Monday, May 19, 2008

Skinner to casual dining: Watch your prices

Jim Skinner, the CEO of McDonald's, offered some free advice to casual-dining executives during his keynote address yesterday afternoon at the National Restaurant Association's convention in Chicago. "If I were in casual dining, I would make sure I had an affordable menu, even if it had to hurt a little bit," he said. "That's where I'd spend my time, particularly today."

Skinner cautioned that he was speaking as a consumer, not as someone who's ever run a casual chain. Yet the readiness with which he offered that counsel in response to a question clearly indicated he'd thought about the matter from a business standpoint.

Earlier, he'd cited his own brand's offer of "everyday affordability" as the key reason for the chain's phenomenal success at a time when most chains are struggling.

"It's the most improtant thing right now with our customers, and you all know it," said Skinner.

"People like to say we benefit from a down economy. We do not," he said with considerable emphasis. He termed the chain "recession-resistant, not recession-proof."

Regardless of what type of restaurant or chain you run, he stressed, "now matter how good the experience is, if you don't have an affordable menu, you're going to have problems."

1 comment:

  1. right on the money ....but this is where creativity and knowledge of worldwide cuisine comes in handy as there are many ingredients that are global in scale, avaliable and cheap providing good yield for the is time to tone down on the cheese and dairy as they can be a killer on bottm lines just as buying produce out of season.