The McDonald’s Way

Dear Fellow Owners,

It’s been a busy week at McDonald’s, our hometown. It’s been another week of adapting to the new world order. Where we pivot to Drive Thrus, Digital Ordering, and Delivery. All three allow for less contact while still offering the great taste of McDonald’s. These trends were in place before Covid and are now greatly accelerated. There will be a renewed trend towards security and the Arches provide a security that few in our industry (or anyone in business for that matter) can offer. Our collective strength should and will be support for those of us most affected by the crisis. The NFLA Economics Team and McDonald’s have a Program for those of us most affected by the crisis. Be sure to tune in for the next National Webcast to learn more. We make sacrifices by being a part of the system, we sacrifice for the good of the brand. The Brand needs to be there for us. Hard work has always been part of our DNA and lending a hand equally so. It’s the McDonald’s way.

Learning from every opportunity is also the McDonald’s way. We have some phenomenal learnings from the Covid opportunity. The most obvious is how much our customers want to use our Drive Thrus. Our renewed focus on DT and simplified operations have allowed us to do more volume in our Drive Thrus than ever before. Our people are to be commended for their heroic work in our Drive Thru’s. Keeping their lives simple is the best way to thank them. We must remain ever vigilant to not complicate their lives and operations going forward. The greatest gift of Covid has been simplification and a singular focus on our DT’s. The more that we can support our Drive Thru’s through better technology, promoting MOP, and enhanced DT infrastructure, the better. The simpler our Restaurants are to operate, the better the experience for everyone. Simplicity is always the most eloquent solution. It’s what McDonald’s was built upon.

We have also learned a valuable lesson in great marketing. We had the greatest marketing promotion with our “Thank You Meals” in recent history. It showed us what the power of our brand can accomplish. It was a classic field led, staff supported effort. All three legs of the stool jumped into action and it should set the bar for how we use our national voice going forward. McDonald’s has far greater breadth to connect with the American Consumer than any other brand. We must look for ways to do so that go beyond price. Value will always play a role, but the highest and best use for our national marketing remains more than price. America expects more from McDonald’s and we should expect more from ourselves.

It wouldn’t be a NOA Sunday e-mail without a comment on trust and leadership. Trust is the basis of good leadership. It’s slowly built and easily destroyed. We build it within our own organizations and we do it with or without ten point plans. There is nothing wrong with well articulated management plans but they don’t make up for the blood, sweat, and tears that build trust. There is no substitute for skin in the game. Trust requires good judgement. Our’s comes from experience, from the day to day living in our restaurants. There is nothing wrong with smart advisers nor our corporate counterparts, but they do not live where we live. They do not feel what we feel. They do not own the restaurants, in the way we do. And so it’s up to us to keep the trust, to keep the faith, to keep the promise. It’s up to us to deliver on the moment of truth. It’s up to us to lead. We are McDonald’s and America is counting on us.

Blake Casper & Your NOA Board

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