April 20, 2006
McDonalds' Dollar Menu
The True Scourge of the Black Community?
With all this ethering of things and what have you, it's been a minute since I had the cance to post about the awesomeness that is fast food. My bad if anyone feels neglected. One of the great things about fast food is that amazingly it costs more or less the same it always cost. These days you can hardly afford to drive to McDonalds, but you can sure as shit scrape together enough change for a Big and Tasty.
Come to find out, according to an article in yesterday's New York Times, it's this cheap dollar menu shit, and not those wack-ass salads and apples dipped in yogurt (nullus), that have been keeping McDonalds afloat for the past several years now.
The enormous success of the Dollar Menu, where all items cost $1, has helped stimulate 36 consecutive months of sales growth at stores open at least a year. In three years, revenue has increased by 33 percent and its shares have rocketed 170 percent, a remarkable turnaround for a company that only four years ago seemed to be going nowhere.
Wack-ass salads, meanwhile? Not so much.
Interestingly enough, books like Fast Food Nation and films like Super Size Me don't seem to have had much of an effect. But now it looks like McDonalds' critics are attempting to turn this into a race issue, suggesting that Macs primarily targets blacks and hispanics, who have enough problems as it is, with the marketing of some of their least healthy menu items.
Again, the Times:
Marketing experts say McDonald's, which has long been proud of its inclusive advertising, is among the most shrewd when it comes to reaching blacks and Hispanics. The company's ads aimed at black consumers tend to be stylish and use hip contemporary language and music.
As it turns out, jigs and spics, who make up 12 and 14 percent of the US population respectively, each contribute about 18% to Macs' annual sales. Yikes! Not that this wasn't already, as KRS-One would say, self-evident to anyone who spends any significant amount of time at McDonalds, but damn. As Dave Chappelle would say, I thought I liked McDonalds because it was tasty and delicious.
Still, I wonder if McDonalds is really to blame for everyone's problems here. It's not like jigs just started eating at McDonalds. And they have McDonalds in Mexico, don't they? There's a McDonalds everywhere.
Byron Crawford a/k/a Bol is the celebrated author of several books, most recently NaS Lost: A Tribute to the Little Homey.
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