Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bailout or Big Mac? Reflections on a corporation of note.

Tonight, I stopped into a McDonald's to buy dinner for my family. It was a slow rainy night and the manager was at the counter.

I was curious, so I engaged him as to his history at McDonald's. At age 18 in 1979, he started with McD's in Massachusetts except for a hiatus from 1991-1995, he has worked beneath the Golden Arches for 25 years. He has worked at every single McDonald's in southeastern MA.


He volunteered that the benefit package at McDonald's was simply incredible, and that job security was undeniable. Then he offered, "I mean, tomorrow, if I move to Europe, I have a job, if I move to Japan, I have a job, if I move to Russia, I have a job....where else can you say that. Not on Wall Street, and not in Detroit. I may be a burger flipper, but it pays for my house on the Cape, my truck, my kids school, and everything else I have."

As I thought about this, it occurred to me just what the power of McDonald's was in the world of consumer acceptance and renewal. Its very nature of "fight to survive" in one of the toughest industries in commerce has made it a model of performance to be envied across industries and geographies. Not fast-food health concerns, American-domination fears, boredom from the Big Mac, or even scandal has managed to dent the armor of this economic powerhouse.

Very simply, it is my goal that Local Motors someday come to be known as an employer who is as safe, secure, and rock-steady as McDonald's. That will be a day to cheer about.


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