McDonald's franchisees want a better chicken sandwich

Brian Lutz
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Re: McDonald's franchisees want a better chicken sandwich

Post by Brian Lutz »

Digging this old thread up again because a new Chick-fil-A style chicken sandwich has just been launched at McDonald's, right down to the foil bag. It comes in three different styles (regular, deluxe and a spicy version that appears to be the regular version with a sauce added). Tried one today and it seems decent, but not quite up to Chick-fil-A standards. The bun on the one I got was rather flat for some reason, although the chicken seemed better than their usual chicken offerings.

More info here: https://corporate.mcdonalds.com/corpmcd ... icken.html
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Re: McDonald's franchisees want a better chicken sandwich

Post by Romr123 »

We tried the spicy version on Thursday at a location in Rosemead, CA. All I can say is yecch. Very unimpressed. I ordered 6 spicy nuggets and the new spicy chicken sandwich. She misunderstood and rang nuggets and a spicy McChicken. I called it to her attention, she tried to re-ring and just asked me for $1 more. I though ended up with all 3...the nuggets (believe I got 7) were in a pouch (identified as Nuggets but same material as a paper fry pouch). Spicy McChicken--spicy/reddish patty, mayo, shredded lettuce (nothing new, in other words). New spicy chicken sandwich--served in the foil/paper sleeve pouch as mentioned above. Torn open, the bun was a glazed, yellow (enriched) brioche-type bun with softness and a split top. Tasting it, the bun was far far far too sweet (I heard it described as challah--that's a good analogy), The chicken had slightly soft breading in some areas which pulled off the filet---not very crunchy, rather processed-tasting breading, actually. Chicken was OK--nothing stood out. Spicy sauce--some kind of sriracha/mayo combo. A couple pickles. Verdict: not worth it, won't try again.
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Re: McDonald's franchisees want a better chicken sandwich

Post by bryceleinan »

storewanderer wrote: July 14th, 2019, 9:47 am Come out here to Reno and all your impressions of consistency at McDonalds will go out the window. Look at 5 locations in Reno on Yelp with 1.5/5 star reviews. There are some other locations I didn't post about that are solid 2 or 2.5 out of 5...

I think all but one of the locations I'm referencing below have gotten remodels too...

Contrast that to the two local Chickfila Locations with very high Yelp reviews 4/5 solid.

It isn't only the product. It is the operation. The operation is why Chickfila is winning.
You hit it on the head. Can you name the owner of the McDonalds’ stores in Reno? After Luther Mack left, I have no idea. However, I can tell you exactly who owns the three CfA stores - Ryan Smith in Reno, Tiffany Sangster in Sparks, Matt Hock in Carson City. Same with Ben Lavin in Roseville. It’s also very common to see Ryan, Tiffany, and Matt at their stores - something different about CfA is that with very few exceptions, you can’t own more than one store. McD’s doesn’t have this kind of limitation.
storewanderer
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Re: McDonald's franchisees want a better chicken sandwich

Post by storewanderer »

bryceleinan wrote: February 27th, 2021, 5:32 pm You hit it on the head. Can you name the owner of the McDonalds’ stores in Reno? After Luther Mack left, I have no idea. However, I can tell you exactly who owns the three CfA stores - Ryan Smith in Reno, Tiffany Sangster in Sparks, Matt Hock in Carson City. Same with Ben Lavin in Roseville. It’s also very common to see Ryan, Tiffany, and Matt at their stores - something different about CfA is that with very few exceptions, you can’t own more than one store. McD’s doesn’t have this kind of limitation.
You can add the Chickfila operator in Auburn to the list of someone who is constantly in her store. I think that is just how Chickfila does things. Their model really works. The food is nothing special but it is pretty good. And that is why the locations are consistently clean, consistently efficient, consistently serve a hot product, and consistently friendly. I've been to some Chickfilas in airports that are run by the airport concessions groups and there is a noticeable difference in the service in those (and not for the better).

I haven't actually purchased anything from McDonalds since early 2020 but I think most of below is still true as I have been inside some locations more recently:

Most of the Reno McDonalds are owned by a guy named Tom who has owned units here for a long time. Keystone was his original store- he opened it in the 70's or whenever. These are interesting locations- seem to be well run in the morning/lunch and terrible in the evening. Prices seem to be different at every location for some reason.

A couple Reno ones (Kietzke and S. McCarran), and now most of the Sparks ones, along with more recently added to their list Fernley/Fallon/Lovelock are owned by a different franchisee from Lake Tahoe. These locations... used to be quite a bit better than they are now... I avoid these locations so maybe they have improved in the past couple years. But I have seen this operator in the stores multiple times in the past.

