McQuestioning doggie service.

25 08 2008

Rance Crain’s August 25th Ad Age column makes an astute observation: doggie meals available at McDonald’s. Personally, I HAVE indeed made a trip through the Drive Thru to buy a bottle of water to give to my dog. I wondered how wrong it might be to feed the dog a hamburger, but I never thought “wow, it’d be nice if I could buy Fido a pouch of dog food here, too.”

I believe McDonald’s is in the business of satisfying customers through consistent food and a wide-ranging menu all in a family-friendly atmosphere. I believe that along McDonald’s path of growth (and success), they gave their customers too much. The menus’ changed, expanded, became too inexpensive and the service became so dependable that anything short of instant gratification was unacceptable. McD’s created an impact on society and level of expectations that always set a new standard – the least of which had to do with the food. From instant milkshakes to  food preparation to order processing, McDonald’s is a pioneer. A .69 cent hamburger can also buy happiness on the Playland. Very few venues, let alone restaurants, can do that.

With that said, introducing the capability to feed/water/entertain dogs, is another service catered to the finicky, expectant customer. The dog might not complain, but the dog owner will. I have no doubt that McD’s can serve and market this new offering while handling both the success (and backlash) in it’s ever-so-dependable manner. But, does a restaurant brand with more critics and customers than any other in the world prepare itself to fight the good fight on yet another front?

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