GLOCK vs. McDonald’s: Why the Pistol Maker Reigns Supreme

“To lure more mid-afternoon customers, McDonald’s is rejecting its recent health-food kick and rolling out the sweets: croissants, muffin tops and a new sundae-topping station for ice cream lovers,” mysanantonio.com reports. Wait. What?

Back when I was a kid, McDonald’s sold hamburgers. And that was it. And boy were they fast. Even after the chain added fries and Coke, they served food in 30 seconds or less. In fact, at one point, if you didn’t get served in 60 seconds, your meal was free.

And then all hell broke loose.

McDonald’s expanded their menu to shakes (though initially one flavor), Filet o’ Fish sandwiches, apple pies, Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, Egg McMuffins (in various configurations), umpteen brands of soft drinks, cappuccinos, McFlurry’s, sundaes, kid’s meals, McRibs and on and on and on.

Back in the day, former TTAG writer Frank Williams estimated that the total number of ordering possibilities at McDonald’s exceeded one billion. No wonder the chain’s minimum wage employees screw-up your order. Which arrives in minutes, rather than seconds.

And now the service is so slow that the last time I visited Mickey D’s they handed me a stick with a number to bring the food to the table. Eventually. And don’t get me started about the parking spaces for Drive-Thru customers who can’t get their order at the window. Or the average store’s hygiene.

Contrast that with Five Guys or the other burger chains that have arisen to reap millions using McDonald’s original unique selling point: fast food. By offering customers burgers and fries — and not much else — these “imitators” are slowly but surely cleaning McDonald’s clock.

With that in mind, contrast McDonald’s menu with GLOCK’s.

As you know, a GLOCK is a GLOCK is a GLOCK. You can buy one in any number of calibers. And that’s it. No matter what gun you buy, it looks the same and works the same.

OK, sure, GLOCKs have evolved. Somewhat. And the company now offers models in different colors and variations pre-cut for optics. And now — gasp! — handguns with slide serrations.

But nothing the company has done has f*cked with the basic formula. No remarkable designs. No bells and whistles. No salad bars. You want a handgun? Here’s your GLOCK. Next!

No matter what you say about a GLOCK — the grip angle is a deal-killer for some, for example — the handgun is reliable in every aspect. You get exactly what you pay for. Nothing more. Nothing less.

So a quick message for those of you clamoring for a GLOCK carbine: STFU.

Gaston’s mob would sell millions of GLOCK rifles. But it would be the beginning of the end for the brand. GLOCK needs brand extensions like McDonald’s needs a hummus snack box. Always remember: the tighter the brand, the more powerful it is. And that’s the truth about guns.

comments

  1. avatar Stephen M says:

    *Reigns

  2. avatar Timothy says:

    Glocks may owe some of their success to a lack of diversity. In reality, Glock revolutionize capacity for size, marketed heavily to LE and Mil, and initially under priced their guns.

    By the time other companies had caught up and even exceeded Glock in value, Glock had the lock on aftermarket parts and track record. Something they’ll now always have over competing polymers

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Glocks may owe some of their success to a lack of diversity.”

      Exactly. It’s a business concept known as ‘stick to the knitting’.

      If you have a successful niche product, don’t wander into something others are doing, just to compete. It will dilute your brand.

      An example is Subaru. With rare exception (BRZ?) all they make are AWD. And they are pretty damn good at it.

      And RF missed one of McDonald’s other big things for the time,

      “Feed a family of 4 for 5 bucks and get back change.”

      Crap, I feel old.

      Get off my lawn, whipper-snappers!

      1. avatar 16V says:

        if you’re interested in a rather historically accurate history of McD’s (and Kroc specifically), watch Founder. Michael Keaton does a really bang-on job, at least according to stories I remember my father telling me decades ago.

        Dad and Ray both hawked cups at Lily-Tulip waaaaaayyyy back in the day. Ray wanted him to join McD’s in the very early franchise period, and dad wanted nothing to do with it. He had gone to Lily-Tulip because after Tic-Tac-Toe went south (perhaps FWW remembers it) mom insisted he get a :”real job” and get out of the biz.

