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    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

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A Sriracha Big Mac won’t fix the problem

McDonald’s is testing a new menu option in central Ohio that is sure to raise some eyebrows as well as the temperature in some consumers’ mouths. McDonald’s is offering a spicy new Sriracha Big Mac and Sriracha dipping sauce for nuggets and fries.

Sriracha Big Mac
The Sriracha Big Mac is a desperate attempt.

McDonald’s says it is a way for its culinary team to fulfill the desire for the “next great innovation in food experience and taste.”

No offense McDonald’s, but I doubt your customers are coming for your next great innovation.

This is yet another example of McDonald’s not getting it. There are fewer McDonald’s fast food customers. Statistics show kids are eating fewer Happy Meals. Something like only 1 in 5 Millennials have ever eaten a Big Mac according to a recent internal memo. The fast food category sports so many better alternatives now. Thirty-second hamburgers and fries don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to a lot of folks anymore.

The Sriracha Big Mac tactic doesn’t make much sense.

So McDonald’s wants to lure a new generation of consumers, most of which have never even eaten a Big Mac, to suddenly care about the Sriracha Big Mac?

The chain has sagging same store sales and consumers fleeing to the likes of Five Guys and Smashburger, Chic-Fil-A and the rest, who marvel at how stupid McDonald’s must be to think that a spicy Big Mac is the answer.

Let’s be totally honest, McDonalds is not going anywhere anytime soon. It will close some stores and sales will continue to be sluggish, but menu alone will not make or break McDonalds.

Menu is not a strategy, it is a tactic. Any menu changes must be part of a larger promise (the latest Madison Avenue advertising tagline is not it). Until it understands that and fully embrace the larger promise, the situation won’t change. McDonald’s will have more stories of sluggish sales and failed turnaround strategies.

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