I have a soft spot in my mostly lean heart for McDonald’s. I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s more than 3 or 4 times in the last 20 years but I still remember my first Big Mac. I also remember the commercial that made me remember my first Big Mac. (I can’t find it on youtube but it’s where a little boy very earnestly asks his dad if he’s old enough to have his first big mac.) I actually teared up a little while watching it. Let’s leave that part aside for now as this isn’t a post about my need for psychotherapy.
I recently read this article about how McDonald’s has failed in Bolivia and that the company is closing all of their stores there. It was not surprising to me that the Big Mac failed there, or anywhere for that matter. McDonald’s is uniquely American and their many attempts to localize aside, at its heart McDonald’s is an unapologetic American fast food burger joint. That’s just not going to play everywhere. It doesn’t even play in some parts of the US. So the failure wasn’t surprising.
A reason for the failing came from Hispanically Speaking News…
ast-food represents the complete opposite of what Bolivians consider a meal should be. To be a good meal, food has to have be prepared with love, dedication, certain hygiene standards and proper cook time.
Good for the Bolivians for holding true to what is a beautiful tradition of food. From what I understand they are not opposed to a burger joint. They are opposed to the very idea of “fast food”. McDonald’s is fast and it’s cheap. After that there are not a lot of redeeming qualities*.
McDonald’s has become a marketing and logistics company. What’s worse is that they are a marketing company with a particularly bad product to sell. Despite that McDonald’s is an amazing marketing company (or their agencies are amazing). Their ads range from tear jerking to inspirational to ridiculous. But Bolivia has seen through it and sees McDonald’s for what it is. McDonald’s has failed there because of it.
I don’t want McDonald’s to fail. I want McDonald’s to be the company that they market to me. I want McDonald’s to serve a great burger. It doesn’t have to be “healthy”. It needs to be good and it needs to be wholesome. It doesn’t have to be cheap. Its price needs to reflect its quality. It doesn’t have to be instant. I can wait. It needs to be efficient.
I don’t want McDonald’s to fail. I want them to stop lying to me.
*To be fair McDonald’s does amazing things with its Ronald McDonald house and employs thousands of people. It is not evil it’s lazy. Oh and this commercial below is ridiculous.