Roy T. Bergold Jr.

Lasting Impressions from Roy Bergold

Now I don’t have a suit or a job. QSR, in an effort to offer you, the reader, some new voices to hear from, has decided to discontinue this column. Egad! I’m canceled. I’ve never been canceled.

Seven years and 84 columns. That’s a great run for any writer. I’m flattered and grateful for the opportunity to talk to you.

So, for my last column, I decided to try to summarize Roy’s Human Resources Manual into about 1,000 words. What follows is what I have been preaching for the last seven years about people.

Quick Service, Past and Present

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This month’s issue talks about demographics and how quick-service customers have changed over the years. You can find numbers and charts in another part of the magazine, so I thought it would be fun to give you my perspective on the changes, considering I started at McDonald’s in 1969 as a field marketing manager and retired in 2001. Thirty-two years of quick service—I saw a lot of changes.

Let’s Get Personal

You walk into the branch bank where you have been a customer for more than nine years. You want to cash a dividend check for 84 cents, but are required to show your driver’s license, a blank check from your account, the last four digits of your social security number, your blood type, and your mother’s maiden name.

Your Brand, Top of Mind

A small pizza chain recently ran a very interesting promotion: Order your pizza in Spanish and you get it for free. Everybody seemed to have an opinion on the promotion. The Conservative Caucus group was incensed by the need to speak Spanish. The Latin community felt it was being used as a pawn. And the company, Pizza Patrón, simply said it was trying to promote multiculturalism. (By the way, what’s wrong with learning another language? It’s done in our schools every day.)

Fate is In Our Hands

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The president today called a special joint session of Congress to once and for all address the obesity issue and what should be done to combat it. Before the session began, all members of both houses were required to weigh in. Almost all members demanded to remove their shoes and wallets before being weighed. Excess weight, they said. An undisclosed majority of both parties were still, shall we say, portly. This later proved the president’s need for action.

The Healthy Choice

I've got an equation for you. Obesity equals the wrong types of food plus the wrong preparations plus excessive quantities times diminished exercise.

In other words, if the food is there, customers will eat it. That's why the issue of quantity and portion control are such hot topics in the industry today.

Do we listen to our customers who seem to want large portions, or those who criticize us for seemingly no portion control? Or are they the same person?

The Kids’ Meal Compromise

Recently I was talking with Barry Klein, an old friend of mine who was one of the original advertising guys at McDonald’s. He is a marketing consultant now with a large interest in kids marketing. We were discussing the kids’ meal situation and the critics who claim these meals are responsible for our childhood obesity problems.

Barry has a heated position that I would like to share with you, and then I’ll share my comments as well.

Barry: Restaurant operators, which way will you go?