Not to besmirch the good name of the fast food giant, but really I'm curious how they manage to stay in business?
My wife commented a little while ago about the Mickey-D's in the area we lived in when we first got together. That particular restaurant opened about 28 years ago (if my memory is accurate). Maybe a little less, but not far off I think.
Regardless of how long it's been around, it seems to have fallen victim to the same problem that most McDonald's restaurants seem to: they are far more interested in quantity than they are in quality.
It's been a problem at McD's for a long time now. They assembly line people in and out as quickly as possible with little or no regard for serving "a hot and tasty" meal to the customer. Things are pre-cooked, warmed quickly in a microwave type device, and then slapped in a wrapper or box and passed to a customer just to get to the next customer in the line to repeat the process as quickly as possible. If you are lucky you may get hot fries, but otherwise the chances are you'll get a warmer soda than the burger you ordered.
I used to love McDonald's food. Nothing tasted better to me than a fresh, hot off the grill Quarter Pounder with cheese (plain dammit!). I'd order them two at a time, along with what is now the smallest size order of fries you can get at McD's. Add a drink and all was good. The food was hot, tasty, and filling. (Perhaps too filling, but still). Life was fine, and then those idiots in CSPI and the American Heart Association came up with the idea that McD's was killing us all. Out went the taste, in came the bland.
Along the way though, McD's also changed their processes, all in the name of improvements in efficiency, they started pre-cooking food, putting the burgers into containers with lots of other burgers, perhaps floating in a tub of greasy water. They tong them out of those containers, toss them on a bun, zap 'em for a few seconds to heat 'em up and maybe melt the cheese, and boom, on to the next order. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am, come again.
What they didn't realize, and still don't realize is that they killed the taste in the food, and in doing so have killed off most of the reason to even bother going to McDonalds any more. I still occassionally go to McD's now, but not for burgers or fries. I avoid those like the foul tasting stuff I know them to be. I get the cheapie sundaes and kill them in a few scoops with the spoon. Meanwhile I watch the customers straggle in, stand around looking for eating utensils that should be out in trays for customers to grab as needed, watch them look for straws for drinks, watch them look for condiments so they can add flavor to the burgers, and watch them stand helplessly while waiting for their order to be put together by the youngsters that are working the counter. When they finally get their food it's normally back to stone cold since it was sitting, waiting on one last part of the order before the whole order was completed and the customer gets the bag. Maybe one lucky member of the family got something hot while everyone else enjoyed cold stuff that had been bagged several minutes before.
McDonalds should learn from some of their competitors - make food to order, and make it when it's ordered. Stop pre-cooking everything. Stop draining the taste out of the food. Treat customers with respect and watch them come back because they want to, not because they can't afford to eat somewhere else.
Think I'm wrong here - feel free to comment, but understand that I would point to places like Chick-fil-a that do things much better and produce food that tastes much better too. They manage to get hot, not warmed over, food to their customers and get customers through their lines quickly. McDonalds used to do the same. Competitors like Hardees (now a part of the Carl's Jr. chain if I understand correctly), Whattaburger and others seem to be able to fairly well also. McD's on the other hand continues the apparent death spiral.