I went on a morning run for the first time in months. I ended up running to the Stuff You Should Know podcast, which turned out ironically to be about “How McDonald’s Works”. Audio file:
You see, along with the running kick, I decided just this week to stop eating at McDonald’s for a while. I was in danger of taking back my FourSquare mayorships of all the fast food places in SoMa—and my stomach was starting to revolt.
(I finally lost my FourSquare mayorship of those and the Fisherman’s Wharf Burger King. Burger King! I thought I’d have that one forever. Who eats at the Fisherman’s Wharf Burger King more than once?!)
Though I knew most of the stuff in it, I found the podcast interesting because I had forgotten about the McLibel case and its impact on fast food.
Now the podcast is old so all the corrections have probably been aired a hundred times, but I thought I’d mention the ones I noticed on during my run.
- The reason for the real-estate deal was because Kroc felt that the franchising fees to the McDonalds’ brothers were too onerous. By sub-leasing the real-estate, they could pocket most of those fees. (This is explained in the book Fast Food Nation.)
- I think the character’s name they couldn’t remember was Officer Big Mac
- I think the damages that Crofft/H.R. Pufnstuf got were, in the end, much larger than the amount they mentioned on the program ($50,000).
- The McDonald’s coffee lawsuit was eventually settled for a much lower amount on appeal than the amount originally awarded.
- Speaking about the book, Fast Food Nation, it was that book that accidentally revealed the “natural beef flavoring in the french fries” fact that touched off the lawsuit. The order presented in the program had that backwards.
- Finally, there is no way selling 5 million double cheeseburgers would compensate for the $10 million in damages from that lawsuit.
Any regular at McD’s knows the double cheeseburger is on the Dollar Menu ($1) most everywhere except in places like San Francisco, where I happen to live. There, it has been replaced with the “McDouble.” What’s the difference, you say? One slice of cheese. Even here, the double cheeseburger isn’t more than about $1.29. (Yes, that’s 30 cents for a slice of cheese. Believe me, I’ve been dreaming up some serious McDonald’s arbitrages over the last few years.)
Oh yes, I go to McDonald’s way too much. Three months ago, I was disappointed to find out that they built my sausage mcmuffin with egg backwards. Last week, they made my double quarter pounder wrong.
(FYI, I was able to avoid my fast food craving by stopping by the Prather Ranch Grill stand in the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market on the way back. So much better, and with drink, only $2 more than McDonald’s here.)