Haters Gonna... Eat at BK?
October 28, 2014 2:14 PM   Subscribe

McDonalds' latest marketing push includes a variation on their ubuquitous "I'm Lovin' it" slogan. (WSJ link... if you prefer, AVClub)
"lovin' beats hatin'"
Article also covers the new "Our food, Your questions" campaign with an ex-Mythbuster. They hope to rebound from sagging same-store sales in the U.S. and the growing buzz for competitors like Chipotle (which, almost obviously, is mentioned in the article).
posted by oneswellfoop (118 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm sure this slogan will make up for the fact that their food tastes like garbage.

/hatin'
posted by Sys Rq at 2:25 PM on October 28, 2014


I feel a bit sorry for Grant Imahara. I can't help but think that this isn't where he wanted his career to go but getting let go from Mythbusters must leave a huge hole in his yearly income. McDonalds probably made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:26 PM on October 28, 2014 [11 favorites]


I have a bad feeling there is going to be a McQuesidilla on the menu soon....
posted by thelonius at 2:26 PM on October 28, 2014


I've never met anyone who would admit to going into McDonalds voluntarily and I don't think there's anything they can do to change that. No one who's mind is made up about McDonalds, for good or bad, is going to be convinced otherwise at this point.
posted by bleep at 2:31 PM on October 28, 2014


A quesidilla is a food that's pretty hard to mess up. So I hope McDonalds doesn't try.
posted by el io at 2:31 PM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


“We’re always working with our partners on great new creative,” said a spokeswoman for McDonald’s
Reminds me of this conversation I once had :

Bill : Hi! I'm the new Creative in Marketing, can you get my accounts and computer set up ?
Me : Hey! I'm the Productive in IT, I'd be happy to.

Anyway, good for Grant! I enjoy eating at McDonalds, and and I've always liked it. Especially when traveling - there is no greater comfort food than a couple of cheeseburgers, fries, and a sweet tea.

But I grew up the kind of poor where McDonalds was a treat and the kind of thing you looked forward to.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:33 PM on October 28, 2014 [22 favorites]


I can smell the sweet beefy smell of desperation (both McDonald's and Imahara's) wafting through my screen while watching the 'Our Food Your Questions' clip.
posted by item at 2:35 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Bill : Hi! I'm the new Creative in Marketing, can you get my accounts and computer set up ?

uggh... shivers.
posted by basicchannel at 2:35 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


With all the current terror-scare around Ebola, what I would introduce is individually-wrapped fries.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:36 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Seriously? They didn't go with "McLovin?"
posted by argonauta at 2:38 PM on October 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


bleep: I've never met anyone who would admit to going into McDonalds voluntarily

Really? No one?
posted by item at 2:38 PM on October 28, 2014 [28 favorites]


yep, just me.
posted by bleep at 2:41 PM on October 28, 2014


I've never met anyone who would admit to going into McDonalds voluntarily

Ah, beautiful pretentious elitist Metafilter, never change.


I would go if they would offer some vegetarian options, they have plenty of experience with doing so in other countries, but as long as they don't I will go to BK and have the veggie burger they offer. Vegetarians aren't a huge part of the market, but you do end up losing customers when groups are looking for somewhere to order and the one veg means they go somewhere else. If they want to be America's default restaurant, they should offer a more complete menu for 2014.

Are there vegetarian options on your menu?

Many of our menu items can be customized without meat. We encourage you to order however you like — if that means without meat, we'll gladly prepare that for you. However, we don't offer any certified vegetarian options at this time.

posted by Drinky Die at 2:41 PM on October 28, 2014 [31 favorites]


McDonald's has the best fries, ever, as long as they're fresh and hot. To make sure they are fresh and hot, order them unsalted -- they salt them regularly, so they have to make a fresh batch just for you -- and then ask for packets of salt when you get your food. Because of the random way they have people work the drivethrough and the pickup windows, they will never make the connection.

Everything else at McDonald's leaves me feeling very slightly poisoned, but oh those fries.
posted by KathrynT at 2:41 PM on October 28, 2014 [15 favorites]


I've never met anyone who would admit to going into McDonalds voluntarily

Two years ago, when we were in the South of France on family holiday at a camping site with no wifi and I needed to buy train tickets over a reliable connection, then we voluntarily went to MickeyDs.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:44 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I would gladly stuff my face at McDonalds on a daily basis if they brought back the deep-fried hot apple pies of yore and/or Happy Meal premiums as good as my precious Great Muppet Caper drinking glasses.
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:44 PM on October 28, 2014 [12 favorites]


BK is innovating with their fries with lower fat fries, whereas McD fries are still made with cow. If you have to put meat in your fries to make them taste good, you are doing it wrong, IMHO.
posted by gryftir at 2:44 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


But I grew up the kind of poor where McDonalds was a treat and the kind of thing you looked forward to.

I knew without clicking exactly what that clip was going to be. Sadly, that's just about the only bit from the entire movie that hasn't aged horribly.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:45 PM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I still eat at McDonald's occasionally but only for their breakfast menu (and by occasionally I mean maybe once every two months). The menu in the morning has remained relatively unchanged and it is convenient when I am traveling. Other than that I burned out on their other offerings when I was in college. I just don't like their burgers. Way too bland.
posted by Benway at 2:50 PM on October 28, 2014


They didn't go with "McLovin?"

