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The wired article was extremely short not sure if I’m just not getting the full article? It seems from my perspective that Taylor and McDonald’s conspired to take money from the franchise owners. What a shame. Because all it does is incentives owners to cut corners like say serve cold fries so they don’t lose money. McDonald’s used to be great but somewhere lost the way. They used to be the affordable place anyone could afford a couple burgers and fries for their family and it used to be quite enjoyable.

What I'm enjoying is their randomly changing offers post-lockdowns in my country, and how they don't communicate them at all.

Their "gourmet" burgers are now only available from 10:30am to 10:30pm, even in 24 hour joints.

Their "all day breakfast" they spent a lot of money advertising now ends at midday. This was notably not advertised. When I rocked up at 12:15pm looking for my regular Sunday McMuffin, and was informed of the new policy, I kinda understood that famous scene in Falling Down[1].

They have vanilla shakes! Sometimes, maybe. Plenty of the other shakes, but vanilla is hit and miss.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlzm7-gvTRg

Must have watched that move close to 30 times. I wish my kids will someday watch it, they will have a Keyser Soze moment when they realize how much of our daily coversation is made up of quotes from Falling Down.

I suppose that's better than the Rocky Horror Picture Show quotes mine have been hearing... and I hope that they never find out.

The Monty Python and Pulp Fiction quotes, though... Yes I hope that they figure those out some day!

That is an awesome movie, if a bit depressing. "I'm the bad guy?"

A previous Wired story has the full context; the one posted today is more of an update. https://www.wired.com/story/they-hacked-mcdonalds-ice-cream-... (or https://archive.is/newest/https://www.wired.com/story/they-h... )

> McDonald’s used to be great

When was this?

It was great when I was a kid (almost 50 years ago).

Other poster lists some tangible changes made to their menu but for me the difference is simply that I was a kid with a working-class single parent and my tastes were simpler. Hamburger + small fries + small Coke was an affordable "treat" for us.

Perhaps marketing is as responsible for killing McDonald's image: when small disappeared and it was "regular" size. Super-size dinks.... "Would you like fries with that?" Or when giant burgers (Bic Mac, Quarter-pounder, Double Quarter-pounder, Double cheeseburger) started dominating the menu and the small hamburger took a back seat.

I’m from the 80’s. First they used to actually use beef tallow up until the 90s when they switched to vegetable oil. Major decline in taste and texture. Fries used to stay crispy longer and the flavour was much more rich. Also you used to be able to get a cheese burger for like $0.60. It used to be affordable but at some point the prices skyrocketed and they got their new menu items which mostly sucked. They used to have pizza and I’ve seen a lot of people wish for that back. It seems to me like they wanted to portray themselves as a high end burger joint and start charging as much like you would see at a restaurant. What made them famous was cheap food. They should have kept that as a focus imo.

I've never seen them provide value for money here in Europe compared to what was already available. What boosted them - and killed a lot of the local competition - was that tourists seemed to prefer them. We had plenty of fast food here that was quite ok before then.

Here in Germany, we still have a lot of other fast food, like the local Döner shops, or local "Asian" shops selling mostly Chinese, Thai and/or Vietnamese dishes (usually their menus are a mix), or pizza-to-go places or the good old "Currywurstbude" (selling Currywurst of course, but usually things like Schnitzel and even burgers as well). Even my own minor city (about 250k people) also has a lot of other fast food (as in takeout and/or delivery not necessarily junk food) places on top of the usual assortment of Döner/Asian/Pizza/Currywurst. "Downtown" has a Kurdish place, a Lebanese place, a Mongolian BBQ, a Croatian place, a bunch of Indian and Pakistani places, two or three Sushi places, and I am sure a lot of others that I don't really know about. And that's not even counting the places operating as "real" restaurants.

