Top five things McDonald's should apologize for


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Okay, Ronald, say you're sorry. SAY IT!!
So McDonald's is issuing a "surprising, embarrassing and uncharacteristic" apology to its Australian customers because McCafé coffee sucks.

"We are the largest coffee chain in Australia, but we know we are not the most loved," Helen Nash, McDonald's Australian COO, told The Australian. "Customers have told us we can do better, and we are saying, 'We have heard you, and now we hope you notice the difference.'"

As long as McDonald's is getting into public acts of contrition, it has a few apologies to make to its loyal customers here in the country where the chain got its start. And so we're serving up our top five things McDonald's should apologize for.

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Use some McReason here.
5. Jerking us around with the dollar menu.

You add items, you take them away. Your star player, the double cheeseburger, is on the dollar menu. Then it's only got one slice of cheese and is renamed the "McDouble." Is it .99 cents or $1.19? Now there are industry rumors that it's being pulled off the dollar menu. Consumers who don't follow commodities prices have whiplash. People inside the industry are aware that meat and dairy prices are high and projected to rise even more by the end of 2011, but average consumers just see too much flippity-McDoo taking place at the drive-thru.

McDonald's, you're exploiting the rotten economic situation by touting the dollar menu, then getting your wrappers in a bunch when customers order more off it than you would like. Just go ahead and issue one of those non-apology apology statements, figure out what's on the dollar menu and how much it's going to cost, and quit working against Americans' sense of entitlement by playing Red Rover with the .99 cent things.

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Wherefore art thou, syrup?

4. Consistent condiment deprivation.

We are all really f***ing tired of ordering our f***ing food and not getting f***ing condiments that we not only request, but now pay money for. We get that filling paper bags with dozens of free ketchup packets and micro-tubs of wing sauce was a significant cash drain, so we're willing to meet you halfway -- requesting condiments rather than expecting them, and ponying up the change to buy extras when we want a whole barbeque sauce for each McNugget.

But when we are forced to flip a bitch in the parking lot and re-wait in a plodding line to get the syrup we already asked for, the least McDonald's could do is issue a public apology -- because it'd be easier than us choking one out of a misanthropic McD's employee. Have you guys at corporate ever tried to huckle down dry hotcakes in the car? It turns swallowing into an Olympic sport.

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Stop hurting our feelers.

3. Emotionally manipulating us with the McRib.

Items that are only available seasonally drive us batshit crazy unless they are items that we don't like that much. Lucky for you, McDoo, we like the McRib sandwich, we want the McRib sandwich, and you parading it around like a hot stripper at a bachelor party and then taking it away again is just plain cruel. We dealt with you taking away our French fries fried in beef-flavored oil so that you could placate the screaming vegans, but culinarily water-boarding us with images of the McRib and then only giving it to us for ten minutes every year is way over the line. Say you are sorry, recognize that we are Americans and we want Christmas all year 'round, and put the coveted sandwich on the permanent menu.
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You withhold shakes from us.

2. Sporadic shakes and cone denial.

Why, oh, why, do you guys choose such inopportune times to break down and clean the ice cream machine? It doesn't seem to matter if we show up at a store at the butt-crack of dawn, during soap-opera hours, at lunch, on a balmy afternoon, during the dinner rush or on a late post-bar-hopping stretch: We just want a strawberry shake.

We just want a hot fudge sundae. And yet every day, in any given store in this country, our soft-serve wishes are thwarted by the machinations of your unpredictable employees. We know they have to clean the machines; we want dairy treats free from cobwebs and machine crustie, too. But can't you issue some sort of a corporate apology and mandate that cleanings are to be done quickly and at consistent times?

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It's McCrappe.
1. McCafé coffee...we hate it, too.

You introduced your scroungy blech-water in Australia back in 1993, and they do deserve a heartfelt (or at least elegantly contrived) apology for that, but the U.S. is still your biggest customer, we spend more money at your restaurants than the Aussies do, and we get the same bad coffee -- so you owe us an apology, too. A bigger and better one, now that we are sloppy seconds to your Aussie friends with bennies.

We love that McDonald's attempted to whip out its corporate member and do a size check with Starbucks, but save Americans the swordfight and tell us how truly sorry you are for subjecting us to your swill. And while you are pulling a Domino's-Pizza-already-done-it-and-it-worked P.R. rehab routine, actually g'head and produce a better cup of coffee -- because freebie coupons will only work for you if customers order your coffee a second time.

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12 comments
Anon
Anon

I worked at a BK in high school; the shake machine should be cleaned at the end of the night, not the middle of a day.  Yeah, things break down, but it is mostly lazy morons who are screwing this up, not any actual cleaning.

 I dont even know if it is there post 9/11, but there was a McDs in the SEC building in DC.  That asshole who ran and/or owned the joing would refuse to give more than tow packets of ketchup and more than two napkins.  Still the worst McDs i have ever been in.

Weege
Weege

Jenn.. You should have meat and nuggets all over you for your next nude food adventure .. oh wait.. ;-)

Rhonda
Rhonda

These are the transgressions you believe McDonald's should apologize for? What about the fact that they purposely market this crap to children in order to breed life-long customers? What about their contribution to the obesity epidemic in the United States? Or how about the impact that McDonald's has on the environment and the agriculture industry? Perhaps you should put down the McRib and pick up a copy of Fast Food Nation.

Claire
Claire

Jenn - I hope you are getting hardship pay for all this research at miserable McDonald's.

GFTW
GFTW

Wow, sounds like the author spends more time at McD's than is healthy. The McRib sandwich is god-awful.

Jennifoodie
Jennifoodie

I'm saving my nakie for the next McRib season. Barbeque sauce, pickles and onions are hot.

Jennifoodie
Jennifoodie

Wow. The light-hearted, ironic and humorous nature of this blog post just got torpedoed with this comment. Well done, Rhonda.

McD's isn't going to apologize for jack shit, whether it be small, insignificant transgressions (unless the resulting PR boost will inflate sales) or the mothers of all transgressions which are, as you pointed out, legitimate concerns.

Marketing their food to kids is a strategic and lucrative strategy for them, but an ethical inferno for customers. Do I think that they should not manipulatively push their unhealthy vittles on the kiddos? Nope. But there is an argument to be made here that parents are buying the food for their children, and so the parents have the obligation to choose what they cram into their kids' mouth-holes every day, and parents are adults who are perfectly capable of utilizing media outlets to research and make informed decisions about their offspring's nutritional intake.

This same freedom applies to the adults who suck down strawberry shakes every day with impunity.

These adults are free to walk into a bookstore and pick up a copy of Fast Food Nation (or get it off of Amazon because it'll be cheaper) and read it cover-to-cover, and do with the information provided as they will.

And I can't put down the McRib because it's not on the menu right now so it's not available , I've read that book and many, many others, and if you have a plan for getting McDonald's to apologize for those things, then let's have it.

GFTW
GFTW

Fast Food Nation is left-wing crap, and the movie was terrible.

Jennifoodie
Jennifoodie

It really is miserable now. It used to be a lot better when they fried their fries in that beef-flavored oil. Now that got me a skippin' to my nearest McDoodles.

Jennifoodie
Jennifoodie

But when you have them add extra pickles to the McRib, it takes on new and exciting levels of flavor and satisfaction.

Jennifoodie
Jennifoodie

I made two typos: remove "not" from the second graf and I was accidentally redundant with "strategic." Sorry, typing without my afternoon coffee is always a crap shoot.

GFTW
GFTW

McRib's okay if you stick the "patty" in the middle of the double cheeseburger.

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