Volume 2, Number 5 -- May, 1997
Why McDonald's is a Pack of Swine
Hey kids! Skippy here with you again. You know folks, if you're like me, and of course you aren't, because you are a pathetic, jabbering nimrod, while I am everything mankind has ever dared dream it might become... Where was I? Oh yes, if you're like me, and of course you aren't, because you are a pathetic, jabbering nimrod, while I am everything mankind has ever dared dream it might become... OK, time for a different tack. As an American, I have a certain fondness for fast food joints. Not the food itself, you understand, but the idea of the fast food joint. Places like Burger King, Jack in the Box, Taco Bell - these are the names that made America great. You will no doubt notice that a certain 800 pound Gorilla of the fast food world has been left of my list. That leads me to the point of today's tirade.
You see folks, as someone who truly appreciates the contribution fast food has made to American society, I take a certain interest in the way these giants of the free world present themselves. In particular I'm speaking of fast food deals. You know the ones I mean, the ones that make it cheaper to eat at Burger King for a month than it is to live on bread and water. The classics like BK's "Two burgers, Two fries, Two bucks". Jack in the Box's always popular "Two tacos - Two bucks". Even Wendy's 99 cent value menu has been a proven winner. So when I heard the first rumblings of McDonalds' 55 cent Big Mac campaign a few months ago, I was excited. McDonalds has always been an innovator in the realm of cheap fast food. These are the folks that brought us the Extra Value Meal, then Super-Sized it. These folks are players kids, deserving of our respect. That is until now, with the abortion that is the 55 cent Big Mac deal, McDonalds has revealed themselves as cheap little flimflam artists, not worthy of the name the Golden Arches.
Look at the best deals in fast food history. Burger King's 2+2 for 2 that I mentioned above, and McDonalds' "2 for 2 bucks" deals of year's past. What do these deals have in common? Two things, simplicity and value. They are what they are and that's all. When you hear that you can get two burgers and two fries for two bucks, that is what you expect to get. Let's face it, if you eat at a fast food joint, you are going to spend about five dollars. You are going to get your large fries, your large drink and a couple of burgers (not those sniveling little burgers either, we're talking Whopper, we're talking Quarter-pounder) and with the recent advent of Value Meals, you are going to get the whole thing for about five bucks. The only thing that the deal does is give you more food for that five dollars. When they run specials on burgers, you simply buy more burgers until you hit that magical five buck barrier.
With that in mind, let's examine the 55 cent Big Mac deal, shall we? First of all, you cannot walk into any McDonalds in the land and simply order a Big Mac for 55 cents. First you need to buy a drink and an order of fries to qualify for your Big Mac. So automatically, the cheapest you can get a Big Mac for is $2.45. That isn't a bad meal as far as it goes, but that is for a small fry and drink. Let's assume that you weigh more than 95 pounds and need something more substantial. Well, a medium fry and drink along with that Big Mac is going to run you $2.89. That's right folks, you are now saving an entire dime over the cost of the normal value meal price. Some deal eh? Let's face facts though, you really need the large fries and drink don't you? Well my friends, under the terms of the 55 cent Big Mac swindle, that meal will set you back $3.29. For those of you who are good at math, you will notice that for a super-sized Big Mac value meal you normally pay $3.38. That is correct folks, you are saving nine entire cents!!! Flock to your local McDonalds right now, don't miss out on this deal of the century!
Now of course I realize that you usually don't save much money off of value meals during these specials. You save your money by buying extra burgers at the lower price. When Burger King offers the Whopper for 99 cents, it doesn't change the price of the Whopper value meal. It merely enables you to buy that second Whopper to round out the meal at a bargain. So all you do is order another 55 cent Big Mac to go with you're value meal and you are stylin' right? Sorry folks, in their infinite marketing wisdom, McDonalds has decreed that you get one 55 cent Big Mac for every drink/fry purchase. That means that the spare one is going to set you back the full $1.95. What it all boils down to is this, if you go into your local Mickey D's and order a large fry, large drink and two Big Macs, you are going to get hosed for $5.24. Again, that's a big nine cents less than you would normally pay for the exact same meal, and you don't even get a toy.
Wow, the Skipster got just a little carried away with the numbers there didn't he? For a minute there you probably thought you were reading some lame ass sports geek like the Professor. Not to worry troops, the Skipman is here to put it all in it's proper perspective for you. What this fumbling attempt at marketing on McDonalds' part really shows is just how far the mighty have fallen. As I've said, McDonalds once set the standard by which all other fast food was measured. Who gave us the Chicken McNugget? The Happy Meal? The Egg McMuffin? What have they given us lately? The Arch Deluxe? What on earth were they thinking? It doesn't even have "Mc" in the name. How could they have possibly thought that fast food that didn't test well with children was a good idea? Why on earth do they think people go to McDonalds in the first place? In case they're still wondering, we go because it's cheap or because a child drags us there for a Happy Meal. This is all part of a disturbing trend at the Golden Arches. They haven't had a hit sandwich in something like fifteen years. Remember the McLean Deluxe? Now they have Burger King making knock-offs of the Big Mac (except BK's are larger and taste better) and openly ridiculing them on a pretty consistent basis. It took Burger King a whole week before they started pounding McDonalds with their 99-cent whoppers-no-strings-attached campaign.
I'm sure that the brass at McDonalds thought this one was going to bring in the morons in droves. After all, who wouldn't look at a 55 cent Big Mac and jump at it. Unfortunately for the Kahunas in McDonalds land, they came up with a deal guaranteed to leave your average mouth breather scratching his head in befuddlement. It seems so simple really. You want to celebrate the year of your founding on this your 42nd?!? anniversary. So go ahead and offer a different sandwich for 55 cents every month for the year. Sure it's going to eat into your net income, but it will get people through the doors again and it will make people think fondly of your corporation once again. Who knows, they might even try an Arch Deluxe.