I know a few people who go to McD because "you know what you'll get", but I personally never felt the need, the competition is better in taste more often than not, and McD are not even cheaper than most of the alternatives, sometimes even more expensive. The last time I was at McD was when I was stranded at some small train station some years ago and didn't have the time to look around and just settled with the McD located right in the station building (I would have gone with the Burger King in the same building, but it was closed for renovations). That's when I found out that the quality of their fries took a slump, at least in my humble opinion.

Personally, I'd rather have a Dürüm from a Döner shop, or Pho Tron from one of the Asia places, or maybe some Masala from an Indian place.

> you know what you'll get

I always get a stomach ache, and possibly the runs. Something in those burgers just doesn't agree with me..

> I know a few people who go to McD because "you know what you'll get"

Funny that the last times I did that, I didn't get what I expect. Broken machines (not only ice-cream), missing products, and it seems it was harder on the stomach as well, etc.

I just gave up on it if it doesn't even do that anymore.

There are better choices, even around BK, AW, Quick in Europe, etc

McDonalds in the US is generally cheaper than the same in the rest of the world. The company decided they don't like being the value option and so raised prices trying to seem premium.

I don't eat there at home, I'm not interested in trying them in other countries.

I still giggle at how McD tried to market itself as the "healthy" option, especially targeting "girls and women", at least here in Germany, with Heidi Klum and some of her Germany's Next Topmodels as the advertisement figures. They even changed their logo from red + gold to green + gold. That was a few years back.

Right... I am convinced now :P

  > tourists seemed to prefer them
Interestingly, in studies tourists actually do not prefer the food from McDonalds over local cuisine in almost every market studied. What they did prefer was the consistency: knowing what they are going to get.

I prefer McDonalds when abroad mostly because of their ordering machines. It's a big advantage if you travel to a non-English speaking country. I was able to order food without friction in Estonia, Finland, Italy, without speaking any of their languages.

People there will be happy to try to speak English to you if you let them. I don't speak Italian, Finnish, or Estonian for that matter, but I've been there and I have never had a problem communicating with people in the hospitality industry.

Its home away from home.

McDonalds is only "home" for Americans. As the parent comment says, it's "consistent", but it's absolutely not "home" for me or anyone else I know from Europe. And for anyone who has tried McDonalds on a few different continents, it's not even that "consistent" in what you can expect, I think people are more interested in the consistency of safety, i.e. you have a lower risk of being food poisoned than you may have from some of the other establishments nearby.



Eating from the wall is like late night window shopping in Amsterdam's culinary red light district.


>Window-shopping for fast food at FEBO.

>If you must, eat from the wall at FEBO, an inexplicably popular Dutch tradition that satisfies appetites 24/7 with automated fast food displayed in tiny windows. No telling how long those mayo-slathered frikandel and burgers have been sitting there under heat lamps, but if you’re starving in the wee hours, they may be your only snack option.

Some history: FeBo stands for 'Ferdinand Bol', a street in the 'Pijp' district of Amsterdam, where it originated. When I was a small child (1971, 6 yo) we moved into that neighborhood and I remember them from then. My mom expressly forbidding us kids from eating whatever they offered because it was deemed to be just one small notch above garbage.

And I'm not sure that that wasn't on the money with respect to what goes into their frikandellen and kroketten.

But their fries are pretty good.

Too bad we lost Broodje van Kootje to the chains.

It's not just the food, but the people you meet later in life at 3am hanging outside of FEBO that your mother was trying to protect you from, Jacques.

That's got to be it. But I got to know you anyway... ;)

Hey I wasn't there to actually eat! I was just stopping by to check and make sure you weren't there. But there you were! Shame on you, hanging out and window shopping at the red light district of fast foods.

Oh wow! Thanks for that gem. I have managed to never eat from FEBO but the next time somebody suggests it, I can add a little nerdy know-it-all to my snub :-P

Prices never skyrocketed, you just got older and aren’t considering inflation. 60 cents in 1985 is about 1.50 today, but a cheeseburger only costs a dollar now. In many cases fast food prices in general got cheaper over time due to efficiencies and cheaper ingredients.

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