Some customers ashamed of their McDonald's bags

A survey by Subway pokes at its competitor, which has far bigger problems than its image.

By Jason Notte May 20, 2013 4:58PM
Person carrying McDonalds drink and bag of food (© format4/Alamy)McDonald's (MCD) competitors don't need to badmouth Ronald to his face when the man on the street is more than happy to do it for them.

Business Insider reports that sandwich chain Subway conducted a survey recently asking 1,001 people which restaurant chain's bag they were most embarrassed to carry on the street: Taco Bell (YUM), McDonald’s, Subway, or Wendy's (WEN). Subway got 11% of the vote, Wendy’s got 14%, Taco Bell received 33%, and McDonald’s garnered an unfortunate 42%.

The objectivity of a poll conducted by a direct competitor is in serious doubt, but the responses are interesting nonetheless. A full 48% of all women polled said that they didn't want to be seen in public with a McDonald’s bag. It's a similar story among the key 18-to-34 demographic, of which 46% said the McDonald's bag was a mark of shame. If customers are waiting for McDonald's to respond to this fast-food burn, they may have to wait a bit. There are bigger issues beneath the Golden Arches than embarrassed eaters.

McDonald's first-quarter same-store sales were off 1% worldwide. Its menu, which Businessweek says has grown 70% since 2007 to 145 items, is getting a much-needed trim. Angus burgers, Chicken Selects, fish bites, burritos and premium items are being shown the door in favor of an enhanced dollar menu.

McDonald's top brass is considering all-day breakfast and delivery to hold customers' attention. The company is plying China with free Egg McMuffins just to stay in its good graces. Meanwhile, a recent survey of 25 McDonald’s owners conducted by Janney Capital Markets obtained by The Huffington Post says that new items like the McWrap are slowing down service and costing McDonald's customers.

Now not only is the fast food not coming out fast enough, but it's also lacking the ingredients and perceived quality of slower competitors like Panera (PNRA), Chipotle (CMG), In-N-Out Burger and Five Guys. High-speed competitors including Burger King (BKW) and Taco Bell have sensed McDonald's weakness and started packing their menus with more traditional fast-food fare.

McDonald's should be concerned that people are embarrassed to be seen with its bags, but it's a secondary concern when the company can't even decide what should go into them.

More on moneyNow

May 20, 2013 7:58PM
I don't understand why people seem to care so much about what other people might think. Think about it for a second...who really cares what they think? What real difference does it make? For just about every single choice you might make in life, there are plenty of people out there who would think you are completely and utterly wrong. Caring about such things is a losing proposition, you just can't win. Make your choices and live your life without any regrets, I say. Or, in other words...just casually and cheerfully flip the bird at the Jones family on your way by. (No offense intended if your name is actually Jones, tho.)
May 20, 2013 5:48PM
I know it should be obvious, but the article never stated why they were embarrassed.
May 21, 2013 2:01AM
If carrying a Mc Donald's Bag is your biggest problem, fall on your knees and thank GOD! You are truly blessed!
May 20, 2013 7:43PM
Overweight people are fatasses because they can't control their intake not because of McDonald's.
May 20, 2013 5:51PM

Oh Boy !  Another article where people can sit around and slam McDonald's, Just because they can without being out in the open.  These people do this because the hate everything because  aren't in the loop and making money off of it.  They are what I would call LOSERS and really wish they would STFU !!!!

lf you don't like any of the fast food places don't go there and leave the rest of us alone.

May 20, 2013 6:47PM
May 20, 2013 5:42PM
Mc DONALD'S is an economical quick fix people not a restaurant everything  in moderation
May 20, 2013 6:33PM
McDonald's, by a long shot, makes the best cup of coffee anywhere for the price. I see just as many overweight people eating at Subway as I do at McDonald's, so stick to the coffee. Yummmmmm I love it. 
May 20, 2013 7:16PM

A McDonalds' bag is nothing of which to be ashamed.  We enjoy their salads, yogurt, and coffee drinks.   When traveling we stop in for lunch & to get out of the car for a bit.  Mostly we find them

clean and fast.  I feel there is some quality control when it comes to food.  We have been eating

at McDonalds since the mid-60's.  Wow, that's closing in on 50 years.   Now buying food there for great-grandchildren.  

Get a life. Who would ask that stupid question???????
May 20, 2013 6:03PM
Really ? Must be a slow news day to have to resort to complaining about fast food bags. I'm sure that somehow it's Bushes or the Republicans fault.
May 20, 2013 6:41PM
agree with joe98002 if you don`t like stay the fu-k away and stop bitching. I`m a retired old fart mechanic, and every time I go to a fast food joint I see the young kidsworking there **** off and I think I hope  they plan for a future. At least they have a job not like some of you losers.
May 20, 2013 7:36PM
Subway is hilarious.  They keep flaunting they have more stores than McDonald's these days, but it's actually a testament to their failure.  McDonald's has LESS STORES and TWICE THE NET REVENUE of Subway. 

Poke at that...
May 20, 2013 6:45PM
...and yet they keep on carrying them!
May 20, 2013 8:08PM
Someone I know bought lunch at Five Guys who placed the order in a brown sack.  There was so much grease on the bottom of the sack, that the lunch fell out the bottom and landed on the sidewalk.  Since that happened, I prefer plastic.
May 20, 2013 8:09PM
I took a poll to see  who was the best looking senior citizen on  the planet and oddly enough I received more votes than any other Senior!!!
May 20, 2013 7:53PM
subway is as bad to sandwiches  as hungry howies is  to pizza.  there are thousands of delis  all over that blow subway away.  mc donalds stinks too. wendys blows mc donalds away.
May 20, 2013 7:20PM
I could care less who sees me with what, now that I've lost 31 lbs in 6 months: 1720 calories consumed today - staying under my 2000 Cal. limit and cycling 10.6 miles tomorrow (1000 Calories burned).  I do though, enjoy knowing I can pick up a 6" Subway Club with Provolone cheese, with Italian Herbs and Cheese bread, olives, lettuce, onion, green peppers and light mayo that's just 440 Calories (you can calculate it online).
May 21, 2013 3:29AM
i've had enough of all this foolish talk-- I' need a Big Mac!
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?


[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market began the new trading week on the defensive note with small-cap stocks pacing the retreat. The Russell 2000 (-1.4%) and Nasdaq Composite (-1.1%) displayed relative weakness, while the S&P 500 lost 0.8% with all ten sectors ending in the red.

Global equities began showing some cracks overnight after China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei poured cold water on hopes for new stimulus measures. Specifically, Mr. Lou said the government has no plans to change ... More