The Curmudgeon’s Tale

I heard about five minutes of C-SPAN radio this morning. It was a speech given by Enrique Hernandez, Jr.,the current CEO of McDonald’s Corp., one of the most successful businesses in the world. I hope to find a link to the transcript or to the audio portion soon, and will update this if and when I find it.

But five minutes of listening was all it took to convince me to sell all the McDonald’s stock I can find – sell it short.

I don’t do McDonald’s any more. On the rare occasions that I have, I found the counters manned by either less than competent children or non-English speaking cashiers, neither of whom would count change. The stores have been less than clean in too many cases too often. And biting into a stale biscuit once will make you not want to do it again. I thought for a long time that my experience was an aberration. After all, there are thousands of identical McDonald’s, each run by different people and YMMV, right?

Consider that McDonald’s has made corporate history, not by a diversity of people, but by uniformity of product and experience. That has changed. It seems that from the top down, their policy is to make sure that their AA numbers are “right”, not that their food and service is good. Their specific policy is to strive to “make the worker feel like he/she’s at home” (no mention of the customer). The specific policy is to train their employees to “deal with irate customers” (not to fix the problem that has made them irate). So says their CEO.

They’ve been successful in what they’ve attempted to do. It shows.

I’ll calm down. And on reflection I’ll remind myself that it’s not the young and Hispanic cashiers I’m furious with. They are doing, after all, only when the corporate suits are telling them to do. Fine – if they think they can make a buck that way, more power to them. They won’t be seeing my bucks, though.

Correction:

Thanks to daveand for pointing out my mistake – Hernandez is not the CEO of McDonald’s. He is on the board of directors.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Economics, Personal

2 Comments on “The Curmudgeon’s Tale”

  1. daveand Says:

    The current CEO of McDonald’s Corp is Jim Skinner, not Hernandez.

  2. Joe Says:

    Thank you, daveand. I’ll make the correction.


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