11 episodes

The business of burgers.

hamburgerbusinessreview.substack.com

Hamburger Business Review Podcast Zach Rose + K. Mike Merrill

    • Business
    • 4.0 • 4 Ratings

The business of burgers.

hamburgerbusinessreview.substack.com

    HBR Holiday Special

    HBR Holiday Special

    Does McDonalds even celebrate the holidays? They did come out with a “holiday pie” but it doesn’t seem very festive. Back in 2000 they seemed to love Santa…
    Retail sales are expected to be up this holiday season, with bars and restaurants leading the way, so you’d think McDonalds would be leaning into the holiday cheer. But maybe when you are so dominant in the IEO space you don't need to flaunt it?
    What’s IEO? They kept saying it at the Investor Day presentation and I had to look it up. It’s the McDonald’s segment of the restaurant industry and it stands for “Informal Eating Out.” This includes other Quick Service Restaurants (QSR), casual dining full-service restaurants, street stalls, specialist coffee shops, and juice or smoothing bars. Basically any place that makes your neighborhood nice is the enemy of McDonalds.
    Rather than discuss the doom and gloom of McDonalds ongoing battle for third spaces we have our Holiday Special for you. It’s been about four months since we wrapped season one and we have a lot to cover:
    * Zach’s annual McTrot!
    * McDonalds position in the Israel/Palestine conflict
    * CosMc’s
    * The $MCD stock price
    * Where is Santa?
    * Expanding McDonald’s IP
    * HBR Merch!
    * And what’s could be next for HBR
    🍔 Hamburger Business Review Merchandise
    There is no way you’re getting any of these before Christmas, but that’s the point. These are not christmas gifts. This is something you buy for yourself. Because after listening to Season One you’re also a Hamburger Expert!
    There is nothing like a fleece vest and a matching cap to make you feel like some combo of tech industry titan and delivery person. It’s great.
    The HBR Hat in Mustard
    An embroidered hat with with HBR logo. Discreet, because maybe people will think this is associated with a fancy college, but also a signal to all business burger enthusiasts with the burger icon.
    The HBR Mug in Mustard
    Add a splash of burger business to your morning coffee or tea ritual! These ceramic mugs not only have a beautiful burger design and bold HAMBURGER BUSINESS REVIEW on them, but also a bright yellow rim, handle, and inside, so the mug helps keep your focus on the business of burgers.
    The HBR Fleece Vest
    Make the right choice with this Columbia fleece vest! It’s a modern yet classic piece that’s perfect for layering during cold weather and you’re ready for your business conference in Switzerland, Idaho, or the Bay Area!
    Thanks again to all our listeners and supporters. We’re excited about the future of the burger business and can’t wait to get back to it.
    -K. Mike Merrill + Zach Rose



    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit hamburgerbusinessreview.substack.com

    • 19 min
    Grinding It Out with Chris K.

    Grinding It Out with Chris K.

    Grinding It Out is the title of Ray Kroc’s 1977 autobiography and also an aspect of the personality that is needed to run the vast and massively powerful McDonald’s Corporation. Throughout the ten episodes of Hamburger Business Review we’ve taken to referring to the CEO as sitting on the Golden Throne.
    "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground." -Cersei Lannister
    There have only been 10 CEOs of McDonald’s:
    * Ray Kroc: 1961 to 1973
    * Fred Turner 1973: to 1989
    * Michael Quinlan: 1989 to 1998
    * Jack Greenberg: 1998 to 2002
    * Jim Cantalupo: 2002 to 2004
    * Charles Bell: 2004 to 2005
    * Jim Skinner: 2005 to 2012
    * Don Thompson: 2012 to 2015
    * Steve Easterbrook: 2015 to 2019
    * Chris Kempczinski: 2019 to Present
    Chris Kempczinski took the “Golden Throne” and became CEO of McDonald’s after the sudden departure of his mentor and boss due to an inappropriate workplace romance, and he’s the first CEO of the modern social media era with his Instagram account @chrisk_mcd.
    We’re looking at the 2019 case study  titled simply “McDonald’s Corporation” that looks at the situation when Chris took over. He has taken the “Easterbrook Inititives” and developed that into a wonderful “Accelerating The Arches” strategic plan.
    We also use this as an opportunity to look back over our first season of Hamburger Business Review and take some educated guesses about what we might see happen next.
    Thanks for listening! We hope you learned about more than just the burger business during season one. There really is very little in our modern day culture that doesn’t touch McDonald’s and it’s been an absolute joy to share these case studies and discussions with you.
    In Grimace We Trust,-Mike & Zach




    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit hamburgerbusinessreview.substack.com

