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2014-04-29    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


McDonald's (MCD) is having a bit of an identity crisis.

The burger behemoth announced a 5.2% drop in profits for the first three months of 2014 and a 1.7% decrease in same store sales in the U.S. on Tuesday. President and CEO Don Thompson emphasized that McDonald's would be focusing on its core products, like its Big Mac, Egg McMuffin, and its famous french fries.
周二,这个汉堡巨头宣布2014年前三个月的利润下降了5.2%,美国同店销售额减少了1.7%。总裁兼CEO唐•汤普森强调,麦当劳将专注于自己的核心产品,如巨无霸(Big Mac)、蛋麦满分(Egg McMuffin)和它著名的炸薯条。

Thompson's back-to-basics vow comes in response to the sort of menu creep the chain experienced in 2013, when it rolled out a seemingly endless stream of limited time offers, like its Mighty Wings, a steak and egg burrito, a steak breakfast sandwich, a new Quarter pounder, a grilled onion cheddar burger, the Hot n' Spicy McChicken, and a product that the restaurant must have questioned from the start: Fish McBites. That was all on top of the Snack Wrap it added to its menu in 2006, the McCafe coffee beverages it introduced in 2009, and the fruit smoothies and McCafé Frappés it started to sell in 2010.
汤普森回归本原的表态是为了应对麦当劳在2013年经历的菜品种类大泛滥。去年,麦当劳走马灯似的推出了各种限时菜单,比如麦辣鸡翅(Mighty Wings)、牛肉鸡蛋玉米卷饼、牛肉早餐三明治、新款足尊牛堡、烤洋葱切达奶酪汉堡、辣味麦香鸡(McChicken),还有一款所有餐厅从一开始就质疑的产品:鱼米花(Fish McBites)。此外,麦当劳在2006年还推出了快餐卷(Snack Wrap),2009年推出了咖啡饮料麦咖啡(McCafe),2010年又推出了鲜果奶昔和冰咖啡(McCafé Frappés)。

After all, those special promotions and innovations didn't do much good. Same-store sales slipped by 0.2% in the U.S. last year, and chief operating officer Tim Fenton admitted in January that the fast-food chain "stumbled a bit [in 2013] with too many new products, too fast and we created a lot of complexity."

On Tuesday, Thompson said that McDonald's "core products are familiar favorites for our customers. They truly represent McDonald's to all of our customers, and at about 40% of total sales, they are an incredible business asset for us that requires a constant drumbeat of communication."

But there's another side to McDonald's, the one that in September announced in conjunction with the Clinton Foundation that it would feature food choices that are lower in fat, salt, or sugar content. Kiwi on a stick, anyone? The initiative aimed to appeal to health-conscious millennials, who are drawn to the fresh offerings of Panera Bread (PNRA) and Chipotle (CMG). At the time, Thompson said that McDonald's wanted to optimize its menu with more fruit and vegetables, "giving customers additional choices when they come to McDonald's." Thompson made no mention of this initiative in the earnings call on Tuesday.
但麦当劳还有另外一面。去年9月份,麦当劳宣布与克林顿基金会(Clinton Foundatino)合作,推出低脂、低盐、低糖的食物。比如插在棍子上的猕猴桃,大家想品尝一下吗?这项计划的目的是吸引注重健康的千禧一代,帕纳拉面包(Panera Bread)和墨西哥风味快餐店Chipotle等新兴品牌很受千禧一代欢迎。当时,汤普森曾表示,麦当劳希望优化菜单,增加水果和蔬菜,“为来到麦当劳的消费者提供额外的选择。”但在周二的业绩发布会上,汤普森对这项计划只字未提。

When asked specifically how the renewed focus on basic burgers and fries would mesh with the more healthful "additional choices" initiative from September, a McDonald's spokesperson simply said that the fast food chain's menu "features a variety of balanced choices to fit our customers' individual diet and lifestyle needs." She added, "We have adjusted our U.S. marketing calendar so that we're introducing the appropriate number of new and promotional menu items."

It's vital that McDonald's craft a consistent message, so customers' expectations are met when they choose to eat beneath the Golden Arches. When McDonald's first got off the ground in the 1940s, it had a nine-item menu made up of hamburger, cheeseburger, soft drinks, milk, coffee, potato chips, and a slice of pie. It built its iconic reputation on guaranteeing that these food and beverage items would have the same great taste no matter the McDonald's location at which they were served.

Just as crucial, too much menu diversification, which McDonald's has suffered from of late, leads to longer customer wait times in an industry built on speed. QSR Magazine, which covers the quick service restaurant industry, reported in October 2013 that McDonald's experienced the slowest drive-thru time in 15 years, which the publication attributed to its complicated menu.
同样重要的是,麦当劳近期进行的过度菜单多样化导致客户等待时间延长。然而,快餐业是速度优先的行业。快餐行业杂志《QSR Magzine》在2013年10月报道称,麦当劳得来速的通行速度下降到了15年来的最低点,这份杂志认为,原因在于麦当劳复杂的菜单。

"What [McDonald's] workers do inside those four walls is really impressive. Everyone has their time and place, and their entire job is done in two or three steps," says Howard Penney, managing director at Hedgeye Risk Management. Adding more processes that come with a bigger menu, specifically the smoothie and espresso machines, has disrupted McDonald's restaurants' time and motion, he says. It takes a lot longer to make a smoothie than it does to pour a fountain Coke.
投资公司Hedgeye Risk Management执行董事霍华德•彭尼说:“(麦当劳)员工在后厨的工作真的令人佩服。每个人都有自己的时间和地点,他们的所有工作都在两三步内完成。”他表示,随着菜单项目增多,员工的程序也会随之增加,尤其是操作奶昔设备和浓缩咖啡机等,影响了麦当劳的时间和效率。做一份奶昔的时间比灌一杯可乐的时间要长得多。

"Everything they've done to become all things to all people has slowed service," Penney says.

Going back to its roots could be just what McDonald's needs. After all, it seems like a long shot for the fast food giant to morph into the next Chipotle or Panera since, as Penney puts it, "the core McDonald's customer is not looking for a wrap with a cucumber in it."

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