McDonald’s Ready to Battle (DJs That is)

Today McDonald's launched the 2012 McDonald’s Flavor Battle, a national DJ competitio,n celebrating the artistic mix-masters who spin their creative blend of music at dance clubs and parties across America.

Music and big burger lovers can vote online daily for their favorite DJ, each representing one of three McDonald’s big burgers at The top three Flavor Battle DJs will compete for a $10,000 grand prize.

Are You Sure About That?

Wendy’s tries to become a kids’ place. Pizza Hut adds salad and pasta. Everybody changes their look, and now Burger King hangs up the High King.

Why do we make these kind of sweeping changes in our brands?

Well, sure, we do it to increase our market share by causing more visits from existing customers, new visits from noncustomers, and increased buying from everyone. But there are other reasons as well.

Let’s start with new products. Probably the most famous, risky, and huge change is a quick serve open for lunch and dinner adding breakfast. Just think about it.

Happy Over Healthy

It began in 2005 with Cookie Monster admitting cookies are only a “sometimes food,” and now McDonald’s is taking the reigns in teaching children why nutrition is important.

The burger giant announced plans in July to overhaul its Happy Meal with a reduced fry serving and automatic apple slices, cutting calories by 20 percent. Although several quick serves are rolling out healthier kids’ items, McDonald’s also announced educational programs that will teach kids about the importance of eating healthy.

Cities vs. States vs. You

Earlier this year, the city of Cleveland banned added trans fats at restaurants citywide. But the ban didn’t stand; the state of Ohio banned the ban in its proposed state budget, adding an amendment that would prevent municipalities from regulating ingredients quick serves could use.

The battle in Ohio marks a new twist in the debate over who has the right to legislate food in lieu of a federal regulation: cities, states, or nobody at all.

McDonald’s Turns the TV On

Company’s new in-store channel test could reshape the way the industry views the dining room.

After two years of testing in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas, McDonald’s will launch its own in-store television network in 645 California stores later this year.

The McDonald’s Channel is expected to reach nearly 20 million people each month and integrate online and social-networking platforms. It will feature local content such as news, weather, and sports, as well as original features about local residents.

It’s Back: McRib Hits McDonald’s Menus Nationwide

Boneless pork and barbecue-sauce-loving fans have reason to rejoice today. For the second time in as many years, the McRib sandwich has returned nationwide to participating McDonald's restaurants through November 14.

The McRib—a boneless pork patty made from USDA-inspected quality boneless pork, topped with slivered onions, sliced dill pickles, a signature barbecue sauce on a toasted home-style bun—is renowned for its elusive quality, inspiring a McRib Locator, several online petitions for its return, and countless pop-culture references.

McDonald's Honored for Equal Opportunity and Diversity

McDonald’s Corporation and vice chairman and CEO Jim Skinner were selected as the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s 12th Annual A. Leon Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award Honorees for exemplary corporate leadership in advancing equal opportunity and diversity. The gala black-tie dinner, themed “We Believe in All of Us,” will be held at the New York Marriott Marquis on October 24 with a 6:30 p.m. reception and 7:30 p.m. dinner. CNN Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi will serve as emcee.

Technomic Aims to Help Operators Get Into BRIC

In an industry where domestic growth has been elusive, U.S.-based restaurant chains are attempting to evolve into truly global brands, reaching emerging markets where less industry saturation and competition exists. As chains seek to establish footholds in these untapped markets, they are challenged to strike a balance between maintaining their brand identities while tailoring menu items and service formats to local preferences.

McDonald's VP Added to NRA Board of Directors

The National Restaurant Association added Steven Hilton, vice president of government relations for McDonald’s Corporation, to its Board of Directors. Hilton was inducted at the Association’s fall 2011 board meeting in Washington, D.C., last month and will serve through December 31, 2013, when he is eligible to renew his commitment.