        So glad he listened to mom then. Who wants to be a billionaire anyway?

        1. avatar bobinmi says:

          Don’t blame your fathers lack of intestinal fortitude on your mother.

    2. avatar Red in CO says:

      Indeed. Their timing was perfect, coming in right as PD’s across the country were ready to switch from wheel guns to automatics. They had a genuinely innovative product, and they made the EXTREMELY smart decision to market heavily (and discount heavily) to law enforcement, knowing that if they could get that market locked down, it would pave the way for them to make swimming pools of money in the extremely lucrative American non-LEO market. And they’ve stuck with it, changing very little. No crazy bullshit like S&W’s naming conventions for their automatics… *groans*

  3. avatar Liberal Prepper says:

    Only a matter of time. Comparing Micky-Ds to Glock is like comparing Trump to…anything.

    Just ain’t gonna fly. There will be a Glock Carbine. It’s inevitable.

    1. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:

      I really wanted that analogy to work, but I have to confess that I’ve no idea what it means.

      1. avatar Rattlerjake says:

        L.prepper has no idea either!

    2. avatar Eli2016 says:

      I pray you are as wrong as the pollsters who had Hillary winning. Btw Trump will be your daddy in 2020. Live with it. LMAO.

  4. avatar B. King says:

    I’ll go back to MickeeD’s when I can get a bottle of extra stout with my cheeburger ‘n’ (damn the lack of beef tallow) fries.

    If my G21 mags worked in my 4595 I would be happy.

  5. avatar Tal says:

    You’re right. IMO of course.

    Not to mention the near perfect overall size of the 19.

    Remove the finger grooves and well, that’s about all I want. IMO other companies aren’t blazing ahead, they are catching up to Glock.

  6. avatar David says:

    Glock is the Ford of pistols. Back when Henry still ran it.

    1. avatar Joel says:

      Exactly. Glock will expand and eventually become a name no different than Colt or Smith and Wesson. But it will be long after Gaston is gone.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “But it will be long after Gaston is gone.”

        I wouldn’t be surprised if it was shortly after. It’s a very tempting thing to do once the reigns are handed over to the next generation.

        But I don’t know the family dynamic there, except for what was in ‘Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun’.

        If anything, a company like Lone Wolf is positioned well enough to make a go at it themselves, if they feel so inclined…

  7. avatar AlanInFL says:

    Ok, I will not ask for the Glock carbine.

    I will just ask for the Glock 1911 instead.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “I will just ask for the Glock 1911 instead.”

      Get one of the aftermarket frames that have the 1911 grip angle…

  8. avatar Carl says:

    If you own McDonald’s franchises your not in the burger business. Your in coffee and real estate.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      Someone else has seen Founder. (Or is a Mickey D insider…)

    2. avatar Klause Von Schmitto says:

      Bingo! They are one of the largest real estate companies in the world.

  9. avatar jwm says:

    Every pistol will be a Glock. Every rifle an AR. Boring as shit.

    1. avatar Slab Rankle says:

      Les Baer, Blaser, even Purdey’s for Christ’s sake. They still exist for the discerning and well-heeled buyer.

      I’m glad that Glock is there providing a reliable and affordable handgun that the common man can bet his life on.

      God bless them.

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    Waitaminit…don’t they have GLOCK carbine transformation kits? GLOCK is a gun you can turn into anything-just not with GLOCK parts. And GLOCK’s specialized approach was it’s downfall when they wanted to get the huge Army contract. McDonald’s problem is their food SUCKS. When I was a lad it was a treat to have a 15cent burger and lard laden fries.

  11. avatar DJ says:

    Anyone here old enough to remember 15 cent hamburgers? Cheeseburger 19 cents. Gas was 27 cents a gallon. Price wars would drop the price to a dime for a gallon of gas. The combo meal 45 cents. Best fries and the meat was real. And Playboy was 60 cents. All 1961 prices.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Gas stations were “service” stations. You pulled into the pump, the bell went “ding-ding” and a dude in a uniform came out to serve you. You got gas. He pumped it, cleaned your windshield and checked your oil. Fill your tank and you got a steak knife or other such prize.