And then Pogo_Fuzzybutt can work for McLovinIT.
posted by ryoshu at 2:52 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


I dunno, the McRaclette is pretty damn good (but then everything is better with cave-aged raclette), and I like the vegetarian breakfast options.
posted by effbot at 2:53 PM on October 28, 2014


BK is innovating with their fries with lower fat fries

Um, sad news there.

...whereas McD fries are still made with cow.

There's a small amount of "natural beef flavoring" to keep the original flavor, but by and large beef tallow was removed from the shortening a long time ago.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:53 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Dutch Organic Food 'Experts' Taste Test McDonald's Not Knowing It's McDonald's Spoiler: they think it's great. (Make sure you use the captions because, well: Dutch.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:56 PM on October 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


I love mcdonalds but only when I'm able to make excuses for it
posted by blue t-shirt at 2:57 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have a McDonald's-shaped hole in my soul that doesn't need filling very often. But when it does, only McDonald's will do. I usually fill it with fries and McDonald's breakfast.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:58 PM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


It was when I read a quote from their CEO or someone that stated their aim to be the default fast food for all people world wide that I said to myself, right, I'm never buying from you again.

Their food is crap but probably no worse for you than a cheap burger from somewhere else but that aim to be ubiquitous everywhere just chills me. Finding a McDonald's behind me while looking at 3000 year old roman ruins in Italy also kinda spoiled the moment.

Thus far I've stuck to it, I eat non-chain food whenever possible and haven't eaten Maccas since sometime in the 90's, which has actually been easy.
posted by deadwax at 3:05 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


McDonald's Belgium has the best fries.

FTFY.
posted by el io at 3:09 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mcdonald's is the new hipster.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:13 PM on October 28, 2014


their aim to be the default fast food for all people world wide

I don't know how you measure that goal, but they are pretty damn close. KFC is the only (US-based) rival internationally.

I've never met anyone who would admit to going into McDonalds voluntarily

Your social circle must be remarkably narrow (and/or upper class, I suppose.) My dad goes to McDonald's voluntarily (cheap coffee, cheap soft serve). I might if I were not vegetarian.

That said, McDonald's is horrible, but then again, so is Coke. Anyone admit to drinking Coke voluntarily?

I grew up the kind of poor where McDonalds was a treat and the kind of thing you looked forward to.

Growing up, McDonald's was often my birthday choice. Eating out ANYWHERE was a treat.

I would go if they would offer some vegetarian options, they have plenty of experience with doing so in other countries, but as long as they don't I will go to BK and have the veggie burger they offer.

Ditto. When you're in the airport at Dallas, your vegetarian options are nigh nil. BK Veggie is a fucking savior (although it's just a slightly smaller Morningstar Griller at 4x the price).

Also, the Morningstar Griller is still the greatest veggie burger EVER.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:15 PM on October 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


I've never met anyone who would admit to going into McDonalds voluntarily and I don't think there's anything they can do to change that.

Yo, right here. What you mean is pretentious fuckwits who pretend they're too good for McDs and then mysteriously steal all your fries anytime you go. (Yes, I am annoyed by this person on a semi regular basis.)

whereas McD fries are still made with cow

No, beef flavouring. They use vegetable oil for frying; Julia Child reportedly cried the day they stopped using beef tallow.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:20 PM on October 28, 2014 [21 favorites]


I also love McDonalds. McNuggets, fries and hot mustard. Pure ambrosia.
posted by mmmbacon at 3:23 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wrong. McChicken with extra mayo, add sriracha at home. Fries get the mayo treatment too, and a Coke so cold it freezes your entire skull.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:25 PM on October 28, 2014


I was in my 20s when I first went into a McDonald's. I asked for a hotdog, assuming that everywhere that sold burgers must also sell hotdogs. Thus began my journey from country bumpkin to the cosmopolitan bon viveur of today.

Having resolved that particular bit of confusion, I was accosted by a woman with a mop who for no particular reason wanted to tell me all about her daughter who was addicted to carrots and had turned orange.
posted by pipeski at 3:27 PM on October 28, 2014 [28 favorites]


I seriously don't get the love for McDonalds fries. They are insipid little things at best.
posted by yesster at 3:28 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Ditto. When you're in the airport at Dallas, your vegetarian options are nigh nil. BK Veggie is a fucking savior (although it's just a slightly smaller Morningstar Griller at 4x the price)."

Ah, airports, the number one reason I eat at Taco Bell. It might be rehydrated bean vomit but at least it's vegetarian!
posted by klangklangston at 3:30 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


And no, McD's, it doesn't beat hatin' cuz when you hatin', we beefin'!
posted by klangklangston at 3:32 PM on October 28, 2014


I seriously don't get the love for McDonalds fries. They are insipid little things at best.

What? You're joking, right?

McDonald's fries would make Escoffier weep. They are perfection: perfectly golden, crispy as all hell, fluffy on the inside. Textbook pommes frites. That specific style of French fry may not be to your taste--you may, for example, prefer the bigger and meatier UK-style chips--but that doesn't change the fact that they are a perfect expression of the style.

