Restaurant brand protectionism, where branded foodservice companies did the same things the same way time has come and gone. Consumer can thank McDonald’s for taking us along for fresh food fast with a twist. Foodservice companies today understand that strategy trumps tactics in a global retail marketplace.
McDonald’s has leveraged its consumer qualitative and quantitative attributes with marvelous menu magic, building a better brand for global success. While a majority of QSR copy-cat companies continue to pontificate brand protectionism. What is it they don’t understand? Here are some menu magic success clues that we can garner from McDonald’s:
In Germany you can find cold beer in most McDonald’s. Canada, have a lobster dinner with the McLobster lobster roll. In fish-loving Norway, they have the McLaks, a sandwich made of grilled salmon and dill sauce. In Hong Kong, Rice Burgers, where the burgers are in between, not burger buns, but two patties of glutinous rice.
Australians can is the only McDonald’s market in the world with lamb on its menu permanently. You can also order Vegemite with your English muffin. Australian Happy Meals serve something called the Pasta Zoo which is a vegetable and cheese ravioli in the shape of zoo animals, served with a side of "Zoo Goo," made of tomato
In Asia the shrimp burger is called the "EBI Filet-O" in Japan. In Hong Kong, it's formally titled the Shrimp Burger and comes on bread with lettuce and spicy sauce. In addition you my Japan's own shrimp tempura. These shrimp are encrusted in a light batter and dunk nicely into tempura sauce.
In Malaysia you can find a cup of porridge with bits of chicken, ginger, onion, shallots and chili peppers.
“Porridge isn't soup, but rather sodden rice. Malaysians buy their version from food carts or hawker centers, where vendors sell just that dish. While the McDonald's adaptation is heavy on the rice, the Malaysian version comes in generous layers, with the soft rice boiled in chicken or seafood broth on the bottom and sauces, chopped vegetables and shredded chicken added on top”.
At Singaporean McDonald's you can find Shaka Shaka Chicken. You'll get a breaded, deep-fried chicken patty in a wax-paper bag. You dump spicy powder into the bag, and as you "shaka" it, the spices stick to the patty with the help of the frying oil. If you're too lazy to leave the hotel, you can always order a chicken sandwich online, add some jasmine tea and make it come to you with a McDelivery.
In India there are no beef burgers at McDonald's in India try the McVeggie -- a rice, bean and vegetable patty that McDonald's treats predictably with breading -- or the McAloo Tikki -- a potato-vegetable burger. Then there is the Maharaja Mac, which is a Big Mac made of lamb or chicken meat.
In Egypt, and across the Middle East they serve the McArabia, two chicken or beef patties in pita bread with lettuce, tomato, onion and tahini sauce. We see this more as a transplanted hamburger than shawarma or falafel.
Restaurant brand protectionism is not a success tactic nor is it a strategy that works. McDonald’s has proven the case that menu decentralization and country personalization is the spring board for success.
For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant