Does McDonald’s Have Its Groove Back?

Interesting moves by the Golden Arches suggest the answer is yes.

Jun 8, 2014 at 5:30PM

Source: Burger King Worldwide

As I continue to see commercials from Burger King Worldwide (NYSE:BKW) which state that "size matters" as it brags about its Big King sandwich, I can't help but be reminded that "size" is exactly the thing McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) got rid of when it axed its "super size" option. What a boneheaded move.

While it's been frustrating to watch McDonald's steadily and almost systematically dismantle the very things that made it the powerhouse it is today, evidence is starting to surface that McDonald's may have finally woken up and smelled its own free coffee.

The Burger King attack
While Burger King has dabbled a bit with healthier options that include its lower fat, lower calorie Satisfries, the King of the Whoppers never seems to take its eye off the ball in realizing that its place in the food chain is not to be a health-food mecca. Most of us pop into McDonald's or Burger King on occasion -- or even far too often -- for one reason and one reason only.

That reason is to indulge. We want a greasy burger with greasy fries and a thick milkshake. We want extra artery-clogging mayonnaise on our fried chicken sandwich. We know the "secret sauce" isn't good for us, and we don't care. Or at least it's not stopping us. McDonald's, cut it out already. You caved into pressure, and now the result is that our kids are asking for Burger King a little more often in comparison with McDonald's.

McDonald's waking up?
You've probably seen it by now. McDonald's finally brought back Ronald McDonald. Why did he go away? Oh yeah, because he was encouraging our kids to eat bad food. That sounds noble, but if you're going to sell food to kids, you should "sell" food to kids. Or don't.


Now kids have a new mascot. Adults find him creepy, but maybe kids don't. Either way, it's an excellent step in the right direction and a change of attitude. Can you imagine if Dairy Queen or Chuck E. Cheese stopped marketing to kids because their food isn't the healthiest? The person in charge would be fired on the spot.

Focused marketing
Don't get me wrong. Healthy options for kids and adults are great. However, pushing them on McDonald's core market is ridiculous. For a while McDonald's almost completely stopped marketing its signature Big Mac, which isn't called the Healthy Mac, and Burger King has been showing positive same-store sales with its Big King ever since.

Mcdonalds Bacon Clubhouse Burger

Bacon Clubhouse Burger. Source: McDonald's

McDonald's seems to be finally fighting fire with fire by offering its new Bacon Clubhouse Burger plus the option predominantly advertised on its menu of throwing some bacon onto any sandwich. Bacon. Now we're talking. The mecca of unhealthy food. It's great.

Foolish final thoughts
As long as McDonald's continues to focus on what its core customers want and quits trying to become a complex health-food latte bar, expect to see McDonald's resume its long-term same-store sales growth trend again. I say bring back the super size. It at least had the illusion of super value.

Burger King knows that "size matters" and is flaunting it. For most of us, if we're going to indulge, we're going to go all the way. As Burger King now says, "Be your way." It sounds like a subliminal (or direct?) message that makes customers feel empowered. We don't need McDonald's telling us how much is too much.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Nickey Friedman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Burger King Worldwide and McDonald's. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers