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Fast Food Lessons

August 30, 2011

The July 27, 2011 Wall Street Journal Marketplace section had an article on McDonalds and one on Dunkin’ Donuts. I found three lessons in these articles.

Mc Donalds is listening and is adding fruit to their Happy Meals. They are being proactive instead of waiting for regulation to hit. At the same time, they are holding their ground and saying they will not remove the toys because a Happy Meal is, after all, to be fun.

Dunkin’ Donuts just had an IPO to get debt relief and part for expansion. Experts believe Dunkin’ Donuts will be taking on McDonalds more than Starbucks given the similar pricing and typical customers. I’m guessing they’re going after both, just like McDonalds did by advertising the price advantage of their drinks. In any event, it pays to have a strategy, not just do things by the seat-of-your-pants.

Starbucks has recovered nicely from their mid-recession dip and the article gave three reasons why. First, new products, like the very successful Via instant coffee. Second, by closing underperforming stores. Third, by emphasizing and improving their loyalty program. So, they’re innovative, not afraid to cut their losses and are rewarding their best customers. Pretty good strategies, all of them.

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” Michael LeBoeuf

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