    • 29 min
    Everyone Loves to #HateMcDonald's

    Everyone Loves to #HateMcDonald's

    We’re discussing a strangely topical case study from 2013 called McDonald's Twitter Campaign: Hype Versus Reality, which is about how mean social media is.
    It starts with a promoted "#MeetTheFarmers" hashtag designed to introduce the wholesome sourcing of McDonald’s. Something like this:
    To boost “engagement” they switched from from #MeetTheFarmers to #McDStories halfway through the first day of the campaign, hoping to get regular customers to say wonderful things. Of course, that isn’t how Twitter has ever worked…
    The new hashtag got people’s attention! McDonald’s quickly pivoted back to the original #MeetTheFarmers as more people piled on their #McDStories.
    A few days later, the media picked up the story and ran negative coverage with mocking headlines. In the articles they were able to highlight McDonald’s blunder and quote the negative tweets. This coverage turned the minor misstep into a major mistake.
    Following along with the case study we discuss what happened, and what we can all learn from McDonald’s mistake and the evolution of how brands use social media.
    Note: This episode mentions the Grimace takeover of McDonald’s Twitter but was recorded before the reaction videos of the Grimace shake became a trend.


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit hamburgerbusinessreview.substack.com

    • 30 min
    Would You Sleep at McDonald's?

    Would You Sleep at McDonald's?

    I’ve been waiting for this case study all season, and it’s such a weird business attempt that there are two case studies about the Golden Arch Hotel, an attempted McDonald’s hotel franchise.
    In 2001 the CEO of McDonald’s in Switzerland got the green light to apply the franchise DNA of McDonald’s to a hotel. As a frequent business traveller Urs Hammer thought of everything, and used his deep understanding of scalable efficient service to design a hotel like no other.
    It’s not really a spoiler to say that it failed. But it failed in a pretty interesting way, and in fact the hotel itself continues to operate under a different brand. The URL goldenarchhotel.com now redirects to the rebranded Radisson, with the super sized McDonald’s still attached to the structure.
    The infamous exposed showers are still there, now covered with scenes from around Switzerland to provide a little more privacy.
    Join us as we imagine what it was like to pull into the not-so-grand Golden Arch Hotel and chat with our fellow confused travelers over a beer some chicken nuggets at the hotel bar.
    Your Hosts,K. Mike Merrill and Zach Rose
    Case Studies:
    * McDonald's and the Hotel Industry
    * Golden Arch Hotel: McDonald's Adventure in the Hotel Industry


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit hamburgerbusinessreview.substack.com

    • 25 min
    AI Burgers: McDonald's Goes Digital

    AI Burgers: McDonald's Goes Digital

    What does artificial intelligence have to do with burgers? As we’re learning at Hamburger Business Review, there is nothing that McDonald’s doesn’t touch, including AI. Following their ambitious Velocity Growth Plan McDonald’s acquired Dynamic Yield in 2019 as part of a strategy to use big data for more personalization. The digitization of McDonald’s has been in the works for years, and is incorporated at every level, from the store and drive-thru remodels to the focus on the app and delivery services.
    In this episode we look at the 2020 case study McDonald's: Can A Behemoth Lead in the Era of Artificial Intelligence? by Fabrizio Di Muro of the University of Winnipeg.
    Coming Up Next:
    Next episode we’re looking at the ill-fated McDonald’s hotel launch. And after that we will review the social media strategy for selling more burgers. For our final episode of the season we’ll take a look at everything Chris Kempczinski inherited as the newly appointed CEO.
    Hamburger Business Review is a reader-supported publication. While all content is made free, we couldn’t do this without the support of our listeners.




    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit hamburgerbusinessreview.substack.com

    • 23 min
    Burger Hedging: Are The Parts Greater Than The Whole?

    Burger Hedging: Are The Parts Greater Than The Whole?

    Beware the beautiful eyes of Bill Ackman, the CEO and founder of Pershing Square Capital Management. When he gets a crush on a business it usually means he has some bold new plan to make drastic changes in order to achieve drastic profits.
    In 2015 the gaze of Ackman was on Wendy’s, which he pressured into selling off the profitable Tim Horton’s chain. Ackman sold his shares at a substantial profit, and then stock price later collapsed.
    When he later took on McDonald’s the process wasn’t quite as smooth. Was his idea flawed or was it that McDonald’s is already an efficient and well run company? We dive into this topic of activist investors in the burger space with a special guest, Marcus Estes, who helps provide some larger context to the analysis of the case study McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Hedge Funds: Hambuger Hedging?
    Coming up next:
    We will be reading case studies about McDonald’s and AI and the ill-fated attempt by McDonald’s to enter the hospitality industry.
    Housekeeping:
    This is episode six of ten for the inaugural season of Hamburger Business Review. Your financial support allows us to continue to buy Harvard Business School case studies about the burger industry. Thank you.
    Hamburger Business Review is a reader-supported publication. While all content is made free, we couldn’t do this without the support of our listeners.




    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit hamburgerbusinessreview.substack.com

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

KmikeyM ,

McDonald's Touches Everything

Looking at McDonald's through the lens of business case studies is really just looking at how contemporary society. Everything good and bad that has happened in society intersects at some point with the Golden Arches making this podcast about much more than it's straightforward thesis.

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