      1. avatar higgs says:

        Hey i remember all that. That was all from that old movie…Back to The Future …..right?

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Get off my lawn. 🙂

        2. avatar MLee says:

          No…they really did that stuff. I think it was Shell or Conoco gave away these cool drinking glasses. We had a bunch of those.

        3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          got my first baseball mitt (trio) and bat (h&b) from will’s gulf station free with a nine gallon (mom’s ’66 beetle) fill up.

      2. avatar Bob McMahan says:

        I remember pulling into the Long Binh gas station and being momentarily flummoxed because I had never pumped my own gas. The Army did not provide that service.

      3. avatar DJ says:

        That’s what I did in high school. That’s where you bought your tires. I spent my Saturdays changing tires and pumping gas, full service.

      4. avatar Rattlerjake says:

        And mom loved the S&H Green Stamps!

    2. avatar 16V says:

      Minimum wage in 1961 was $1.15. Or a little less than 6 cheeseburgers per hour. Fed minimum wage 2017 is $7.25, or a little more than 7 double cheeseburgers.

      In 1961, a guy making $18K was an executive, not a janitor.

      All relative…

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “All relative…”

        I recall awhile back a comparison to what a Cessna 172 cost compared to other things, over time.

        A standard Rolls-Royce and a certain number of ounces of gold fairly accurately tracked in value over time…

        1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          The disparity people talk about in “cost of living” compared to years past has more to do with out-go rather than income.

          Cable, internet, two vehicles (and momma just has to have a brand new Escalade), iPads, cell phones (with data on everything), huge house in ‘burbs with the in ground pool, lawn service, because god forbid your neighbors see you tending to your own lawn, eating out 5 nights a week,etc.

          These are “necessities” previous generation didn’t have.

    3. avatar Paul Mall says:

      I remember when cigarettes AND gas was 19¢.

  12. avatar None says:

    Damn RF, to the point, insightful, not click-bait. And a mic drop at the end. That’s the TTAG I remember.

  13. avatar Ed says:

    Sub2k, glock mag compatible ARs, Kriss Vectors, RONI systems…plenty of options already. Gaston is selling pistols as fast as ever, why mess with a good thing?

    1. avatar higgs says:

      I think Roberts point is well made. If Glock were to release a new gun to any thing but utter raves from every one, it would hurt their brand.

      Now it might be interested if the NFA gets overturned and SBRs were to become legal. They could create a Glock on a stock that would not affect the mechanics of the pistol at all and therefore not be a large risk. It might nos look great…but how many people buy glocks for looks/

  14. avatar GS650G says:

    Just like McDonald’s the left demonized the product.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      Well, Robert Gibbs is communication directory for McDonald’s.

  15. avatar Ing says:

    A solid, sustainable extension of the brand can be a very good thing. Springfield Armory may be persona non grata around here thanks to their political shenanigans, but they’ve done it well. They went from the M1A series and 1911-family pistols to the acquisition of the Croatian wondernine that became the XD/m/s series, and then into the AR market — all done carefully and well.

    The problem with McDonald’s is that they’re chasing trends. They frequently add and rarely subtract. Every new thing they try is already being done better by someone else, and meanwhile they’re actually getting worse at the thing that brought them to the top in the first place.

    1. avatar Whoreson Beast says:

      That “Arch” thing is case in point.

      When Glock starts marketing Vodka, handbags, and jewelry, watch for the quality of the gats to drop.

      1. avatar HP says:

        I’d consider trying a cold, refreshing Glock lager if they ever wade into the beer market. But the bottles/cans need to have boring, black labels with the Glock logo and the beer would need to be an everyman’s utilitarian lager.

  16. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I could not disagree more.

    Making a bunch of different types of guns does not cause the demise of said company.

    It is getting into OTHER markets like pepper-spray, knives, and tacticool accessories that can deal a deadly blow.

    Trying to get too big and in too many market segment has been the downfall of many companies. Ruger should take note.

    The other thing is forgetting that citizen gun owners are what makes your profit. Colt forgot that and should be out of business.

    Smith and Wesson sold out and lost market share but have been able to come back.

