McDonald’s is getting with the times, and it’s about time. CNN reports that the new McDonald’s Next has opened in Hong Kong and it is very progressive. Unlike every other McDonald’s restaurant, this one doesn’t have the bright colors, and while patrons can get everything from the traditional menu, they will also be able to enjoy a spectacular salad bar, gourmet coffee, and Create Your Taste, where customers are able to customize their burger. There is even table service after 6 p.m.
— Kathy Burke (@kathyburke77) January 14, 2016
McDonald’s has chosen to make this change after decades of the same old burgers and fries approach, simply because their number of customers and their revenues are falling. In particular, there is more competition in the fast food industry and people are taking their eating habits more seriously, opting for healthier food. Customers seem to like the change.
McDonald’s Next claims that their Create Your Taste burger, which is also available in Australia and offers 30 ingredients, allows for endless possibilities, but Mashable reports there is one mathematician who proved this is not true. Allister Haire did the math and posted it on his Facebook page.
Rather than being endless, there are actually 1,073,741,823 different burger possibilities.
“Am I expected to believe, along with the consumer public, that 30 ingredients can generate an unlimited number of burger permutations? Does this corporation put such a low price on my intelligence to consider me foolish enough to suspect that a finite number of objects can yield an infinite number of combinations? Or is it perhaps that this global fast food conglomerate has no problem stooping to textbook false advertising?”
For the record: a fan of McDonald’s ‘create your taste’ burgers. This is my fav recipe. pic.twitter.com/NwYfOYryJ8
— Be’Havin! (@WrongDoc) January 9, 2016
“Endless” possibilities aside, the changes McDonald’s is undergoing come at a time when the company is the target of an anti-trust complaint in the European Union. Economic Times reports that three consumer groups from Italy have filed the complaint with EU regulators because McDonald’s franchise system causes harm to consumers.
“The coalition calls upon the Commission to take action against the unlawful and restrictive contracts McDonald’s imposes on its franchisees, which negatively affect consumer choice, pricing, and quality of service and food across Europe.”
The groups claim that the majority of McDonald’s revenue in Europe comes from the rent they charge, rather than the sale of their products.
“These rents are often significantly higher than market rents and those paid by direct competitors.”
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the international labor union in the US, is in support of the complaints issued by the European groups, in particular due to the SEIU’s efforts to try to convince McDonald’s to raise wages around the world.
“It’s because of McDonald’s super-size impact on the global economy that the actions being taken here today are so important for efforts around the world to hold the company accountable.”
USA Today reports that the SEIU also spoke of their support of the claims of the consumer groups in Europe.
“We fully support the consumer groups in launching this complaint. McDonald’s abuse of its dominant market position hurts everyone: franchisees, consumers, and workers. We strongly urge the European Commission to investigate the charges and to use all of its powers to hold McDonald’s accountable.”
It seems that McDonald’s is doing what it feels is necessary to increase revenues all around the world, which is some cases means healthier food to draw in more customers and in other cases means price gouging on rent paid by franchisees. Ultimately, McDonald’s is being called out by those who feel their practices are unfair, right down to the customer who is tired of their claims of endless options.
[Photo by Dean Bertoncelj/Shutterstock]