDonald’s system, with its cheerful focus on consumer, revealed possibilities that were alluring, new, and quintessentially American.
Any American chain seeking to flourish in a foreign market can only do so by adapting drastically to the tastes, customs, and mores of the host countries.
Contrary to popular gripes, any American chain seeking to flourish in a foreign market can only do so by adapting drastically to the tastes, customs, and mores of the host countries.
There are actually Quarter Pounders on McDonald’s menus in countries with the metric system, such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates.
The interplay of American fast food and local fare has created unexpected harmonies.

The orginal article.

Summary of “McDonald’s is undergoing a massive transformation, starting with the Q”

“McDonald’s new fresh-beef Quarter Pounder is hotter and juicier. It’ll leave you speech-less. I can almost feel that juice sizzling…. Oh baby, the melted cheese is hugging every corner of that grilled patty…. That cheese is so hot, so melty.”
Over the course of interviews with five top executives, I never once heard anyone mention Shake Shack or In-N-Out by name, but McDonald’s has clearly been studying these chains-both of which serve fresh beef-along with their millennial customers who don’t find frozen patties appetizing.
“We were hearing from consumers that our burger wasn’t good enough, and we’ve seen a lot of trends around expectations of high quality,” says the company’s new chief marketing officer, Morgan Flatley, who arrived at McDonald’s from PepsiCo a year ago.
Fresh beef is just one element of a massive transformation underway at McDonald’s.
Menu chief Linda VanGosen, who joined McDonald’s from Starbucks last year, works closely with chefs and food scientists at McDonald’s suppliers and keeps a close eye on food trends, which have to reach a certain level of mass appeal to make sense for McDonald’s.
Eventually, McDonald’s determined that the burger was too dry and didn’t arrive hot enough, and executives discerned that the culprit in both cases was the flash-freezing process the patties had been subjected to.
McDonald’s declines to reveal the costs associated with the new patty, beyond saying that it is not appreciably more expensive to produce than the frozen version, and that consumers won’t see an increase in price.
On a late-spring Tuesday, not long after the new patty began being served nationwide, Christa Small, one of the company’s top operations executives and the person whose team was responsible for coming up with the procedures that make fresh beef possible, visits a McDonald’s near the old campus in Oak Brook.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How McDonald’s uses interior design tricks to keep customers wanting more”

Can certain interior design features make you hungry for a hamburger? Some would say yes, and McDonald’s offers a master class in how to do it.
Consultant Luke Battye studied the fast food chain’s new “Experience of the future” restaurants and explained how their design sways customers in recent advice published on BehavioralEconomics.com.
The new design seems to be working for McDonald’s.
On digital menu displays in the restaurants, McDonald’s uses subtle animation to direct customers’ attention away from the lower-priced value meal options and point them toward the pricier ones.
To help us feel better about that, McDonald’s deploys the “Health halo.” They show a photo of a salad or bottled water on the menu display, which, studies show, makes customers perceive the entire menu to be healthier.
Of course, McDonald’s – which did not respond to requests for comment on these strategies – isn’t the only restaurant that uses these techniques.
Food retailers try everything from menu fonts to the color of the walls to influence how much a customer eats, how their food tastes, and how long they stay.
Some of McDonald’s menu items reportedly have more sugar and salt now than they did 30 years ago, despite concerns about the health effects of sweets and sodium.

The orginal article.