Sometimes the decisions of corporate America completely astound me but in the end I am kind of glad that things shook out the way they did. Allow me to explain.
This evening, after a last minute trip to Target so I could have a green shirt to wear tomorrow for St. Patrick’s Day, somehow the topic of the Shamrock Shake came up.
It’s not entirely unheard of if you haven’t any clue what a Shamrock Shake is. Growing up as a child of the 70′s and 80′s the Shamrock Shake used to be clutch. They were an annual event we looked forward to just as much as we did the televised showings of Snoopy Come Home, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Dr. Doolittle. I can’t tell you the last time I actually saw a commercial for a Shamrock Shake so let me whip out this gem to get you caught up.
OK, so the quality isn’t so hot but you get the idea.
Now sometime in the last month we, as a family, dropped into McDonald’s for a “special” lunch and we were quite surprised to discover the Shamrock Shakes were there. This being the first time I’ve seen them in a McDonald’s in AGES we jumped at the chance to have one and the wife and I experienced our fond memories of our child hood when life was simpler, felt safer, and we were young enough to not care that we were eating at McDonald’s.
As I mentioned above tonight, on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, the topic of the Shamrock Shake came up again and we decided to allow ourselves another small treat and go by the same McDonald’s to take in the tasty treat one last time. As we pulled up to the drive-thru we placed our order and we were told, “Sorry, we don’t have them any more. We stopped serving them in February.” In the word’s of Phil from Modern Family, “WHY THE FACE?!?”
I have no idea what goes on in the world today and I don’t know the rules of Shamrock Shake selling at your McDonald’s franchise. All I know is that I was completely astounded that on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day I couldn’t actually get a Shamrock Shake. Do they not understand why it’s called a Shamrock Shake or why they offer them around this time of year? I’m willing to give the franchise the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the owner opted in to ordering Shamrock Shake fixings but didn’t want to be stuck with them after St. Patrick’s Day or maybe McDonald’s corporate only offered the mix for a certain amount of time to make sure they weren’t stuck with minty ice product muck as well. In either scenario it’s just not good business.
Those of you that frequent Starbucks during the fall season know that they too offer a seasonal drink. Once September/October roll around they start offering the caffeine addicted the special “Pumpkin Spice” line of products. You can get a Pumpkin Spice just-about-anything-on-the-menu. They don’t offer them just up until Halloween, Thanksgiving or anything else associated with the Fall. They are clever business people. They sell all the Pumpkin Spice fixings and each store does this UNTIL THEY SELL OUT! It’s not a very difficult concept to understand and customers who can still get one in January are excited and feel special because they get to enjoy them even when it is out of season. Amazing concept, right?
Truth be told I’m glad that they didn’t actually have them. I didn’t have to give up the calories/points for the shake and still got to enjoy a treat later in the evening. It all worked out in the end. You would think, however, that McDonald’s corporate and all the franchise locations would realize that there is real money to be made off of the Shamrock Shake. Want proof? Take a minute to look at this web site dedicated to people hunting down and finding the Shamrock Shake. I’m just sayin’.