In McDonald’s We Trust

Dear Fellow Owners,

It was a busy week at McDonald’s, our hometown. The Coronavirus has dominated the headlines. Our government officials are responding, the markets are (over) reacting, and our daily lives will be affected soon if they haven’t already. We don’t know the magnitude nor the breadth of the danger and that creates an excruciating uncertainty.  Nothing creates uncertainty like a pandemic. Just ask my wife. We had plenty of hand sanitizer before, now we have industrial sized bottles and are looking into mister capabilities. No doubt there will be safety precautions that we will look back on and wonder what we were thinking, but for now, nothing is off the table. We must protect ourselves, our people, and our customers. The C in QSC has always been critical. Now it’s more than ever. Uncertainty will create a flight to safety, and McDonald’s is the safe choice. We must remain so.

We held our divisional planning meetings this week. It was said by both company and operator leadership that the next three year plan will be the most inclusive plan in McDonald’s history. Based on the number of surveys, messages on Corp U, and planning meetings, no doubt that this will be the case.  There is no perfect way to build a plan, especially with a system as big and diverse as ours. There will always be friction between national and local priorities. We benefit from being a part of a brand as strong and uniform as McDonald’s. How we localize the brand and bring it to life will always be our mission in the restaurants. Local ownership is our secret sauce. Leveraging that strength remains our focus at the NOA. Today we need to use it to assure our customers and crews that McDonald’s is the safe place. That we are the brand America can rely on. America trusts the Golden Arches.

McDonald’s and Chris K announced the cancellation of Worldwide this week. We are canceling our NOA Meeting in Orlando as well. Bringing people together has always been what we do very well at McDonald’s. It’s part of our culture and part of being America’s favorite restaurant. Unfortunately bringing people together from all over the globe and the US is not safe right now. With so much unknown about Coronavirus, we are better off staying close to home. Staying close to our restaurants. Chris, Joe, and the team are working on a virtual Worldwide. We will do the same for the NOA meeting. Q&A was going to dominate our upcoming meeting. We want to hear from you about how we are doing. Is the planning going well, are we working better, is cash flow headed in the right direction? What priorities are we missing? What do our customers want from us? Are we balanced? These questions never go away, no matter how good the plans or the people leading them are. As Eisenhower once said “plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” Joe E said “that an 80% plan executed at 100% is better than the reverse”. Today the plan is to keep everyone safe. Tomorrow’s plan will tackle much more.

Stay Safe,
Blake & Your NOA Board

Val Netland
Bob Hogan
Larry Tripplett
Michael Retzer Jr.
Joel Pellicci
Robert Lane
Mike Donahue, Executive Director

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