Hometown Heroes & Joe’s Chicken

Dear Fellow Owners,

It was a busy few weeks at McDonald’s, our hometown. McDonald’s was in the news as we always are. We are an American Icon and what happens at McDonald’s makes headlines. In California at a Golden State Restaurant Group McDonald’s, a crew member sprung into action when alerted of a human trafficking victim. The woman being held mouthed “help me” to the crew person and she immediately called the authorities. The police rescued the woman and arrested the kidnapper. The Schrader Family have designated their restaurants as “Safe Places” working with local agencies to provide exactly that. It’s not everyday that we save someone’s life, but at McDonald’s, anything is possible. We thank the entire Golden State Restaurant Family for keeping our hometown safe and making us proud. #hometownheros

Lawsuits are less uplifting reasons for getting headlines. We have had our share lately. We live in a litigious society (and contentious). Fred Turner made every attempt to rely on relationships (not lawyers) to conduct business. For years we had few contracts and therefore few lawyers. But you don’t need contracts to get sued and attorneys will find work. A strong people culture is the best lawyer repellent. Just like in our restaurants, great running organizations with strong leaders, have little drama. We need to remain focused on relationship building, to valuing our talent, to recognizing our people, and to being on guard for those that do not belong in our hometown.

We must show the same vigilance protecting our hometown as the Schrader Family. We don’t discriminate based on race, religion, or sexual orientation but we do discriminate based on quality, service, and cleanliness. We are McDonald’s and we set the standard by the people we surround ourselves with. It’s never been harder to find and retain good people. It takes more work, more training, better pay, and the best working environment in the industry. The good news is we win on all fronts. We are McDonald’s and the guys down the street are no match for us. Be sure to pass along your best hiring bets. David Costa Jr. and the People team are working on McHire and other people tools. Keep them coming.

Our Chicken Sandwich will get coverage as well. Much of it good. There will be talk about it containing MSG. Needless to say, all of our Chicken Sandwich competitors use MSG, and many foods naturally contain MSG. The FDA deems MSG safe and the tests over the years have disproven the myth that MSG is harmful. We don’t need to get distracted by media stories that can’t get their facts straight. We need to stay focused on coming up with a Chicken Sandwich our customers are going to crave. A chicken sandwich that gives our customers another reason to visit McDonald’s. A McDonald’s Classic to go with our classic sweet tea. Joe’s Chicken Sandwich at McDonald’s.

One last thought on the news. None of us likes to read about our brand in a negative light. We have been raised to hold up the Arches and do it in the best light. We aren’t always going to get it right but we get it right much more than we get it wrong. The truth matters and we have the truth on our side. We are overwhelmingly good people serving a great product and doing right by our communities and our families. Thankfully those Arches are much stronger than a few bad articles. Keep shining McDonald’s.

Your NOA Board
Blake Casper
Val Netland
Bob Hogan
Larry Tripplett
Michael Retzer Jr.
Joel Pellicci
Robert Lane
Mike Donahue, Executive Director


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