McDonald’s Japan has seen its profits tumble over the last year especially, mostly due to safety concerns after tainted meat was found to be have been used in some of its products. The situation is not nearly as dire over in Europe, but if the following tweet is to believed, it seems McDonald’s staff in France could work on their food presentation skills.
When I was a kid, I loved it when my parents would take me to a McDonald’s drive-through because back then I found it incredibly fascinating and fun that you could order food from inside a car by talking to a box, and then drive around the corner and receive your food from a person in a small window. I even asked my mum if I would be able to order at a drive-through stand on my tricycle, or on foot. Obviously, the answer I got was no.
How times have changed! Now cyclists can pedal into a McDonald’s drive-through stand, and the best part is, their food comes in a neat packaging designed specially for transportation on bicycles!
Some weeks ago, we saw how the McDonald’s fans in Korea professed their love for the Big Mac with their humorous and refreshing performances of the Big Mac Song. But sometimes the best way to express your ardent feelings is by serenading your object of affection with a heartfelt love song.
The creative masterminds behind McDonald’s Hong Kong’s recent advertising stint came up with a ballad that serenaded the franchise’s iconic burger and won the hearts of Cantopop fans at the same time! Hear it after the jump!
McDonald’s Japan has been kind of hit and miss with its strategies in the last couple of years. And just when they start doing a few things REALLY right (complimentary socks and free smiles!) they come up with another concoction that’s got netizens dry-heaving.
This time, the offending item is the “healthy” chicken veggie patty burger, aka the “Mogumogu Mac” (mogumogu is an onomatopoeia that means chewing), which is designed specifically for kids.
In my more formative years I worked the counter at McDonald’s. It was an okay job for someone with no prior work experience and helped to support my SNES habit. However, the one thing I hated was when a customer approached the counter and would ask for a “free smile” because it was written on the menu.
It had gotten to the point that I could tell the look on a customer’s face before they even opened their mouth to ask for my worthless grin. And so, I’d give them that “oh you” smile as if I hadn’t heard the joke a thousand times before and a little bit of myself would die inside.
Now a whole new generation of Japanese youngsters will get to have that same experience as McDonald’s Japan announced the return of zero-yen smiles to their menus at all stores all day long.
We have said it many times: 2014 was not a good year for McDonald’s in Japan. Ever since being involved in an expired chicken scandal last summer, the Japanese public at large has held a grudge so deep against the restaurant you’d think Ronald himself left a flaming bag of dog poop on everyone’s doorstep and keyed their cars on his way off the premises.
Now as the new fiscal year in Japan begins we can see that this anger wasn’t limited to mere online whining either. Japanese people seem to have united and hit McDonald’s where it hurts most: the bottom line.
In an announcement on 16 April, McDonald’s Holdings Company Japan President Sarah Casanova announced that the company currently sits on the largest deficit ever at a super-sized 38 billion yen (US$319M).
In case you hadn’t heard, McDonald’s hasn’t been doing too well in Japan recently. After the drubbing it took in sales last year, it seems that no one here likes their commercials or even their new products. It’s almost enough to make you feel bad for the multinational fast-food chain! Almost.
So, what do you do when no one wants what you’re selling and they openly mock your commercials? Well, we’re not sure what most companies would do, but it looks like McDonald’s Japan has decided to send their emissary of heart disease to try to cultivate some good will in Yoyogi Park. We’re not sure a clown will be enough to get anyone to eat a Big Mac, but at least you’ll get the opportunity to take a picture with the creepy fellow.
McDonald’s Japan recently launched a limited time menu option called the teriyaki chicken and egg with Seto lemon sauce. The Seto Inland Sea is famous in Japan for its warm climate and top-notch citrus, so you would think a Seto lemon sauce would put the already popular teriyaki chicken and egg into stratospheric levels of demand.
That doesn’t seem to be the case, though, and the culprit may be McDonald’s own commercial, which viewers are calling “dirty” and “gross”.
If you’re a foodie who dreams of eating at Michelin and Zagat rated establishments, perhaps you’ve also fantasized about saying to the Maitre d’ at a fancy restaurant, “Can I speak with the chef? I’d like to thank him/her for a superb meal.” Granted, such a dining situation may not come up very often, but what you may be able to do more easily instead is to order “whatever the chef’ recommends.”
And that’s exactly what our RocketNews24 Japan staff decided to do at a series of restaurants, the first one being none other than…McDonald’s! Now, we’d like to think that all people working in a kitchen, whatever the type of restaurant, actually want to serve tasty food, and to that end would likely have a definite opinion on what they would most like customers to try. So, asking for the chef’s recommendation should result in a more than satisfying meal, right? Well, we were certainly excited to find out what the recommendation would be at one of the world’s best-known fast food chains!