Insipid fries are those wretched things KFC serves. BK are almost as bad.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:32 PM on October 28, 2014 [29 favorites]


McDs hash browns will forever remain a greasy, paper-wrapped treasure of my childhood. Sitting at the big red counter at the back of my dad's store, reading the newspaper comics.
posted by gnutron at 3:38 PM on October 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


I don't get the psychology of this campaign at all. First of all, it seems like a really bad idea to use any variant of the word "hate" to sell your product, and, second, taken as a whole, the slogan "lovin' beats hatin" to my ear sounds a lot like "fuck it, eat mcdonalds."

That said, of yore, mcdonalds breakfast was one of the great possible consolations of having to get up early...

McDonald's fries would make Escoffier weep. They are perfection: perfectly golden, crispy as all hell, fluffy on the inside.

They were better when they were cooked in beef tallow.
posted by batfish at 3:40 PM on October 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


whereas McD fries are still made with cow

No, beef flavouring. They use vegetable oil for frying; Julia Child reportedly cried the day they stopped using beef tallow.


Even with some googling, I am not clear on if the beef flavoring in US stores contains beef or not.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:40 PM on October 28, 2014


I think my policy will be to take this statement as authoritiative: ...we don't offer any certified vegetarian options at this time.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:42 PM on October 28, 2014


McDonald's should open a second chain that only serves their fries.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:43 PM on October 28, 2014


Even with some googling, I am not clear on if the beef flavoring in US stores contains beef or not.

It's not super clear, but AFAIK veg* people can't/won't eat their fries in general. I suspect in India it's completely artificial flavouring (if they even use it there; I imagine doing so would only be catering to people who'd had McD's in other countries).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:45 PM on October 28, 2014


To make sure they are fresh and hot, order them unsalted -- they salt them regularly, so they have to make a fresh batch just for you -- and then ask for packets of salt when you get your food. Because of the random way they have people work the drivethrough and the pickup windows, they will never make the connection.

As a former McDonald's employee, please A) don't do this, just accept some not-piping-hot-fries and B) don't think that nobody there has twigged on to this scheme.
posted by smasuch at 3:46 PM on October 28, 2014 [18 favorites]


I seriously don't get the love for McDonalds fries. They are insipid little things at best.

Salty as fuck with grease thrown in. People like salt and grease. So do I. That said, McDonald's fries are not even close to the best fries. Maybe among fast food places, I don't know, but I grew up in a place that has fry trucks all over that make amazing fries and poutine that McDonald's could never ever compete with in a million years.
posted by Hoopo at 3:46 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


McDonald's should open a second chain that only serves their fries.

They have these at Walt Disney World.
posted by mmmbacon at 3:48 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


The best part about about going to McDonalds is that you can get away from the kind of asshole who thinks they are too good to eat at McDonalds.

The sweet chili chicken wrap, grilled, is reasonably healthy (as far as fast food goes anyway).
posted by sideshow at 3:57 PM on October 28, 2014 [12 favorites]


Ah, beautiful pretentious elitist Metafilter, never change.

How's come it's elitist to say McDonald's is crap, but it's not elitist to look down on people who say McDonald's is crap?

Anyway, the last time I went to McDonald's I had their jalapeno burger. I was impressed. I had no idea that you could even grow a jalapeno that had no spiciness at all. Those banana peppers at Subway have more spiciness.

(I like Arby's and Taco Bell and ate at Pizza Hut today. I hope that's enough to serve my non-elitist street cred)
posted by dirigibleman at 4:02 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Growing up, McDonald's was often my birthday choice. Eating out ANYWHERE was a treat.

When I was a kid we ate out once a year, as a birthday treat. I'm not sure how much was financial and how much was my parents not being into corporate fast food at that point in their lives.

McDonalds is something I eat on long drives because the coffee is decent and the items on the cheap side of the menu are small enough to not leave you feeling all bloated. It's not like any of the other offerings at a typical interstate exit are any better, and the coffee will be worse.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:05 PM on October 28, 2014


B) don't think that nobody there has twigged on to this scheme.

McD employees have confirmed that they actually premake and hold salt-free fries for these people because it's too much interruption to their flow to make a fresh batch and isolate it.

So, in fact, if you pull this trick now you're pretty much destined to get older fries than everyone else in the drive-thru line.
posted by JoeZydeco at 4:09 PM on October 28, 2014 [13 favorites]


Hey, this is a good place to post about the day I ate four Big Macs.

Despite the fact that I've eaten four Big Macs at a sitting, count me in the "fries are the only really good thing at McDonald's" camp.
posted by escabeche at 4:09 PM on October 28, 2014


How's come it's elitist to say McDonald's is crap

That's not what bleep said.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:10 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


How's come it's elitist to say McDonald's is crap, but it's not elitist to look down on people who say McDonald's is crap?

