Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / January 8th, 2008

The Fast Food Industry Has Gone Nuts

First Burger King eliminates the Whopper, and now McDonalds positions itself to compete with Starbucks?  What the…

OK, the BK thing was an advertising ploy (and a good one at that…I actually watched the entire video.  Favorite part is the gut at about the 7:00 minute mark who looks like he’s going to jump the counter), but the McD’s thing is for real.  McDonalds announced today that not only are they added free wi-fi for certain customers, but they’re also putting “upscale coffee bars” in 14,000 of their locations.  Huh?!

More on that (not Moron that, which might be more appropriate) here at Info World’s site.

I’m not going to criticize anyone for offering free wifi.  That’s great.  But to me it just doesn’t make sense.  Don’t they have enough competition without taking on the coffee king? 

Plus, it seems to fly in the face of their business model.  Starbucks sells $5 lattes and has armchairs inviting people to spend an hour sipping and surfing away.  McDonalds has never struck me as a kind of place where I’d want to spend an afternoon.  The whole place is setup for a get in, get out, get on with your life experience.  That’s why it’s called fast food, isn’t it?

I can’t speak for the other 13,999 locations, but I think they should first replace some of the plastic seats and the scary man with the coins in his coffee cup outside my local McDonalds before they truck in the mahogany espresso bar.