What works in France

Today, the NYT has a big piece about how traditional cafes all over France are going by the wayside -- all, according to the NYT, because of  "changing attitudes, habits and now a poor economic climate."

France's poor economic climate is singled out by the NYT  for the quickening demise of  France's cafes, with the paper quoting one red-eyed cafe owner as saying: “People fear the future, and now with the banking crisis, they are even more afraid. They buy a bottle at the supermarket and they drink it at home.”

Yet who do you suppose is doing well all over France? Well, none other than...McDonald's!
Or as a recent corporate statement from the all-American food retailer notes:
In Europe, strong performance in the U.K., France and Russia and positive results in nearly all other markets drove a comparable sales increase of 9.8%. Unique menu items and promotions as well as everyday value options continue to resonate with customers and drive results.
In fact, McDonald's strong international sales are fueling much of its growth -- and are thus making it possible to increase its dividend a whopping 33 percent, according to McDonald's.
On the few times I've been to France, I've never found the traditional cafes there to be that customer-oriented or cheerful -- things that customers demand these days, whether in America and Europe. Yet just the opposite was the case at places like McDonald's. The service was great at McDonald's, the workers behind the counters efficient and friendly.

Could lousy service and the inability to adopt to their customers' tastes be the real reason for the demise of France's traditional cafes -- and all the bankruptcies being declared by their cheerless and sullen owners? It's an issue the NYT does not address.

Nor, interestingly, does the NYT  quote any anti-American types who blame the demise of France's traditional cafes on places like McDonald's. Perhaps nobody in an increasingly conservative France -- nobody with any credibility -- can put forth that argument anymore and be taking seriously.

Here's a suggestion: Have some of McDonald's managers take over publishing responsibilities at the financially troubled
NYT. Maybe they'll be able to  put the paper on the road to, once again, paying the paper's shareholders a decent dividend!
Today, the NYT has a big piece about how traditional cafes all over France are going by the wayside -- all, according to the NYT, because of  "changing attitudes, habits and now a poor economic climate."

France's poor economic climate is singled out by the NYT  for the quickening demise of  France's cafes, with the paper quoting one red-eyed cafe owner as saying: “People fear the future, and now with the banking crisis, they are even more afraid. They buy a bottle at the supermarket and they drink it at home.”

Yet who do you suppose is doing well all over France? Well, none other than...McDonald's!
Or as a recent corporate statement from the all-American food retailer notes:
In Europe, strong performance in the U.K., France and Russia and positive results in nearly all other markets drove a comparable sales increase of 9.8%. Unique menu items and promotions as well as everyday value options continue to resonate with customers and drive results.
In fact, McDonald's strong international sales are fueling much of its growth -- and are thus making it possible to increase its dividend a whopping 33 percent, according to McDonald's.
On the few times I've been to France, I've never found the traditional cafes there to be that customer-oriented or cheerful -- things that customers demand these days, whether in America and Europe. Yet just the opposite was the case at places like McDonald's. The service was great at McDonald's, the workers behind the counters efficient and friendly.

Could lousy service and the inability to adopt to their customers' tastes be the real reason for the demise of France's traditional cafes -- and all the bankruptcies being declared by their cheerless and sullen owners? It's an issue the NYT does not address.

Nor, interestingly, does the NYT  quote any anti-American types who blame the demise of France's traditional cafes on places like McDonald's. Perhaps nobody in an increasingly conservative France -- nobody with any credibility -- can put forth that argument anymore and be taking seriously.

Here's a suggestion: Have some of McDonald's managers take over publishing responsibilities at the financially troubled
NYT. Maybe they'll be able to  put the paper on the road to, once again, paying the paper's shareholders a decent dividend!