image Update: I just visited the local Mcdonald’s. Same order, but better service. The order was wrong, but the server was very helpful and nice. Maybe all is not so bad. Here is my standard lately. image
I am in a hurry, so Mcdonald’s it is.

I decided to get another side salad and a hot fudge sundae. Can’t go wrong with either of those.


This visit was very enjoyable. Lots of employees- 12 that I could see. About 30 customers were in the building while I was there and a good flow through the drive thru. Best visit I have had in a while.

Keep cranking,

Robert the DividendDreamer

I have been a little hesitant with the possible purchase of shares in MCD. I feel that honesty is the best policy, so I am going to write my true opinion and not something contrived in order to gain favor. So, here is what I think about MCD as of 10/26/2014. I can remember the very first time I ever ate at a Mcdonald’s restaurant. It was in 1974 when we went on a trip to Disney World. I may have been there before that, but I have no recollection. On that day, I had a Big Mac. Man, it sure was good back then. The Big Mac was the only thing I ever ate from Mcdonald’s for many many years. It really was pretty good  and it was a little different from the other offerings elsewhere. I do not know if it is me or whether things have changed in the ingrdients or preparation, but the Big Mac is not quite the same as is used to be for me. Now, I usually get  a couple if side salads and a Mcdouble or two and a half sweet/unsweet tea. Not bad, but not how I used to remember. I now wonder if I am the only person who feels this way. Is Mcdonald’s the same for the older customer’s as it is for the new customer’s. Have things changed or am I just getting more finicky as I get older. I will say that that first Big Mac was really good, but if I were to get one rigt this moment, I can almost bet that it won’t be the same. Does this translate into the stock being a good choice or not. I do not know. What I do know is, as a teenager, There were ties when I would knock out 5 Big Macs at one sitting and not give it a second thought. It was a few bucks back then for that purchase with a $2.00 drink.- about $10.00, but today, it would be about $25.00 with tax and a drink. The only thing now is that the drink is $1.00 no matter what size. When I am in line, I notice lots of small purchases. I usually cannot comprehend how having 12 -14 employees in the building at that moment could possibly be profitable in the end with those small purchases, but it apparently is profitable. The other day, I went to Mcdonald’s just to see how things looked and just observe how things were being run. Now, this particular restaurant has always been known for bad service in our city. My niece used to manage it, and when she did, I got really good service. But, since then, for the last 15 years, it has been rough. Maybe because of Hurricane Katrina, and the loss of all the old employees things have changed for the wirse, but they have. I stood at the counter after my meal was thrown in the counter and tried to get the attention of one of the 14 people hanging around behind the counter and not one offered to help me. I ordered a tea with 3 lemons and never got the lemons, so I tried to get someone’s attention without really saying “Excuse me,” or anything, but just tried to look jn their direction and start to talk and they turned away before a word could come out. Only after a really rude woman cut right in front of me and yelled at one of the employees did I even have a chance to get the employee’s attention. At first, she seemed angry because I wanted the lemon’s and she had to stop texting to get them. I do not know what to say, but I think cell phones do not need to be in that setting while they are working. It takes there attention off of what they are supposed to be doing. Anyway, I felt like I was imposing and just went and ate my lunch. It was not the best experience to have before making a decision on whether to buy this stock or not. I know things have been tough all over lately, but I think if MCD gets back to the way it used to be-back when I was a kid, it might start to pull families into the flock. I remember the commercials on TV and it seemed that the employees treated you really nice back then just like on TV. I did not feel like I was imposing, but just buying lunch or dinner and getting it from someone who cared. Not like that anymore. A well run company should also be well run down to the very bottom level employees. My experiences with Disney, have always been that way. If Mcdonald’s employees were as engaging and nice as Disney’s, I think that more family’s would be drawn to then for that fact alone. I know I would. As it goes, I do not bring my kids to MCD around here and do not plan to. I just go if there is no other option at the moment. So, regardless of the numbers or the trends in the sales etc., I feel MCD might have to do a little work to improve the image I have of it before I can truly say I want to own that stock at the current market price. I think sales might be slumping because the sales people might not be doing what they really should be doing. Unless the menu changes, the results have to come from somewhere. You either cut costs or sell more or both. If the menu stays the same, then customers are going to have to make larger purchases or more customers must make many more smaller purchases. Either way, it probably boils down to the final link in the chain and that it the cashiers and servers. They must be encouraged to be engaging, helpful,  polite and friendly. They must also look like they are happy to be working there and not just annoyed that they have to work for a living. This is only my experience, and I can only speak from my own. However, I have been to many different Mcdonal’s locations in the last  few years and not much different results. I have been to Mcdonald’s restaurants in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Spokane in the last year and Spokane and Texas were the best. The others were bad and some of the locations were really run down and I felt like I was not in the best area to be while traveling with kids and my wife. So, I am putting any purchase on hold right now, until the stock price comes down quite a bit. The dividend seems nice, but I feel that the price might come down a bit more from here. I might be wrong, but I do not see anything in the restaurants that is any different than it was at any time in the last few years. In order to go forward, they need to make some kind of change that is noticeable. Does anyone have any similar experiences? What are your thoughts? Is MCD like you remember when you were a kid? Keep cranking, Robert the DividendDreamer Posted from WordPress for Android

About dividenddreamer

Doing what I can to make the best of today and the most of tomorrow.
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10 Responses to Big MCD

  1. The food is so tiny now! Their McNuggets and Mcflurry are delicious as always though!

    • I would like to see a side by side comparison of each item as time has passed from about 1974- 2014. That would be nice to see. I never had a Mcflurry or Mcnuggets. Really only the same stuff all the time. I only have the steak and cheese bagel if I only occassionly have breakfast there, and I only buy it if I have a buy one get one free coupon.