Do you know what 'elitist' means?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:15 PM on October 28, 2014 [20 favorites]


(Also Harvey's had the best fries like 20 years ago and they changed it but they were thick and crispy and delicious and why Harvery's why?)
posted by Hoopo at 4:19 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


FWIW I'm not elitist. I love McDonalds, I eat there all the time. I was calling other people elitist. Not really, I was just sharing that a lot of people have extremely negative views of McDonalds and nothing will change those peoples' minds.
posted by bleep at 4:21 PM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Pfft, the only good Harvey's fries are the ones eaten at Hooker Harvey's (Jarvis/Gerrard) at like 1:30am while sex workers at the next table share war stories about their johns.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:24 PM on October 28, 2014


Fast food (including McDonald's) isn't that bad for you, if you stay away from fries, sodas, shakes and the largest burgers. And perhaps complement with fiber from some other source, like fruit. I don't feel bad about letting my kids eat fast food occasionally, especially since they wisely prefer In-N-Out over McDonald's.

Yes, I am fully aware that many fast food customers don't follow these rules.
posted by Triplanetary at 4:26 PM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I made the mistake of telling my kids how awful and gross McDonalds is when they were very young, to try to counter the amount of McDonald's messaging on the radio/tv/internet/games. This backfired spectacularly, ending in tears and a tantrum on a super long car trip where McDonalds was apparently the only option for miles and miles and they utterly refused to even try it.
posted by cell divide at 4:27 PM on October 28, 2014 [25 favorites]


Seriously? They didn't go with "McLovin?"

There's a danger in trying to be too trendy.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:27 PM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I only ever eat at McDs when I'm on the road. Somehow nothing is better than two burgers, fries and coffee after you've been on the highway for six hours. There's one about a block and a half from my house and one across the street from my office and I never go to either but when I'm on Rt. 80, I always do.
posted by octothorpe at 4:33 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sausage McMuffin with egg is s
till pretty tasty, but it's been awhile since I ate at McD's for anything other than a late night snack.
posted by jonmc at 4:47 PM on October 28, 2014


the deep-fried hot apple pies of yore

Yo, you gotta move to Japan for those. I can't be eating them anymore, but they still do 'em right here. Sadly the cherry pies of yore didn't make the crossing. Those were the best.

You can also find those same deep-fried pies filled with mashed potatoes, soi-disant croquettes.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:54 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Everything else at McDonald's leaves me feeling very slightly poisoned, but oh those fries.

For me it's the opposite. This year I've been working out more and have really switched my diet to more healthy foods--a lot more veggies especially. But I still have junk food cravings and a few times I've popped into Mickey D's. I'll usually get a double cheeseburger, or a few dollar cheeseburgers. Which is just bread, some meat (about a day's worth of meat/protein) and ketchup, a pickle, processed cheese. A cheeseburger is by no means good for you, but it's really not all that bad for you, either, especially if eaten sparingly.

The times that I've gotten a value meal, with fries, though...that just made me feel bloated and gross. I agree they taste great, but any sort of workout the next day will make me feel nauseated. Not after eating the burgers but after eating the fries.
posted by zardoz at 4:57 PM on October 28, 2014


I was just sharing that a lot of people have extremely negative views of McDonalds and nothing will change those peoples' minds.

I haven't been in a McDonald's for over 20 years.
Whenever we go past one, my child yells out "M for Mom!"
I'm not even sure she realizes it is a restaurant.

I don't think my family's views of McDonald's are negative so much as McDonald's just doesn't enter into our dining thought process.

With that said, when I read stories like this, I do think about stopping by just to see what has changed in the last couple of decades or play with one of the touch-screen robot deals.
posted by madajb at 5:02 PM on October 28, 2014


No McDonalds at Disney parks anymore - not since 2008ish - http://www.yesterland.com/mcwdw.html
posted by FritoKAL at 5:06 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I made the mistake of telling my kids how awful and gross McDonalds is when they were very young, to try to counter the amount of McDonald's messaging on the radio/tv/internet/games. This backfired spectacularly, ending in tears and a tantrum on a super long car trip where McDonalds was apparently the only option for miles and miles and they utterly refused to even try it.

My brother is an incredibly picky eater and one of the things he has always reliably eaten is a plain McDonald's hamburger. And then we're in England in the mid-90s and my parents are trying to come up with a way of explaining that no, we won't go to McDonald's solve the problem of what to feed my brother without putting the both of us off meat for life.* My dad decides to tell us that hamburgers at English McDonald's are radioactive and will make you glow blue. I still have this reflexive negative reaction to the thought of eating at an English McDonald's.

Even with some googling, I am not clear on if the beef flavoring in US stores contains beef or not.

Ten plus years ago, McDonalds was sued by some Hindu and vegetarian groups because they had strongly implied, if not outright said, that their french fries were vegetarian despite the fact they contained some sort of beef product. IIRC the result was that the fries were going to become vegetarian, but I think McDonalds is incredibly gun shy about claiming anything is vegetarian after that.

*To be honest, BSE is probably a big contributor to my vegetarianism. Not so much fear of BSE, but I was the right age for seeing the birth dates of cows stamped on meat in the supermarket to make it hard to turn of the "someone had to kill this" though.
posted by hoyland at 5:21 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've never met anyone who would admit to going into McDonalds voluntarily

This is so true! Ever since the hamburgler got his gun license you have to go in at gunpoint.
posted by srboisvert at 5:32 PM on October 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


You can also find those same deep-fried pies filled with mashed potatoes, soi-disant croquettes.

