What inspires me to write about McDonald’s, every 10-mile burger shop, is the interesting story that it has weaved for itself. Last week, I was travelling to Dehradun from Delhi. The first McDonald’s store was at Meerut and the next after 20 kms from Meerut on the highway. It was a co-incidence that when my driver pulled the car at McDonald’s, I was also reading the story in Fortune magazine. Already overawed by the magnanimity of F&B giant, I was quite surprised with the big McDonald’s store on the highway. It was way bigger than any we have in Delhi/NCR with ample parking space. The only sour point was it did not have any regular burgers in Aloo Tikki or McChicken, but bad McPuffins. But that’s another point. The outlet was spacious and custom-made for highway travellers with a drive-in.
It’s not strange that the world’s largest F&B store can be found on an isolated highway (there are no competing dhabas either around). McDonald’s does more sale globally than KFC, Pizza Hut and Burger King combined. Every store in the US does more than a million dollars per month. Sale is measured on “same store sale” model. Even a layman, with no penchant for sales numbers, can easily figure out that McDonald’s burgers sell like free hot cookies. Over the years, McDonald’s has dabbled with quite a few eatables, and has tasted success in its coffee and cone sale that brings crowd in the non-eating hours as well. McDonald’s enjoys a tremendous brand recall value, thanks to its omnipresence and its seductive trap for kids. It has survived the junk food attack, and it shows when even uncles with protruding tummies line up to have their tray-full of burgers. In India, McDonald’s has been impressively inventive, having lined up Aloo Tikki and now a completely new range of McSpicy.
On the marketing front, McDonald’s has for long worked on its USP of reasonable priced burgers for years now. Most recently, it has tied with SRK-starrer RA.One. The big M that you see after every few miles is the biggest outdoor advertising in its own way.
In years to come, I can only see the behemoth rising to reach unprecedented levels, and the story getting more intriguing.