    If Glock can’t build and market a carbine, then they are feckless and should be out of business.

    They build what they want and it sells well because it works. It is impossible to ignore the business they have lost by not adapting to what customers want.

    Taurus builds an inferior product in many instances but is not afraid to take a risk. They seem to sell pretty well. It may be because shooters buy guns that appeal to them.

    I really don’t give a crap about a Glock carbine. I’m waiting for Ruger to copy the Sub-2000 and make it better and slicker.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Yup.

      Study how Winchester went down for the count – the first time. It was diversification into all manner of low-margin consumer items (flashlights, pocketknives, etc) that did them in. That resulted in Winchester being sold on the courthouse steps for about $8 million in December 1931.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Making a bunch of different types of guns does not cause the demise of said company.”

      *snort*

      You have apparently never seen the price of what just *one* plastic injection mold costs…

      1. avatar 16V says:

        No shiite. Injection molding is cheap when spread over hundreds of K units. The initial investment is brutally steep. It’s $100K+ to do a taillight…

      2. avatar Specialist38 says:

        And yet, real companies introduce entirely new models with no parts overlap with previous models all the time.

        Ruger has brought at least 10 models in the last 15 years. In that time Glock gave us finger grooves, RTF, and Gen4. They did bring out the 42 and 43 so we know they can grudgingly offer something new.

        1. avatar 16V says:

          If it retails for $500, that means it wholesales for $250-300, which means it cost $125 (or less) to actually make.

    3. avatar Dean Carpenter says:

      . SIG seems to be successfully branching out.

  17. avatar Dredd says:

    Robert,

    Well stated!!!

  18. avatar Timmy! says:

    Someone a few posts back (or forward, depending on whether you read these in ascending or descending order) said that GLOCKs were the Toyota Camry of guns. With this sentiment I totally agree. They may be fine guns and fine cars… but I don’t want one and am always surprised when someone “chooses” either one.

    Full disclosure: I am a GLOCK hater with absolutely NO justifiable reason, and totally indifferent towards the Toyota Camry… except to say that I can’t imagine having to drive something as boring as that. Ok, maybe I am bit of a Camry hater as well.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      The beauty of the camry is their boring nature. Get in. Insert key. Turn key. It starts. Drive away. Every. Single. Time.

      If I had a dollar for every time a dodge/ford/chevy/rambler couldn’t bore me like that I’d have enough dollar bills to fill several g strings. At least.

      My camry was 24 when it went to camry heaven. My 4runner is 20.

      1. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:

        I’ve never known a world without a McDonald’s menu that includes Filet-o-Fish, Egg McMuffins, sundaes (hot fudge, pls!) and of course milkshakes.

        Perhaps I’m younger than I think…..

        ETA: That was supposed to be a general reply, but I’m going to leave it here, to liven up the Camry thread.

      2. avatar 16V says:

        I am also a big believer in Toyota reliability. That said, avoid anything with a 2AZFE (2001-11 depending on application) engine like the plague. The head bolts are fine thread and the back 3 pull out of the aluminum block with frightening regularity. Also, the ring design was poor and some were smoking pigs at 100K.

        Toyota’s solution is a $6K long block install, or ghetto-fabbing timeserts in. (I have a far better solution, but it’s still $1200 in labor…)

      3. avatar Snatchums says:

        I was the one that made the comparison and as jwm said the boring reliability of both is exactly what I was I was getting at.

        Glocks really don’t interest me at all (besides a G20 to get in the 10mm game) and I’ve never had a Camry. But I’m the kind of guy that gets oddball old cars that require constant tinkering and boring reliability….. bores me.

      4. avatar AZgunner says:

        I’m in the super small category of people who had a Camry that was a total lemon. Always having issues, terrible vehicle.

        Just true proof that even the most reliable brands occasionally send out a sub par item.

  19. avatar cmac890 says:

    Diversifying your offerings is a pretty natural idea for a company that knows how to get the basics right. It’s not forgetting those basics that becomes tricky later on. If GLOCK produces ANY other product, it still has to be immediately and unarguably identifiable as a GLOCK. Other than that, there’s no evil in a company wanting to grow it’s business.