Deep-fried breaded mashed potatoes, sounds awesome. I was kind of blown away the first time I found croquettes on a Japanese restaurant menu but they are wonderful.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:34 PM on October 28, 2014


It's really been downhill since the Mayor McCheese years
posted by thelonius at 6:16 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've never met anyone who would admit to going into McDonalds voluntarily and I don't think there's anything they can do to change that.
They way people are reacting to the above quote, there doesn't seem to be many Jim Gaffigan fans in the audience today

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YDTfEhChgw
posted by matimer at 6:28 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


> It's really been downhill since the Mayor McCheese years

Yeah it's sad how he came down with cancer and then his brother ran for him and lost.
posted by Poldo at 7:10 PM on October 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


Is Grant Imahara the first Asian guy (or Asian anybody) who has been the spokesman for a national chain? I can't recall anybody else, offhand. If so, that's kind of a breakthrough.

I love McDonalds. I just do. I do mourn for the Angus Deluxe, though. That burger tasted like a proper restaurant burger, I couldn't get over it. And then it went away.

I am still pissed about Satisfries going away from BK. I am not a naturally healthy eater, but I am always looking for the healthiest junk food possible. Over and over again, I have experienced the following:

1. With much hype, major chain debuts much healthier alternative to their normal burger/fries/pizza/whatever. Lower in carbs, lower in fat, lower in everything. It tastes just the same, or even better, than the original stuff. Hooray!

2. Eight months later, major chain quietly drops healthy option due to low sales.

3. Sadness and frustration.

The loss of Pizza Hut's whole wheat crust option still stings, to this day.

I can only conclude that Americans just love to be fat. Seriously, the Satisfries were AT LEAST as good (I'd say better) than the usual fries. But nobody bought them, because doing so might've actually been slightly healthier. Man, we deserve to be fat.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:22 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


We have zero healthy options near my office at all, so on days I don't manage to bring lunch from home I grab fast food. Our BK still has Satisfries, so they get about 80% of my business. I never see anyone else order them, though.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:47 PM on October 28, 2014


No, you're right Ursula Hitler, Satisfries were much better, and when we found out there were none on the premises, we left BK and got some Chinese instead.
posted by danabanana at 7:50 PM on October 28, 2014


Mm. I love McDonalds breakfast sandwiches. It's a good thing they don't serve them all day. The rest I can take or leave, though if I have to grab fast food I'll often opt for their dollar menu.

There's a commercial playing on the radio that goes something like "When you buy a kid a happy meal, they'll be eternally grateful. Of course, for a kid, that's like 5 minutes. But it's long enough to feel like you made the right choice." I think it's incredible that they're just coming right out and saying 'parent by giving into your child's unhealthy whims and feeling satisfied in their short glow of gratitude.'
posted by geegollygosh at 7:59 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Two of my MPH classmates last night were talking shit about one's sibling posting a pic of their 1-year old at McDonalds. Like it was a picture of the kid eating rat poison or something. There are definitely pics of my toddler enjoying his happy meal; first the food and then the box on his head. I would say I hope they don't judge me, but it's more like, eh, fuck 'em for being so uptight. A treat every now and then is fun.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:05 PM on October 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


My history with MickeyD's goes WAY back to working at one when I was in high school (the Classic Model of Minimum Wage Work). It was a (then) brand new store design that was the Biggest McDonald's Ever (actually tied with a couple other new identical facilities in other states). To accommodate the expected throngs, they did more specialization in the back-of-the-store jobs. I was (if you can believe it) a Filet-O-Fish Specialist, until disappointing sales forced them to cut back everybody's hours and put me in front of both the O-Fish deep fryer and the French Fry vat, then to be laid off entirely. But I used my deep fryer experience to get another after-school job for a Fish & Chips 'Shoppe' a block away that had recently "unfranchised" from the dying London Bridge chain. Learned a lot about the "fast food biz" that year and developed a lot of respect for the people who worked there, if not for the stuff they were selling.

But I loved and still do enjoy McDonalds Fries (even knowing most of their 'flavor secrets') and still prefer them to the "purer" In-N-Out Fries, which are just too bland and too much closer to potato chips in their crusts' crunch. And from time to time I have fallen for some of their other newer products, including the infamous McRib (I wonder if Grant will ever do a video explaining what goes into THAT). But when Carl's Jr. introduced their first Specialty Burger, the Western Bacon Cheeseburger with a decent BBQ sauce and deep-fried Onion Rings instead of raw onion, I gladly defected, resulting in a lifetime of cringing over their sexist ads and Founder Carl's politics, but DAMN, those Onion Rings... but now, Carl's is pushing a New, more conventional Bacon Burger and I wonder if the sun will soon be setting on the Western. It's a good thing I have a damn fine local burger joint (with Chili Burgers... why don't any of the big chains even DO Chili Burgers?)

