McDonald’s Franchisee says the Real Reason the Chain is Failing

McDonaldsAl Jarvis has been a franchisee for decades with two McDonald’s restaurants in Michigan. When he was on the verge of being with McDonald’s as a franchisee for 50 years, he decided to sell the restaurants. He says he just “wanted to get the hell out.” Jarvis was disenchanted by and frustrated by corporate’s mixed signals and burdensome bloating of menu items like McWraps and McCafe lattes.

Jarvis critiques McDonald’s poorly though out menu items like implementing a custom burger bar or “artisan” grilled chicken. He says since 2005 with implementing items like salads and McGriddles was when service started to slow down. He continued to criticize how corporate demanded needs that were impossible to adhere too. Corporate wanted McWraps to be served in 90 seconds, but Jarvis says 3 minutes was more realistic. More than half the stores in America have dropped McWraps on their menus because of the difficulty of making them in timely matters. Jarvis also points bad business with McDonald’s asking franchisees to open for 24 hours a day, and including a Dollar Menu. These implementations lead to losses because of rising commodity costs. Jarvis has opposed the recent introduction to next month’s rollout of all-day breakfast. Though McDonald’s fans have demanded the expansion for years, Jarvis argues that “that’s not our niche. We make burgers and fries.”

This year is the first year since 1970 that the company closed more stores than it opened. Jarvis outlines that this is because of corporate keeps creating new menu items at the expense of quality, rather than refocusing on things that people still like and making it better.

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Poke Taking L.A. by Storm

-1x-1Poke (pronounced poh-kay) is a marinated raw fish dish in Hawaii. Recently over half a dozen shops specializing in poke have popped up in L.A neighborhoods. Speciality shops have created different dishes with poke that attracts Californian consumers because of its health benefactors and its cost of being an average of $10. Bowl of rice, salads, quinoa are topped with poke and stand as alternatives to eating lunch at a sushi bar that would bring an average check of $40.

Sweetfin, a widely popular poke shop, serves a bowl of sashimi-grade tuna heaped on top of rice, or greens, such as citrus kale salad, with a wide range of accompaniments like avocado, edamame, and scallions. Marinades range from soy sauce and sesame oil to creamy togarashi sauce, Sweetfin’s specialty Japanese spicy mayo. While traditional poke in Hawaii involves onions, lime, and nuts, Nestdat and Cohen used more ingredients from Californian and Asian cuisines. Owners of Sweetfin says “Poke is the natural progression from sushi.” Seth Cohen and Brett Nestadt, owners of Sweetfin, wanted to reshape the lunch culture in America with its progression from sushi to poke. Sweetfin has doubled in the amount of fish it buys per week since opening in April, increasing from 700 pounds to 1500 pounds. Daily sales have jumped 40 percent. Cohen and Nestdat are planning to expand and open more shops in metropolitan areas.

Not only has Cohen and Nestdat seen success in poke, but several chefs including Kayson Chong and Eric Park has also seen a rise in their sales. Mainland Poke Shop, and Ohana Poke Co. are poke specialty shops, respectively, that have also contributed to the new wave of poke in California. While Mainland Poke Shop offer poke with quinoa and kale, Ohana Poke Co. offers poke with both French and Korean combinations.

Poke has been making appearances in other foodie destinations outside of L.A. Chef Jesse Sandole’s restaurant in Charleston and Nantucket have poke on their menus. Poke has been growing in Chicago, Washing, and Colorado. New York City’s East Village also has poke dishes from Per Se- one with octopus and another with big-eye tuna.

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