Life  is complicated Why ? Because I can go on for days about things that we THINK we hate, but can’t live without.

Fast-food is one of them. 

My beloved boyfriend and 2 awesome cousins are big fans of Mr. Ronald McDonald. They love him even more now because of the Maccas I Spy game (For aliens who live outside of planet Earth, and people who don’t live in Australia=), the rules are pretty simple, you buy, you peel and collect letters that supposedly make up the words of your prizes. Sometimes, you win instant meals too). Sound simple? Apparently not!

According to the 3 Mc Donald experts, there are only 2 letters R (which makes up the prize for C-A-R), 10 letters L (for H-O-L in ‘holiday’ and many more similar stories) in who-know-how-many Mc Donald packages across Australia.

You get my point; chances of winning BIG are extremely SMALL.

But people are getting serious.

I did a simple Google search and there are forums discussions on how to win these prizes with actual tactics as well (some thing hilarious along the line of “ Eat more cheese burgers and French fries, DUH!:). People are actually TRADING for those rare letters. That’s so smart, I love it!

Anyways, I asked my smart boyfriend who works in the Financial sector of a bank (He has to be smart, he works in a BANK) why he keeps collecting those letters despite fully knowing that his chances of winning is close to zero. His answer opened my mind, which leads to the first lesson for any young entrepreneur.

1/Everyone loves to be the winner

“Because I always win’ was his answer. McDonald plays this game extremely well. They make sure every customer wins (through instant small meals) or is going to win (by limiting the search for only 3 simple letters). Everyone loves to win something, even small things. I see this used by Pat Flynn in his reader challenge, he lets his reader win by offering them to be featured in his popular blog. People love it, which results in his blog getting more and more popular and the monthly income report booming with impressive figures. (Pat’s blog is the reason why you are reading this blog. He is a great blogger who knows his stuff and loves to give a helping hand)

2/ Everyone loves free stuff.

You see, McDonald sometimes throw in a free cheese burger or a free frozen coke because they know everyone loves free stuff. Did I hear you say you don’t like freebie? Stop lying to yourself=) and hey, there is no thing wrong with free stuff. They make life more meaningful ( for me, at least=P)

This tactic is used among many businesses. Every time you choose this brand over other similar brand (Think Starbuck vs Gloria Jeans) because you nearly collect enough points for a free drink or a free gift card or free whatever, think of me and this blog post, will you? =)

3/Start branding early

I work casually in KFC as a shiftie (I told you, fast food is around my life) and let me tell you people don’t go to KFC to eat fried chicken, they eat KFC. Colonel Sanders (in KFC, we call him Grandpa, without Grandpa and his secret recipes, we wouldn’t have a job) thought of building the brand for his fried chicken in 1950 when he was 60. He developed his distinctive appearance, growing his trademark mustache and goatee. He never wore anything else in public during the last 20 years of his life. Now, you see him everywhere! Imagine the impact if he has started branding earlier.

4/ Welcome changes.

I came across this blog post about 10 company that started by selling something else and  thought i would share. Changes are great, it tests our ability to adapt. I love the story of how Grandpa then was 65, saved his store from the impact of the new Interstate- 75. He visited potential franchisees and found a called Dave Thomas- who managed to turn around a failing Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. Needless to say, he saved the restaurant, and revolutionized the fast food industry by simplifying its menu from nearly one hundred items to just basic fried chicken and salads. The menu still applies today as you can see.

See what Grandpa did, he was not afraid of changes, instead he constantly changed for a better result. KFC franchises nowadays also change to adapt to its surrounding environment. If you go to India, you will have KFC with curry and having KFC prawn burger is common in VN ( yum!). Please comment if you know any other adaptation forms of KFC around the world.

So, if your business doesn’t work the way you want, don’t be afraid to give it a new menu, methods, suppliers…tweak around until you find something that works.

There you have it folks, FAST FOOD isn’t too bad after all, at least they teach us valuable lessons.

Do you know of any other thing that we can learn from them? Please comment, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Remember to drink more water, eat yogurt  and exercise regularly if you happen to overindulge in McDonald or KFC guys+)