One more thing... when I saw the "lovin' beats hatin'" slogan, I immediately wondered if MickeyD's was going to cross-promote with Beats by Dre, or Beats by Tim Cook or whatever they call it these days.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:57 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Two of my MPH classmates last night were talking shit about one's sibling posting a pic of their 1-year old at McDonalds. Like it was a picture of the kid eating rat poison or something. There are definitely pics of my toddler enjoying his happy meal; first the food and then the box on his head. I would say I hope they don't judge me, but it's more like, eh, fuck 'em for being so uptight. A treat every now and then is fun.

Yeah, if this is in response to me talking about that commercial I have zero problem with giving a kid a happy meal once in a while. I just think the tone of that commercial is off.
posted by geegollygosh at 9:10 PM on October 28, 2014


I used to be the guy that answered the online questions for McDonald's UK. Half of them were 'why do your staff cum in the milk shakes?', and the other half was 'can we have more veggie/halal food?'
posted by colie at 2:00 AM on October 29, 2014 [8 favorites]


All this talking about McDonald's is going to cause me to go eat at McDonald's. And maybe BK, too; I had no idea they have a veggie burger!

Maybe a BK veggie burger and McDonald's fries, even. America, fuck yeah!
posted by persona au gratin at 2:08 AM on October 29, 2014


colie: So how did you answer the first question? Inquiring minds, you know.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:12 AM on October 29, 2014


persona au gratin: I would reply along the lines of this (every answer had to be slightly different)...

'Thanks for your question. McDonald's UK is not aware of any incidents involving staff intentionally contaminating food. In fact, all our 1,200 UK restaurants exceed the health and safety standards for food preparation. You can view the complete list of ingredients in our milkshakes here. It's true that there are a lot of strange 'urban myths' about McDonald's food - we don't know why, but maybe it's something to do with being the biggest restaurant chain and serving over two million meals a day in the UK. We hope you'll visit again soon.'

There was a bizarre urban myth in the UK about McDonald's funding the IRA. I had to deny that one about three times a day.
posted by colie at 2:30 AM on October 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yeah, if this is in response to me talking about that commercial

I promise it wasn't. The story has been bugging me all day, couldn't believe the luck of the timing re: the on-topic thread where I could share it :)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:34 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


colie, I was just about to mention that.
When I was growing up it was generally accepted wisdom that McDonalds either supported the IRA or at the very least had often had Noraid donation boxes on their counters.

There, of course, appears to be no verifiable source for this, but a quick google suggests a lot of people still believe it.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:48 AM on October 29, 2014


I'm beatin' it!
posted by telstar at 3:03 AM on October 29, 2014


There was a bizarre urban myth in the UK about McDonald's funding the IRA. I had to deny that one about three times a day.

The I.R.A., You Say?

"[...] some time back, on a financial talk show carried by the Cable News Network, McDonald's was cited for its generosity in contributing to employees' Individual Retirement Accounts - commonly called I.R.A.'s on this side of the Atlantic. But CNN can be viewed overseas now, via satellite, and in Britain I.R.A. means something else entirely."
posted by effbot at 4:00 AM on October 29, 2014 [10 favorites]


Interesting to mention competition with Chipotle specifically in the article, as McDonald's once owned Chipotle.
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:18 AM on October 29, 2014


I made the mistake of taking my toddler to McDonalds. He thought the fries were better than crack. It was not until I started working his fear of clowns that he stopped having a fry tantrum every time we passed one.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:26 AM on October 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


That fear of clowns is a weakness. If it were me, I'd tell him, no more crack until he conquers it.
posted by thelonius at 5:30 AM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


After three days performing at a vegan-only music festival, my banjo-player and I escaped in our conspicuous band-van and fled for the nearest fast food joint.
The drive-through line was terribly long. We were trapped and highly visible.
So, so many festival-goers spotted us, honked their horns, wagged their fingers. I thought they'd stone us with a mountain of hacky sacks.

But, oh God, those burgers. McDonald's and whiskey. And a nap. Sunshine on the soul.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:41 AM on October 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


So, what are you supposed to eat at McDonald's that's nice? 'Cause I went there for the second time in my life yesterday* and didn't know what to order, so I got a Big Mac meal. I have to say, that burger was not like food; it was a tasteless bolus of meaty dough. Gross. (The fries were okay, but nothing special.)

(*Not elitist; just grew up in country Western Australia where there was no Macca's, as it's known here, for 450 km. Tried it once when I was about 20, decided BK was better, and never went back. Until yesterday.)

Oh, and the slogan is rubbish. It comes across as 'Our food is crap, but hey, peace out bro and buy it anyway - don't be a hater, man!' I mean, really?
posted by Salamander at 7:48 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


The fries yes. The normal burgers, meh. The habanero quarter pounder with extra hab sauce? Fuck yes.
posted by ish__ at 7:58 AM on October 29, 2014


I knew a guy who worked as kitchen staff for one of the top London chefs (Michelin-star joint) and the chef used to send out for McDonald's about 5 times a week. He would also open up the burger to add extra ketchup.

