Fast food represents the ultimate Black feast. Cheap, quick and with the option of utilizing the drive-thru window to procure the meal, fast food restaurants have been the source of Black people’s growing waistline throughout America and simultaneously, give those paying attention a glimpse into the future.
We have discussed the 365 Black marketing-tactic employed by McDonald’s before, a celebration of the fusion of Black culture with the Golden Arch and believe that no business entity better reflects the Black community then McDonald’s. It is a perfect marriage, tailor-made to be mutual beneficial to one another.
Now, our friends at Bloomberg Businessweek have published a story confirming how the culinary tastes of Black people have set the trends for the rest of America:
The music industry has long sold black culture to white Americans. Now McDonald's (MCD) is doing much the same. It's taking cues from African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians to develop menus and advertising in the hopes of encouraging middle-class Caucasians to buy smoothies and snack wraps as avidly as they consume hip-hop and rock 'n' roll.
"The ethnic consumer tends to set trends," says Neil Golden, McDonald's U.S. chief marketing officer. "So they help set the tone for how we enter the marketplace." Golden says preferences gleaned from minority consumers shape McDonald's menu and ad choices, which are then marketed to all customers.
The fast-food giant's strategy is a departure from the way companies typically market to American households. Usually, a company works with an agency to develop advertising aimed at the general market, then turns to boutique multicultural agencies to create versions tailored to blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. McDonald's still creates ads specially tailored to minority groups, as it has for over 30 years, but minorities exert an increasingly influential role in its mainstream advertising as well. The company thinks they provide early exposure to new trends.
"Most companies think they can box in Latinos, box in African-Americans, and then run the general market ad," says Steve Stoute, chief executive of Translation, which advises brands, including McDonald's, on how to reach young adults. "McDonald's will take an ad that could be primarily geared toward African-Americans and put a general market advertising dollar behind it."
The move reflects a demographic shift under way in the U.S. as a whole. As whites head toward minority status by mid-century, according to Census Bureau projections, Hispanics, Asians, and black populations are growing faster. California and Texas, the two largest states, are already "majority minority," meaning white non-Hispanics make up less than 50 percent of the population.
Yes, the future of America is a wonderful tableau of races from various continents and fast food restaurants do present a wonderful picture of what the glorious future of harmony will most likely become.
Chicken Hut, a restaurant that caters to Black people in Tulsa, could learn a thing or two about marketing from McDonald’s as it attempts to shed the unfortunate image of being an establishment that caters to patrons unconcerned about a dying individual whose last breaths were spent impeding patrons from ordering fresh chicken.
No, the article in Bloomberg Businessweek is correct as the palates of Black people (and that growing minority that Black people will soon compete against) dictate the dining choices of white people. The fact that America is in the onset of a depression and that McDonald’s offers drastically reduced food prices that make dining there convenient to even the most health-conscious individual has nothing to do with McDonald’s improving bottom-line.
Perhaps in the glorious future we move ever closer to by the second, McDonald’s will merge with every restaurant, thereby wining the franchise war that the movie Demolition Man gave erroneously to Taco Bell.
Regardless, the future that fast food restaurant’s so assiduously pin their financial hopes and dreams to is coming, even if white people have to be dragged kicking and screaming there. Jack in the Box, a company that has a menu similar to McDonald’s, is seeing slumping sales.
Worse, patrons to this franchise seem to be displaying behavior that other fast food restaurants continually deal with on a daily basis. The manners, mores and etiquette on display at fast food restaurants offer one who pays attention an honest glimpse of what demographic changes mean:
Yes, fast food is for Black people, but it is an avenue that apparently leads to white people emulating the dietary choices of Black people without reservation and with much infatuation. However, marketers have long been after the elusive Black people market when it comes to fast food:
It was once a sporty, bright yellow Ford Mustang, but on Monday morning, it looked like a crumpled, mangled mess of metal. The doors torn off, the top crushed in -- it was barely recognizable as a car, after tumbling through the air and landing in the parking lot of an auto repair shop off Beltway 8 North.
Harris County Sheriff's investigators say a man, whose name was not immediately released, allegedly carjacked two women at gunpoint while they were in a Jack in the Box drive-thru lane on Mesa Drive. The yellow Mustang belonged to one of the women.
"They were confronted by a male with a pistol," said Sgt. Monty Neighbors. That was at 2:30 a.m. Monday. Investigators found that pistol hours later in the parking lot of the auto repair shop.
The suspect, now in critical condition at Ben Taub General Hospital, was on the ground near the gun, badly hurt after losing control of the Mustang, flying through the air, and landing on a concrete curb while the Mustang bounced over the tops of several parked cars.
An incredible study entitled Fast Food, Race/Ethnicity and Income: A Geographic Analysis, can be found here, but it confirms that these type of restaurants have always catered to minorities as a way to make incredible financial returns on the investment in the franchise to owner.
There are far more ads for fast food and snacks on black-oriented TV than on channels with more general programming, researchers report in a provocative study that suggests a link to high obesity rates in black children.
The results come from a study that lasted just one week in the summer. Commercials on Black Entertainment Television, the nation’s first black-targeted cable channel, were compared with ads during afternoon and evening shows on the WB network and Disney Channel.
Of the nearly 1,100 ads, more than half were for fast food and drinks, such as sodas.About 66 percent of the fast-food ads were on BET, compared with 34 percent on WB and none on Disney. For drinks, 82 percent were on BET, 11 percent on WB and 6 percent on Disney; and for snacks, 60 percent were on BET, none on WB and 40 percent on Disney.
It seems Chick-Fil-A is one of the few companies left that refuses to follow this industry-wide practice of catering to Black people in its marketing strategy. A trip into a Chick-Fil-A offers a view of an America that runs counter to the one that virtually every other fast food restaurant presents, as the company mandates good manners in all its employees.
Smiling faces greet the customer, a welcome departure from the usual menacing and unfriendly scowl that other fast food restaurant employees routinely display. Scholarship programs and incentives into one day starting a franchise encourage high school students to work at Chick-Fil-A and foster a sense of community within the restaurant's employees and customers that Chicken Hut in Tulsa would be wise to replicate.
Chick-Fil-A is the one company that runs counter to the trends that every other fast food company practices, as they openly utilize Pre-Obama America mores and traditions as the basis for the companies business model, as opposed to McDonald's which looks toward a pluralistic future hoping in vain that customers wallets continue to expand at the same pace that their waistlines do.
And there you have it. On one side, Chick-Fil-A stands firm, shuttering its doors on Sunday. On the other, fast food restaurants file lock-step behind McDonald's in paying homage to Black Run America by utilizing the 365 Black marketing techniques into their own marketing models.
You can either go kicking and screaming into the future, or decide to frequent Chick-Fil-A when making a fast food visit. The choice is yours, but Stuff Black People Don't Like will always eat more chicken, as Chick-Fil-A is a company that Black people look upon with suspect eyes. Though they might riot over free chicken sandwiches offered by the company, Black people will never understand why Chick-Fil-A doesn't go 365 Black as every other fast food restaurant has across America.
Regardless, you will be dragged to the future. Though we have heard Whole Foods is a place Black people are rare to visit....