Vive les French (Fries)!
| Peter Klein |
Most people don’t know that France is McDonald’s second-most popular market, despite the presumed French distaste for les choses américaines. Knowledge@Wharton has a nice piece suggesting that the firm’s willingness to cater to French tastes explains its success over local and multinational rivals:
In France, barely 10% of meals are eaten outside the home, compared to nearly 40% in the U.S. and the U.K. Unlike their Anglo-Saxon counterparts, French consumers rarely snack between breakfast, lunch and dinner. As a result, French meal times also last longer, and more food is consumed through multiple courses, creating unique opportunities and challenges for fast-food dining. McDonald’s decided to capitalize on the opportunity. Rather than run promotions that encourage snacking, the company freed up valuable labor by installing electronic ordering kiosks, which are used by one out of every three customers in more than 800 of its restaurants. McDonald’s has capitalized on the French cultural preference for longer meals by using surplus labor to provide table-side service, particularly in taking orders from lingering diners inclined to order an additional coffee or dessert item. Thanks to such initiatives, the average French consumer spends about US$15 per visit to McDonald’s — four times what their American counterparts spend.
Adding the McCafé — featuring macaroons baked by the same company that supplies Ladurée — was another savvy move.