Personally I am a beast for a Big Mac, and they're only 490 calories in the UK (far less than a baguette with cheese and probably half of what a gourmet burger contains).
posted by colie at 8:36 AM on October 29, 2014


Ok folks, you've convinced me. I'm off to the nearest McD to pick up a McFondue with Rösti Fries.
posted by effbot at 9:14 AM on October 29, 2014


They say there's nothing you'll want like McDonald's right when you get out of jail. I won't judge. That actually makes a lot of sense to me. Bland jail food would leave me, I'm sure, with a nice craving for salt and grease, and there's a ritual "I'm back in the world" aspect, and a regressive hunger for a comfort food of childhood as well.

That would make a great ad campaign. Hey, I'm a Creative!
posted by thelonius at 9:19 AM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


But CNN can be viewed overseas now, via satellite, and in Britain I.R.A. means something else entirely."

There must be a lot of confusion about the emerging strife between the Traditional IRA and the Roth IRA.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 9:23 AM on October 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


there's a commercial playing on the radio that goes something like "When you buy a kid a happy meal, they'll be eternally grateful. Of course, for a kid, that's like 5 minutes. But it's long enough to feel like you made the right choice." I think it's incredible that they're just coming right out and saying 'parent by giving into your child's unhealthy whims and feeling satisfied in their short glow of gratitude.'

Please tell me you are not a parent or a temporal based entity with a finite existence. Because that's some weaaaak ass reaching for the pearls.
posted by aydeejones at 9:25 AM on October 29, 2014


Two of my MPH classmates last night were talking shit about one's sibling posting a pic of their 1-year old at McDonalds. Like it was a picture of the kid eating rat poison or something. There are definitely pics of my toddler enjoying his happy meal; first the food and then the box on his head.

Back in the 90's (Gather round! Grandpa's telling stories!) when there was that awful E. Coli outbreak at Jack-In-The-Box, I saw something that broke my heart and has perhaps permanently damaged it. Seriously maybe don't finish reading this if you are a parent.

*********






The father of one of the children who died, weeping as he told a reporter how he had only taken the little boy there for his first hamburger, and now he's dead. Well, that'll cheer us all up.
posted by thelonius at 9:28 AM on October 29, 2014


If that sounded mean I apologize but yeah gratitude like all things are fleeting and there doesn't need to be a "giving in" unless one feels that withholding is helpful. My parents were pretty healthy eaters who never took me to McDonald's and I love the shit out of it now.

My boy had a birthday recently...that commercial would make me laugh because at a certain age with many kids no matter how awesome their day is, birthday or otherwise, they are learning boundaries and gratitude can disappear in the blink of an eye. You have to teach a person to be thankful for something they "already" experienced a whole five minutes ago. It's funny when you've gone through the initial demoralization of realizing what ungrateful wretches we are out of the box
posted by aydeejones at 9:31 AM on October 29, 2014


Also no one ever talks about the play place. I never "give in" to McDonald's. My kids have a heuristic algorithm for knowing when I am personally considering McDonald's and mom being busy doing her thing is one of the larger tipping points. The kid fries are a tiny serving and you alternate fries and apples between kids, forcing them to learn to share in a most challenging medium...fries!

But they're most excited about that play place. Every McDonald's has a different one. It's like going to a different bar or coffee shop for them. Let's hit the one with the musical stuff and surf boards! I like that crowd.

MehDonalds. I ate it last night. Had a 500 calorie salad that was quite good, but I am a big dude just breaking into the world of feeling hungry all day (weight loss? Maybe tomorrow) so I threw a dolla fiddy double cheeseburger in the mix, with a total calorie count lower than 1000 for a dinner for a 6" Dude. Wasn't bad. I like the general rule that in fast food a double cheeseburger (if it's not enormous patties) always cost less than 2 bucks and has just around 500 Cal.
posted by aydeejones at 9:38 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've got a kindergartener who is taller and bigger than his classmates (though thin and fit), speaks two languages, reads at a second grade level, and does exercises in a first grade math workbook for fun. He never goes a day without eating fresh fruit and he's a huge fan of a whole list of veggies. He clears his own dishes and says "please" and "thank you." He and I went to McDonald's night before last. If anyone wants to mock my parenting, by all means, knock yourself out.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:56 AM on October 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


TL;DR/bragging-free version: my kid eats at Mickey D's sometimes and he's just fine, thanks.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:59 AM on October 29, 2014


Judging other parents is the only happiness some people get. You all sound fine to me, McDonald's-wise. Teaching a kid that you can sometimes have a splurge that would be bad to have every day, and you have to learn to wait for it to be time to do that, seems like an OK thing to me.
posted by thelonius at 10:10 AM on October 29, 2014


I used to take my son to McDonalds a lot, because a McDonalds play place in MN winters meant a better naptime. It was safe, confined and warm, and I could get some work done on my laptop while he played.

He's grown up into a fine young gay man who loves eating at Olive Garden.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to apologize to The Gay Community, again. I know I am a failure as a parent.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:26 AM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'd just like to take this opportunity to apologize to The Gay Community

You keep saying this. I think you have us confused with Italians.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:34 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Grand piano, fireplaces, fries.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 10:37 AM on October 29, 2014


I've been in many, many McDonaldses with fireplaces. I don't know why they have fireplaces--I can't recall ever encountering one in any other fast food joint--but they do, often. Usually gas, sometimes outright fake, always modern style. Canada, FWIW.

