Updated On: April 23, 2020

McDonald’s

Health

Nutrition

Teenagers
Watch: Watch the documentary Supersize Me and research the man who lost 56 pounds after eating McDonald’s for every meal for 6 months straight. How could one man cause so much damage to his body while the other benefit as much as he did?

Leadership & Entrepreneurism

Children & Teenagers
Teach: One of the best ways to succeed in business is to have a low-cost item or service that you can sell for much higher. Bottled water is a good example of this. For McDonald’s, french fries is their main menu item that made them the most internationally-successful food chains. Aside from making a huge bang for their buck, their aroma acts as great marketing for the passers by.

Children & Teenagers
Teach. Upselling: “Would you like fries with that?” is a great follow on question after customers have made their order because it’s contextual (they already know you want to buy food), reasonable (it’s not too much to ask), enticing (they smell so good), and economical (fries cost significantly less than their market value). In your own childhood entrepreneurial endeavors, remember to look for great upselling opportunities.

Children & Teenagers
Teach: Customers come in many varieties. Look at the way McDonald’s maximizes their revenues for both moderate- and low-spending customers. The dollar menu to get most out of lowest-paying consumers.

Children & Teenagers
Teach: Did you know that McDonald’s is not primarily a food company? McDonald’s is actually more in the real estate business. They just use their restaurant franchise to cover the cost of buying the most prime commercial real estate they can.

Children & Teenagers
Teach: Notice how McDonald’s adapts to the market. In the late 2010s, they were able to thrive in the midst of a widespread popularity surge for healthier food by offering custom made sandwiches with healthy ingredients and health food branding. Being able to adapt and innovate is key to long-term success of any business.

Children & Teenagers
Teach: Look at the McDonald’s menu and list as many ingredients as you can. Notice how the menu items have mostly-overlapping ingredients. Why do you think they designed their menu the way they did? How might more ingredients complicate their supply chain?

Children & Teenagers
Teach: Consider the global success of the Happy Meal. Who are they targeting with this product? What is characteristic of this target market? How does the branding, design, and wording of the Happy Meal capture this target market so well?

Children & Teenagers
Teach: Despite dietitians agreeing that we have no need for fruit juice, people in general believe drinking processed, pulp-free fruit juice with additives to be equivalent to eating fruits. How could that perception persist? Notice the fruit juice packaging and the design of the fruit juice machine. Visuals are powerful.
 
Teenagers
Work: Getting an after-school or summer job is one of the best ways to learn work ethic and the value of a dollar as a kid. McDonalds is a great option for this.

Values

Virtues

Children & Teenagers
Create a Teachable Moment. Self Control: Despite the McDonald’s menu being filled with some of the world’s most popular caloric and sugary food items, one man was able to actually lose 56 pounds from six straight months of eating McDonald’s for every meal of his days. Key to this accomplishment was planning, exercising, and not deviating from his personal goals.

How else might important subject matter be learned from this interest topic? Comment below! Half-baked ideas are more than welcome, too.