      Keep cranking,

  2. DivHut says:

    Always good to hear an honest review about a real experience. Unfortunately, your service experience is one that is repeated in many MCD sites. Food quality and nutrition aside, I think the biggest gripe people have with MCD these days is the total lack of service at their restaurants. While I own MCD and think they will come out ahead down the road, it certainly looks like they have hit a very rough patch in the near term. I remember about 10 years ago when MCD was closing up shops left and right and cleaned up the remaining stores. The stock was around $13 a share in 2004. Seems like history repeating itself.

    • The stock surely has come a long way. 7x multiplied plus dividends. That is truly a serious move. I noticed that when I was researching the stock, but I went back to 1994 and the numbers are truly amazing. Every company seems to get into a funky area at one time or another. Because MCD is really service oriented, the bottom employees need to be performing at their best. I know it is a lower paying job, but they applied for it, so they might as well do what is expected. I also feel that the lower wage employees ought to be paid on some kind of performance basis so there is an incentive to do their best. Thanks for stopping by.

      Keep cranking,

      Robert the DividendDreamer

  3. Really interesting viewpoint. I think a lot of us are so concerned with valuations and numbers that we forget we can easily check out the actual experience that the company provides. I agree, MCD’s food has gotten slightly worse over time. I and many of my friends won’t eat there anymore, nor does it ever come up as a suggestion. That’s an important trend that the numbers don’t really mention. At the end of the day, I’m with you, MCD is interesting, but doesn’t provide enough of a value that I’m really eager to buy.

    • Just looking at the numbers and projections is one thing, but actually seeing the operation is another. I cannot tell you how many times I bought stock in a company solely on numbers and projections only to be burned virtually the next day. I should have checked the company a little more. I might have still made the decision to buy, but at least, I would have been able to see for myself instead of just listening to the sales pitch. I think the numbers are sometimes nothing more than a really slick sales pitch. Maybe not completely untrue, but they might be a little polished. Thanks for coming by. Good luck.

      Keep cranking,

      Robert the DividendDreamer

  4. I used to really love MCD as a kid, but have definitely seen a drop off in the overall quality. In my area, it’s really hit or miss regarding service. It seems like the outlying ones have better service. I do still like some of their food, but some has become over priced for what it is, I.e. grilled chicken sandwich that is a chicken nugget basically haha. I have been buying the stock though, as I can see them getting back to basics eventually. B

    • Well, it is hard to say why things are hit and miss. It could be because of the franchise system and possibly not having a good owner at a particular location. I think the quality needs a little bump. Quantity is high, but in order to get people who do not eat there to want to eat at Mcdonald’s, they need to bump up the quality just a tad. They have so many locations and an amazing number of customers that it is hard to believe that they do not have any recent products that are being introduced that are just really good and sell themselves. Seems like the last few products were really gimmicks. Remember the Arch Deluxe or the McDLT, seemed like a lot of gimmick and too much advertising expense to justify the attempt. If they just tried a good product and put it on the menu, it might sell itself by word of mouth and a small advertisement budget. Not all campaigns need to be all or nothing. Maybe just a trial run in a few cities with a small budget to see how things go instead of an all out attempt to push it on the public even if it is not a good product. Just a few thoughs. Thanks for stopping by.

      Keep cranking,

      Robert the DividendDreamer

  5. Hi, Robert the DividendDreamer.
    I really appreciate this post. I like MCD and am disappointed by the recent struggles in the stock; however, I’m not fully surprised. I used to go MCD regularly for breakfast, but switched to Subway a couple years ago due to Subway significantly undercutting MCD on price. Subway has since moved away from its low cost leader strategy, so it’s very possible I may be moving back to MCD at some point. When I stop in to MCD for lunch or dinner, I usually pick up three McDoubles (minus the cheese) and one large Coke Zero. This tends to be the right size meal for me and it turns out to be very cost effective; however, I’m a nightmare customer for MCD as there is no way that they can make money on my small $4 purchase. I hope they turn things around, but it is hard for me to see a scenario where I would change my ordering habits (because I’m so darn frugal). Take care.

    Goosemann Jones
    Flight to Dividends Blog

    • It is a double edged sword when it comes to wanting stocks to appreciate and being frugal. Businesses rely on sales to increase profits each year. We are a consumer society, and the companies are in business to sell us products even if we really do not need them. Frugality helps many individuals attain financial freedom, but it does not line the pockets of most major companies. It takes so many customers to continually buy products at an ever increasing rate to drive sales and profits. Just imagine if everyone started to eliminate sodas and fast food, and also, if they decided to quit smoking and drinking alcohol. Not good for the economy. If people walked to work and did not buy the latest gadgets, companies would be dropping like flies and the employess would be left without jobs. It is sad, but true. We live in a consumer economy and it takes spending to drive the economy every day. The more spending, the better the stock performance will be in the long run. I try to be frugal, but I buy the things I need and quite a few I do not just because they are way too cool to do without. This Note 12.2 that I am typing on right now is testament to that. But, you are correct, MCD will never really profit with purchases like that. I do basically the same myself. 2 Mcdoubles, 2 Side salads, large half sweet/unsweet tea…..Just north of 6 bucks, and in the end, I leave a ton of plastic trash in the garbage can. We will see how it goes for MCD. They sure had quite a run over the last 20 years or so.

      Keep cranking,

      Robert the DividendDreamer

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