(That piano is obviously for in-store appearances by Mac Tonight.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:51 AM on October 29, 2014


If loving McDonald's is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
posted by spilon at 10:59 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess I have fond memories of eating at a McDonald's in Anchorage that had a fireplace. For some reason the "Santa Claus: the Movie" Happy Meal tie-in sticks with me.

A couple blocks away there was a Burger King with a yacht deck sort of layout, with steering wheel and the like. No idea what the story was with that.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 11:58 AM on October 29, 2014


I mentioned above how the Western Bacon Cheeseburger stole my allegiance from McD's to Carl's Jr., in spite of, among other things, their sexy/sexist commercials... well, they just kinda gave their own response...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:18 PM on October 29, 2014


The loss of Pizza Hut's whole wheat crust option still stings, to this day

Pizza Hut. That's a name I haven't heard in a long, long time.

Back in high school a couple friends and I used to borrow one of our parents' cars and go to the lunch buffet at Pizza Hut and eat absurd amounts of pizza. Just slice after slice. Now I can have about 2 small ones and have to rush to the bathroom after. I'm not sure if they got a whole lot greasier or if my pizza-handling guts broke at some point over the years since.
posted by Hoopo at 3:41 PM on October 29, 2014


Please tell me you are not a parent or a temporal based entity with a finite existence. Because that's some weaaaak ass reaching for the pearls.

I think I made it pretty clear in my comment that I have nothing against eating McDonalds and in the followup I made it pretty clear that I have zero problem with people taking their kids to McDonalds (nor am I judging any parent for giving their kid what they want sometimes because it makes their kids happy or just because they don't want to make a big deal about it). But yeah, I think in a larger sense it's a lame parenting strategy to assess whether or not you "made the right decision" based on whether your kid is grateful and it's surprising to hear it in a cutesy feel-good corporate-polished radio spot.
posted by geegollygosh at 5:18 PM on October 29, 2014


Now I can have about 2 small ones and have to rush to the bathroom after. I'm not sure if they got a whole lot greasier or if my pizza-handling guts broke at some point over the years since.

Someone talked me into going to Pizza Hut for lunch a while back. I love cheap greasy pizza, but Pizza Hut tasted like the grease was recycled, or made out of plastic or something. It was notably worse than regular cheap pizza, super queasy-inducing, and way worse than how I remember it tasting.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:51 PM on October 29, 2014


Yeah, Pizza Hut...I don't know, man. It's what I grew up on. Whenever my family ordered pizza -- including literally every birthday party -- it was Pizza Hut. Then there was a big gap through my 20's when I lived in a town with actual pizza available on every corner. When I went back to a Pizza Hut recently, it was just completely gross. Pretty much exactly how I remember it, but gross.

I guess maybe when I was a kid it just didn't occur to me how disgusting it was that the crust was so saturated with grease that it was translucent and bubbly, as if it had been deep fried. I think I even liked that about it.

My experience with McDonald's is pretty much the same. A quarter pounder tastes like nothing more than ketchup, pickles, and grease. Big Mac? Shredded, lightly decomposed lettuce, whatever that sauce is, and grease. The cheese is rubbery and flavourless.

I loved these as a kid, but they are garbage. And I don't say they're garbage because they're bad for you. I have no problems with competing chains like Burger King or Arby's or Wendy's or Little Caeser's or Dominos or whatever, because their food actually tastes like food--not necessarily good food, but food nonetheless; McDonald's and Pizza Hut do not. To call their products a "food-like substance" would be a stretch.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:59 PM on October 29, 2014




So, what are you supposed to eat at McDonald's that's nice?

Breakfast! Bacon and egg McMuffin; sausage and egg biscuit.

We're partial to the Jalapeño Double.

And actually: their salads are pretty good. A salad at the McD's on Harbor just outside the park gate is a good Disneyland trick to know when you're sated with fried food.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:03 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


And actually: their salads are pretty good.

McDonald's Double Cheeseburger:
430cal (190 from fat), 21g fat

McDonald's Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken:
450cal (190 from fat), 22g fat
posted by Sys Rq at 2:00 PM on November 17, 2014


A premium salad is going to take up more stomach space than a single double cheeseburger. I'd recommend the grilled chicken over the crispy chicken as well.

That said, it would probably be more fair to compare a crispy chicken sandwich with the crispy chicken salad since they use the same chicken patty for both. A crispy chicken club sandwich is 660cal (300cal from fat), 33g fat which is what I often get from McDonald's. Of course the salad eater will likely use dressing which undoes a lot of the gains. A packet of ranch dressing is 170cal (100cal from fat), 15g fat. So, roughly equal. Of course, the chicken sandwich eater will probably order a combo which adds french fries and that tips the scales again. But all that said, if you order salad+dressing/drink you'll likely consume less fat and calories than a sandwich/fry/drink combo. And if you order a sandwich/drink you'll likely consume less calories than salad+dressing/drink.

Since I usually get fries with my sandwich and not when I get a salad, the salad almost always is the healthier option for me. I could improve further if I just drink water and had a healthier dressing since ranch is basically the worst.
posted by Green With You at 3:20 PM on November 17, 2014


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