  20. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    “So a quick message for those of you clamoring for a GLOCK carbine: STFU.”

    EXCUSE ME??????!!!!!! WHO THE FVCK ARE YOU? Farago the Insult Blogger?

    I don’t need it. I’ll check back tomorrow for your apology to the site’s readership for that foul lashing out. Good day, sir.

    1. avatar Hank says:

      Damn. Did you like just quit smoking or something dude?

      1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        Nothing of the sort, just calling out someone who was out of line.

        90% of the value of this site is in the intelligent readership’s comments. The other ten percent is split about evenly between aggregation of relevant articles and the staff’s editorials.

        They have taken on an uncalled for and decidedly douchy tone of late. I don’t know where it came from, but I know where it’s driving me to. This isn’t the only place on the web where engaged and informed firearms freedom proponents gather.

        1. avatar Vincent says:

          You should control your emotions better buddy. You give the gun community a bad name with you outburst over simple words lol.

    2. avatar Charles5 says:

      One of my few pleasures in life is watching people get all “offended” and “triggered” on the internet just because someone said something they don’t like. Thank you for that.

  21. avatar Herehere says:

    Great advice to Glock. Don’t innovate! Sell the same gun as always while your competition passes you by. Considering volume of sales and only making variations of one design, Glock should be a hell of a lot cheaper. It isn’t like they are funding the amount of r&d and tooling costs to produce an entire firearms line like S&W, Ruger, Cz, Sig, etc who can often sell equal or better arms for less. It has also been my experience that a lot of the “perfection” crowd don’t do much shooting and in general are gear whores.

  22. avatar SdubM45 says:

    Yea, well tell that to Colt. And how are they doing by the way. Glock needs to evolve its product line beyond handguns, or they won’t last in the long run.

  23. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Except Glock is actually a decent gun. I don’t even consider McD’s food.

  24. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Glock’s success is due to their marketing efforts at getting their guns into police departments. There’s nothing any better about Glock handguns than a half-dozen other quality handgun makers. S&W’s semi-auto pistols had nothing wrong with them for law enforcement use. Oddly enough, hookers and drugs work reasonably well for marketing guns to police departments. S&W used to be successful without these “marketing tools.” Perhaps FN can learn something from Glock and bring a whole retinue of strippers where LEO purchasers can snort coke off strippers’ tummies if they buy a truckload of AR’s.

    After that, it was gangster hype, press hyperventilation of a “gun that can evade X-rays at airports” and movie product platement that made Glock’s marketing easier than falling off a log.

    I bought my first Glock 19 the year it came out. I thought it was OK, but only that. Today, I still think that Glocks are only OK. The only “perfection” involved in a Glock is in the minds of their marketing department.

  25. avatar Dcj says:

    Uh RF, I think you must be “hangry” as they say. And or talking like a geezer (the good old days). Your message about strong successful brands is a simplistic and wrong perspective. You probably should stick to gun rights commentary and not venture into marketing or restaurants!

  26. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I have basically given up on fast-food chains because they are almost never fast any more. And it is very difficult to get a basic meal for under $5.

    I agree with this application for Glock. While the grip angle of Glocks does not work for me, I view them as a rock-solid choice for a firearm and would recommend them to anyone in a heartbeat.

    Now if only Kel-Tec would get the memo and make their products available FAST.

  27. avatar John says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with introducing a Glock Carbine at this point. the brand has matured, virtually entrenched itself in the marketplace, and merely two items instead of only one can’t be so bad. BUT the Glock Carbine would be compared to every other rifle and pistol-caliber carbine, to which it cannot stack up. it wouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of carbines, whereas the Glock Pistol is in the pistol world.

    that is how it would cheapen the brand, and my guess as to why they haven’t done it already.

  28. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    On what planet is 5 Guys fast? I always have to wait as the food is freshly prepared. (Sort of the In-N-Out of the East.) I’ve never seen numbers at a McD’s. Chick-Fil-A has numbers, but their food is still pretty quick and much tastier than most “quick food joints.

