Don’t be Cheap, Offer Value (A Lesson from McDonald’s)

Sometimes leaders go too far when trying to increase sales or cut costs.  Here is one example:

To reduce caloric intake (and my weight), I only drink water when eating fast food.  I simply request a cup for ice water and then fill it up at the soda fountain.  Just like clockwork.

Until today.

I went to a McDonald’s with my wife and kids so they could eat and play on the PlayPlace with their cousins.  Not only did this particular McDonald’s refuse to give (or sell) me a cup for water, but they don’t even have a water option on their soda fountain for my own bottle.

What a foolish way to increase soft drink sales and cut costs!

Instead of our group discussing the great salads, tasty coffee, giant playground, and healthy side items in the kids’ happy meals, we were focused on why the heck they don’t offer water or two cent cups.  One of the mothers ended up using the bathroom faucet. I drank nothing.

I doubt that was McDonald’s corporate plan.

Just check out the #McDonalds hashtag on Twitter, and you’ll see that my experience is not unique.  At a glance, I saw that one restaurant doesn’t offer free refills on soft drinks.  Another didn’t feel like doing Shamrock Shakes this year.

This McDonald’s didn’t offer water.

Be careful when cutting costs that you don’t cut customers too.   The world is too connected.  Cups are too cheap.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

5 comments on “Don’t be Cheap, Offer Value (A Lesson from McDonald’s)”

  1. Unlike Circuit City or Montgomery Ward, I give McDonald’s a lot of credit for brilliantly adjusting their strategy to stay relevant in a changing world:

    • Value pricing
    • Healthy options
    • World class social media engagement

    However, store managers or owners who ignore these core McDonald’s principles to “save money” or “increase sales” almost always hurt themselves and the rest of the team.

  2. I agree. I think it is a lot more important to focus on our customers and be sure we are meeting their needs. As long as they are happy and feel that we really do care about them they will continue to do business with us.

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