Dear Fellow Owners,

It’s been another unprecedented week at McDonald’s, our hometown. We saw glimmers of hope that the curve is being flattened. That the war with the virus is being won. McDonald’s is participating on the White House’s Reopening Taskforce, ensuring that we reopen safely and the PPP gets refunded. At the local level we have seen countless heroics from our home teams. Our New York owners not only have led the way in protecting our crews, but they helped with bags for the N95 masks at the Javits Center. Tracy Johnstone and many others are finding ways to give back to those who have been hit hard, knowing all too well what it’s like to go through catastrophes. We are all feeding those in need and taking care of those that take care of us. OPNAD’s “Thank You Meal” program demonstrates how much we care for those on the frontlines. We are also thanking our front line “McDonald’s” teams. To our teams on our frontlines, we salute you.

Our relationship with McDonald’s was in the news this week. The media loves to report on a fight and they had several leaked memos to report on. We at the NOA have made a point of not speaking to the press. We are under no illusion that our disputes will not reach the public domain but we still hold out hope that we can settle our differences before they do. But alas, McDonald’s makes headlines. This dispute highlights our different perspectives. We live in our hometowns, balancing the needs of our business, our customers, and our communities. McDonald’s increasingly lives at MHQ. A perspective that lends itself to one size fits all. They balance the national issues, shareholder expectations, and the brand. It takes effort to see the world from each other’s perspective. It takes effort to empathize with each other’s concerns. It takes effort to sacrifice one’s own interest for the brand’s. When we see our partner doing it, it’s much easier to do it ourselves. When we see our partner’s unwillingness to sacrifice, we become much more guarded. We know the difference between $900m abated and $900m deferred. We know when our partner is telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And in turn, we must speak the truth. When we say we value the relationship, the partnership, we must mean what we say and say what we mean. For truth begets trust, and trust is what our relationship is based on.

OPNAD is leading with new creative that tells our story. A story that is more relevant today than ever. We are the certainty in a very uncertain world. We are the constant in an ever changing world. We are the promise that Happy Meals will return. Keith Reinhard was responsible for perhaps McDonald’s greatest Marketing Campaign “You deserve a break today.” Keith talks about how this campaign captured the mission of McDonald’s and why it was so relevant at the time. He explains how McDonald’s provides an escape from the struggles of everyday life. These struggles have magnified lately and it’s why our mission at McDonald’s is more critical than ever. We are an essential service and our staffs are essential workers. You are essential. We are keeping the lights on and we will continue to be there for those in search of a great hot meal. But McDonald’s means much more. It’s why we get the headlines we do. Keep making them.

Your “wishing we were in Orlando” NOA Board.

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