    As someone already noted, Glock will fade if they forget about us non-LE/Mil folks (see: Colt).

    1. avatar 16V says:

      On what planet is 5 Guys edible, let alone a good value? Fast? You can go to CPK and get a pasta or pizza in the same ticket time. $9 for a garbage flat-top fried burger and a ridiculous amount of fries that’s supposed to make you forget how utterly mediocre the burger is for the money.

      $7 gets a charbroiled, 1/2# bar burger and fries from a dozen establishments with a few miles, cooked properly MR and everything. And I can spend the leftover money on a shot of Scotch.

      5 Guys is an amazing con, and serves sub-Steak-N-Shake food for twice the price.

      1. avatar Wiregrass says:

        Posted the same sentiment below. I just don’t get the Five Guy business model at all.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Yeah I’m not sure where the author lives but it must be weird because nowhere else is Five Guys faster or cheaper than McDonalds, all other things being equal (and I find that the lines at 5G are about as bad).

  29. avatar tdiinva says:

    I always thought of Glock as the Apple of guns but I think the Glock-McDonalds analogy is better. Mickey D’s is mediocre but consistent no matter where you go. There are better burgers out there but when all else fails they are the go to fast food. Glock produces a solidly mediocre pistol that gets the job done. There are many better pistols on the market but you can get by just fine with Glock plus all the cool gangbangers and cops carry them.

  30. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    the only way i could be less enthusiastic about eating at doodles is if they came out with a glockburger. now that would be some nasty discharge.

  31. avatar DetroitMan says:

    Glock makes a fine gun, but I like to think of it as the Toyota Corolla of handguns. It’s utterly functional and reliable, but has no sex appeal and not many amenities. Glock’s conservative strategy has served them well thus far, but it will bite them in the future. Glock’s only innovation was to bring a polymer striker fired pistol to market in the 80’s. Everything they have done since then has just been an iteration of that same basic pistol. A Gen IV pretty much feels like a Gen I, and Glock carefully crafted it to be so. They made mechanical improvements over the years, but the basic user interface has not changed.

    Where Glock will get into trouble is that their many competitors have copied their successful formula. Moreover they improved on it, which Glock has refused to do. The H&K VP9 is the gun that a Gen IV Glock should be. It has better ergonomics and a much better trigger, and it is only marginally more expensive. When the US Army held trials to adopt a polymer handgun, Glock was beaten by SIG. Think about that. The inventor of the polymer striker-fired handgun got beaten by a relative newcomer whose specialty was steel DA / SA handguns. The SIG P320 was only SIG’s second polymer gun and its first attempt at a striker-fired system. Glock and its fans can cry about the decision all they want, but the fact is it’s over and the data leaves no legal or reasonable standing to challenge the decision.

    Aside from H&K and SIG, Glock faces other top tier competitors like Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, FN, CZ, and Walther. Everyone is in the polymer pistol business, and they all brought their A games. If Glock refuses to innovate and update, then they risk becoming Colt in the 1980’s: still marketing 1911’s and revolvers against DA / SA wonder nines and the original Glocks. They are already like the Colt of old in another way: they keep doing the same thing and coasting on their reputation and large government contracts. Meanwhile they have agile competitors who refining their formulas and aiming to take Glock’s contracts. SIG drew first blood with the MHS. It’s time for Glock to wake up.

  32. avatar Wiregrass says:

    I just don’t get Five Guys. Everything is on the menu is expensive, the atmosphere is deafening. The food is alright, but I know places I can get a good burger and a pint of beer for almost half what that place costs me.

  33. avatar PeterK says:

    Glock should start a second company and let them handle the carbine.

    Call it whatever. It won’t muddy the brand, and it’ll bring the stuff to market. It’d rock.

  34. avatar Seth Hill says:

    Go the Henry Ford way:
    You can have any color you want as long as it’s black. You can have any caliber you want as long as it is 9mm. You can have any size you want as long as it is blocky and full sized.

  35. avatar Jimmy James says:

    McDonalds sucks and 5 Guys is outrageously expensive. Glocks are too expensive for what they are and their lunch is getting eaten by cheaper and or better competition. What else ya got?

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