In this file:


·         Inflation Redefines ‘Value’ at McDonald’s, Other Fast Food Chains

·         McDonald’s Says Robots Not Key in Its Future

·         Why You Won't Find The McPlant At US McDonald's Locations Anymore



Inflation Redefines ‘Value’ at McDonald’s, Other Fast Food Chains



Jul 28, 2022


If a value menu deal seems too good to be true, there is a good chance that the restaurant agrees — as food prices continue to rise, some brands are finding their dollar menus too difficult to maintain. McDonald’s, for one, is raising its value menu cheeseburger price by as much as 20% in the United Kingdom...


... The news comes after the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that, in the United States, in 16 of McDonald’s 56 domestic markets, local co-ops voted to advertise value menus instead of dollar drinks to make it possible for them to raise the prices of beverages.


“Franchisees set prices and have the flexibility to create promotions that will drive demand locally,” the restaurant brand told the outlet.


In the United States, overall food prices increased even more dramatically in the same period. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) earlier this month, revealed that food prices rose 10.4% year over year in June. Food away from home (i.e., restaurant) prices, meanwhile, rose 7.7%.


Given that McDonald’s tends to be a leader in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) space, it is likely that, as the company continues to raise prices on its value offerings, other brands will soon follow suit. Other dollar deals may soon have to revise their names to value menus as brands rethink their pricing...





McDonald’s Says Robots Not Key in Its Future

CEO said customer data would be a better solution to ease pressure on the workforce


by Scarlett Evans, IOT World Today

29th July 2022


McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski told investors that automation will not be a “silver bullet” for labor shortages.


Responding to pandemic-related disruptions, rising inflation and increased labor costs, fast food chains have been facing new levels of labor shortages, with many turning their attention to robotic assistants to help ease pressure on staff and streamline operations.


When asked about this subject on an earnings call this week, Kempczinski said robotics are unlikely to form a key part of its business model moving forward.


Instead, he said data on customer activity should be utilized to more closely inform scheduling and ensure enough staff are present during peak hours.


“The idea of robots and all those things, while it maybe is great for garnering headlines, it’s not practical in the vast majority of restaurants,” he said. “The economics don’t pencil out. You don’t necessarily have the footprint. And there’s a lot of infrastructure investments that you need to do around your utility. You’re not going to see that as a broad-based solution anytime soon.”


Robotics have still been seen in some of the restaurant giant’s chains, with a fleet of commercial service robots from Pudu Robotics rolled out in McDonald’s locations in Slovenia earlier this month. The service bot helps to collect and deliver trays and offer contactless service; with this latter feature responding to consumers’ increased awareness over sanitary and safety standards in customer-facing roles...





Why You Won't Find The McPlant At US McDonald's Locations Anymore


By Hope Ngo, Mashed

July 29, 2022


From a purely visual standpoint, there was very little other than the packaging that would set apart a McPlant from McDonald's classic hamburger. Made with Beyond meatless patties, the offer was supposed to be a godsend to vegetarians in search of a sandwich treat at the Golden Arches; the offer even attracted the support of PETA, the global nonprofit animal rights group, which resulted in an increase in McPlant sales.


There would have been great optimism when the McPlant was first rolled out back in November of 2020 when CNBC said the McPlant made its debut at eight restaurants in the United States. It was subsequently introduced at 600 restaurants located in Dallas Fort Worth and the Bay Area in mid-February, but as Restaurant Dive reports, it didn't take long before restaurant operators realized McDonald's only vegan offer wouldn't be as popular as the chain had hoped it would be, with sales either hitting the low-end of expectations or missing them altogether.


McDonald's has stopped testing the McPlant


Restaurant Dive further quotes a study done by BTIG analyst Peter Saleh, who said that in the San Francisco area, McDonald's was barely moving 125 to 300 of the specialty sandwiches a week, while in the Dallas Fort Worth market, Saleh noted that the McPlant was moving at 30% below projections. As a result, Saleh wrote, "[McDonald's] assessment was that they don't see enough evidence to support a national rollout in the near future and that lower sales volumes were slowing down service times, as the product was being cooked to order," per MarketWatch.


Restaurant Dive says the testing period for the McPlant ended earlier this week, and while it still appears as an offer on the McDonald's website, various reports indicate that McPlant is no longer being served in the United States. In a report cited by MarketWatch, analysts for JP Morgan say they went around to 25 different restaurants at different locations and reported back with the news that the sandwich was nowhere to be found. They wrote, "We ... don't know for certain that McPlant is entirely discontinued — it may still be available in some locations. And it's possible, of course, that McDonald's is only temporarily taking it off U.S. menus. But clearly this news isn't good for the narrative."


The McPlant can still be found in some European markets ...


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