Monday, March 10, 2008

'President Skinner here'

It’s 3 a.m. and American families are safe and asleep. But there’s a phone ringing in the White House. Who do you want to answer it? If it’s a financial crisis, I’d vote for Jim Skinner, CEO of McDonald’s. With the chain posting an 8.3 percent leap in domestic same-store sales for February, after a nearly unbroken stream of bad news from other restaurant chains, he and his team have shown they know how to pull prosperity out of a trying situation. Indeed, we might want to consider steroid testing.

Okay, okay—Leap Year helped a lot, with Feb. 29 getting credit for four percentage points. But we’re still talking about a pretty heady jump in comps. And from what? The chain says the pole vault over last year’s tally is due to the push behind breakfast, coffee and everyday bargains. With the exception of Yum’s and CKE Restaurants’ brands, what quick-service chains aren’t doing that right now? How many have succeeded the way McDonald’s has?

Of course, it helps to have the chain’s marketing kitty, which is roughly equivalent to NASA’s budget for the Saturn project. But even competitors will have to acknowledge that they must be doing something right up at Oak Brook. Barack and Hillary should stop by for a quick tutorial on turning a wheeze into a “Whoa!”

1 comment:

  1. With the exception of CKE's chains?

    They feature breakfast menus, premium-brand coffee and value menus.