Concept: 2 out of 5
Execution: 2 out of 5
Yeah, but: McDonalds is what the "solid average" rating was designed for.

The Long Version: Reviewing McDonalds for food quality is somewhat like running on a greasy floor: the results are likely to be unsurprising and possibly hazardous. Food-wise, McDonalds is about as unremarkable as it is consistent. In fact, it's consistency is about the only thing that's remarkable about it. It tastes the same across North America, and Australian McDonald's held no surprises for me except for the "McCafe" additions. It tastes about the same as what I got used to before I knew what I was eating, and I never expect to be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised by what I'm served.

As people who have read my "Columbus in America" review will know, I often use Google to check what the rest of the world is thinking. For this review I did an exact-match search of the phrase "McDonalds food tastes great". Usually results are in the thousands or millions: this time I got FIVE. Not million, not thousand, just plain old five. And two separate results were doubled, including one which says that Burger King is better. So all over the world, I'm only the fourth person to write that "McDonalds food tastes great", despite 'great taste' being part of their advertising taglines between 1984 and 1990.

click for a larger image

So the food's not great, but that's probably not a big revelation, so that's the end of my attention to that particular low-hanging piƱata. The fact is that the quality of the food really doesn't matter. It's a solid, dependably average performance from an organization that's never expected to do any better and rarely disappoints. And really, that's not so bad.

Postscript: From a McDonalds website: "Crew members represent virtually every age group, and almost every reason for working. ... Across the world, more than one million people choose to work at McDonald's every day." Is it just me, or does that sound a little defensive?


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