By Stephen Cheng | National News
McDonald’s Quality Foods Initiative, started just last year by CEO Chris Kempczinski, began with good intentions but led to an all time low in sales and riots in restaurants across the country.
Last year, with the popularity of high-quality fast food chains like Shake Shack and Chick-fil-A on the rise, Kempczinski attempted to jump on the bandwagon with his Quality Foods Initiative. The initiative guaranteed a total rework of the McDonald’s menu from top to bottom. Old ingredients like rat meat, dog food, and ground bone were replaced with premium quality chicken meat. Leftovers at closing hours were thrown out instead of being stored in shoe boxes overnight and sold in the morning to unsuspecting customers. Cooks were, for the first time, trained to wash their hands and wear hair nets so as to prevent sweat and hair from getting into the food. Accompanying these changes was a public apology issued by Kempczinski, ensuring that “although our past methods of food preparation were disturbing and only semi-legal, the Quality Foods Initiative will rectify those issues and then some.”
Unfortunately, Kempczinski had miscalculated his target demographics. Not one month after the initiative was passed and sales have already plummeted 30% as customers expressed their disbelief with the changes. Customers previously found reassurance in the low quality, don’t-give-a-crap-about-your-health vibe McDonald’s gave off. Ironically, many of the improvements meant to help customers ended up alienating them. Frank Grimes, a former daily customer now turned boycotter, speaks the word of the customers:
“If I actually wanted to eat good food, I would go to a Shake Shack or Chick-fil-A. The reason I used to go to McDonald’s is because I felt accepted there. In the good old days, McDonald’s had zero standards for its food. Now they feel entitled to raise its standards, and I feel like I no longer know what I’m eating. What is this?”
In response to the backlash, last week, Kempczinski issued another apology, admitting that he was “dutifully unaware of what the McDonald’s brand stood for” and that he was “sorry for assuming the American people wanted a healthy lifestyle.”
Whether or not Kempczinski revokes the Quality Foods Initiative is yet to be determined, but as customers continue to pressure McDonald’s to return to its roots of rat meat and stale leftovers, it becomes increasingly apparent that if McDonald’s does not give the people what they want, it will spell the end of America's most successful fast food chain.