The ones in Carson City/Minden, as well as Yerington, Hawthorne, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, Elko, and Ely are run by a group called Kassity who also has some locations around Sacramento. They are in the process of relocating Minden. This franchisee is relatively active in sponsoring small events in those towns.

One in Sparks (Prater) and the one in the Reno airport are owned by a franchisee from Sacramento area (Lincoln to be exact) who also has Truckee and some other scattered locations.
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Re: McDonald's franchisees want a better chicken sandwich

Post by BillyGr »

bryceleinan wrote: February 27th, 2021, 5:32 pm You hit it on the head. Can you name the owner of the McDonalds’ stores in Reno? After Luther Mack left, I have no idea. However, I can tell you exactly who owns the three CfA stores - Ryan Smith in Reno, Tiffany Sangster in Sparks, Matt Hock in Carson City. Same with Ben Lavin in Roseville. It’s also very common to see Ryan, Tiffany, and Matt at their stores - something different about CfA is that with very few exceptions, you can’t own more than one store. McD’s doesn’t have this kind of limitation.
McDonalds originally did that in most places - each franchisee/owner would start with one location and were only allowed to get more if they did well with that one (not just sales, but being clean, following plans and such). Obviously some did quite well and were allowed to expand, but no idea if the current ownership still follows any sort of similar rules or not (though they really should).
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Re: McDonald's franchisees want a better chicken sandwich

Post by cjd »

I always thought the McChicken was fine for $1. I did like Burger King's chicken sandwiches on the long rolls, except they tended to be somewhat greasy at least from the one here. Not sure if they still offer those. I have also had their round sandwiches that came with their cheap meals and they were pretty good.

I agree McD's combos are rather expensive, but I do have that craving for a Big Mac meal about once or twice a year. LOL

McDonald's probably should offer more items to compete with Wendy's 4 for $4 or whatever price BK's current cheapo meals are. I guess the Dollar Menu and 2 for $3 suffices for that though. They also don't send out coupons as often as Burger King, at least here.
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Re: McDonald's franchisees want a better chicken sandwich

Post by storewanderer »

BillyGr wrote: February 28th, 2021, 1:53 pm
McDonalds originally did that in most places - each franchisee/owner would start with one location and were only allowed to get more if they did well with that one (not just sales, but being clean, following plans and such). Obviously some did quite well and were allowed to expand, but no idea if the current ownership still follows any sort of similar rules or not (though they really should).
I think it is still that way to a certain extent but when stores become available it seems like existing franchisees (especially those with multiple locations) get first shot at those existing stores. Problem with some of these existing franchisees is they may have been good operators a few years ago but really went downhill since then.

I think in some cases McDonalds corporate would be better off taking over locations that franchisees want out of but that does not seem to be the current model. But the winds have shifted back and forth on that over the years.
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Re: McDonald's franchisees want a better chicken sandwich

Post by Romr123 »

Yes, CFA has a relatively unique franchise model where they recruit couples to own and operate an individual location. They have an unusually low buy-in (i.e. franchise fee) and a relatively high skim, together with the dawn-to-night menu and closed Sundays. The other company doing things similarly is Culvers', I believe.
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Re: McDonald's franchisees want a better chicken sandwich

Post by storewanderer »

Romr123 wrote: February 28th, 2021, 7:38 pm Yes, CFA has a relatively unique franchise model where they recruit couples to own and operate an individual location. They have an unusually low buy-in (i.e. franchise fee) and a relatively high skim, together with the dawn-to-night menu and closed Sundays. The other company doing things similarly is Culvers', I believe.
The CFA locations in my area do not present as husband and wife team operators (that would be Grocery Outlet who does that). They present one individual as the operator. It is possible the spouse works in the store too but it is not visible on the picture of the operator hanging in the lobby, receipt, app alerts that come from the location with a picture of the operator, etc.

Culver's allows franchisees to have multiple locations. Many have 10+ locations. They even encourage it. They only have a 3 mile territory protection though so if someone does not want competition their only course of action is to build another store.
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Re: McDonald's franchisees want a better chicken sandwich

Post by mbz321 »

Brian Lutz wrote: February 27th, 2021, 3:41 pm Digging this old thread up again because a new Chick-fil-A style chicken sandwich has just been launched at McDonald's, right down to the foil bag. It comes in three different styles (regular, deluxe and a spicy version that appears to be the regular version with a sauce added).
In my area, they are in a regular cardboard box like the other fancier sandwiches. They have been giving away a free sandwich the past several Thursday's on the McD's app. And I've definitely taken advantage, although the sandwich certainly didn't 'wow' me, and isn't something I would buy at regular price.
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