It’s no secret that McDonald’s Japan has been enthusiastic about collaborating with various anime and character franchises to come up with goodies for children. In the past we’ve seen toys featuring Pokémon and Yokai Watch, as well as Pretty Cure, Super Mario and Transformers, among others, being offered with their Happy Meals, and kids certainly seem to be, well, happy with their Happy Meals, since almost 100 million of these sets are apparently sold in Japan each year.
This month, none other than Doraemon, the time-travelling blue cat robot, makes an appearance as six different Happy Meal toys, and they definitely look ready to delight children across Japan!
The once mighty fast food chain McDonald’s has fallen on hard times in Japan lately, suffering a heavy blow when it become entangled in an expired meat scandal about a year ago.
Although other establishments were also implicated in the problem, the public in Japan seems to be holding an especially big grudge against the golden arches. On 9 March, the company announced that Japanese sales were down 28.7 percent from the same month in the previous year.
In response, McDonald’s Japan is looking to improve its customer service and restore public faith in the company. How? By releasing a new app for smartphones that will allow customers to lodge complaints with more convenience and speed than ever before!
Much like the rest of the world, fast food in Japan is a war of franchises trying to one-up the other. When McDonald’s announced it was getting rid of large-sized fries, Lotteria announced they’d give customers “whatever size they wanted.” When McDonald’s was struggling with the morning crowd, Mos Burger seized the opportunity to strike by offering a traditional Japanese breakfast.
Now that Mister Donut has upped the ante by rolling out a strawberry-chocolate-marshmallow pizza, McDonald’s has answered back with its new strawberry whipped cream donut and shortcake. Who will emerge the victor? Well, so far, it’s looking pretty one-sided.
Usually, eating at McDonald’s is a pretty standard experience that doesn’t vary too much from country to country, beyond sampling whatever interesting local variant burgers are available, that is. It’s probably why nervous travellers often make a beeline for McDonald’s rather than opt to experiment with the local cuisine. However, eating at McDonald’s in Taiwan usually always guarantees a little extra entertainment to go with your fries – in the form of cosplaying waitresses! We’ve already reported about their maid costumes, kitty schoolgirl costumes, and sexy doctor and nurse costumes, and now we’re happy to report that Taiwanese Maccy D’s have gone all-American by adopting cheerleader costumes, as well! Join us after the jump for the pics!
McDonald’s Japan may not be able to offer you medium or large-size fries right now, but if you’re into sweets, it may be some consolation that they’ll have some special desserts on the menu for a limited time early next year. Yes, back by popular demand, two flavors of Pie a la Mode will be offered by the hamburger chain, and we’re sure there are fans out there already feeling their mouths water at the thought of a hot apple pie mixed with sweet, cold ice cream!
Earlier this week, we reported that McDonald’s Japan is in the middle of a potato shortage, causing them to halt sales of medium and large-size fries. Even the meal sets will come with a measly small fries, though thankfully at a discounted price.
Rival chain Lotteria is happily pouring salt in the wound by using McDonald’s hardships to market their own fried spuds. See if you can spot the recent addition to their menu after the jump.
As we recently reported, McDonald’s has made the crushing decision to end the sale of its medium and large size fries. The controversial decision was made due to fears of a potato shortage, meaning that the days of gleefully ordering obnoxiously large amounts of fries with reckless abandon are now well and truly over. The potato cull prompted several Twitter users to head to McDonald’s for one last order of M and L size greasy, salty fries, in order to document their “last meal” for posterity.
I’m heading back to the U.S. for a couple of days at the end of the year, and as much as I love Japan, it’ll be nice to spend some time doing things I can’t here. Aside from seeing family and friends, I’m looking forward to watching a college bowl game or two, plus soaking up some warm January sunshine, which tends to be much more plentiful in California than Kanagawa Prefecture.
And as long as I’m making a list of things you can’t do in Japan, I should probably add getting a large batch of French fries at McDonald’s, since, for the time being, the chain will only be selling small sizes of spuds in Japan.
2014 has not been a stellar year for McDonald’s Japan. The tainted chicken scandal of midyear rocked the fast-food chain so much that it’s core audience of netizens decried every offering since. It wasn’t for lack of trying as they hauled out some alternative tofu nuggets only to float back to chicken nuggets offered for free. The company then tried offering the sophisticated taste of mushroom risotto balls and a tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) burger with sauce selected by a nationwide search.
However, all of these efforts fell on deaf ears and itchy typing fingers hammering out comments such as “Never again” and “It’s too easy to see they’re fine with using dodgy meat.” It had gotten to the point that you might think Japan had turned its collective back on McDonald’s forever, but as the New Year’s song goes: Should old acquaintance be forgot?
Maybe so as McDonald’s Japan’s latest offering has been getting a relatively warm response, and all it took was a little crabbiness.
Hello Kitty has been quite the busy cat celebrating her 40th birthday. Earlier this year, she was making rounds at theatres in Japan dressed as characters from Rurouni Kenshin, and now she has crossed the ocean to make an appearance at McDonald’s in Korea. This time, she’s cosplaying as some of her fellow Sanrio mates. Check out the cute kitty after the jump!