Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is this a McDonald’s rouge franchisee or secret menu item? Why should you care?

Success leaves clues and if consumer buzz, increased customer loyalty are important this new Mc Donald's menu item just may be a clue to building top line revenue and bottom line profits. Yesterday on this blog we spoke of chain restaurants with franchisee’s at risk of franchisee discontent and random menu, service and staffing self adjustments. Is this that?

Or is this the hands-on-side of the industry managing a business day to day. With Smashburger positioning to go public, garner additional cash and build new units at and even faster pace; what should McDonalds do?

Pictured above is the The Secret Mc Menu Item That’s Sweeping SF, it is The Mc10:35. Secret menu items can drive top line revenue and bottom line profits while building a loyal brand following of customers who feel that they are “in the know” “special” ala closer to the brand. Let me quote the local report:

“This item the Mc 10:35 secret menu item that can only be ordered during the changeover from breakfast to the standard menu. The Mc10:35 is the unholy but oh-so-hot union between the Mc Double and Egg Mc Muffin. I heard about this from a cashier at one of the local McDonald's. He said it's getting kind of a cult following in San Francisco.”

Now how do you get it?

1. Go to Mc Donald’s right when they are transitioning from breakfast to lunch.

2. Order one of the remaining Egg Mc Muffins from the breakfast menu and also order a Mc Double since the lunch menu is now open.

3. Take the egg and Canadian bacon from the Egg Mc Muffin and put it on the Mc Double.

The guy at the register said people call it a Mc10:35 because that's pretty much the only time you can pull this off. They're damn good.”

In & Out burger is known for it “secret” menu developing success is one thing In & Out does well utilizing the menu, customer and the brand to forge lasting loyal brand followers. Here is a sample from the secret menu:

Animal style is the most popular "secret" style. In addition to the standard toppings, animal style burgers include: pickles, extra spread, extra grilled onions, mustard fried onto each meat patty.

Double-Meat (a.k.a. 2×0) is a Double-Double with no cheese. By definition a Double-Double automatically includes two slices of cheese; for two patties without the cheese, a double meat burger must be ordered.

The Flying Dutchman: Two meat patties, two slices of cheese, no bun. Note: other condiments (including lettuce, tomato, spread, and onions) are not included unless you request them.

Chain Restaurant growth and brand momentum can be stifled by unhappy non compliant Franchisee’s. When profitability slips, and innovation lack luster Franchisee’s on the front lines can contribute greatly to building a better brand. We all remember the Big Mac and the filet-O-fish were developed by Franchisee’s and they have both been around quite a while.

Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma, WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche providing ready-to-eat and ready-to-eat insights, information and consulting. For more read this article: http://www.anything4restaurants.com/blog/index.php/2009/07/restaurant-consumer-discontinuity-the-consumer-moved-first/


  1. It's not a secret menu item if you have to order two different items. The register does not say "Mc1035". At In & Out the register receipt actually says "Animal Style". This is just a customer trend combining two existing menu items. It's not a secret menu item until it's on the register. Until then,again, it's to existing menu items.

  2. Secret or no secret, both chains should call it the "hypertension extension".

  3. The clear focus is on the customer? If that's what they want add a key!