Why Chipotle Gets All My Business and McDonalds Gets None

I should be the typical McDonald’s family.  I have two kids, live in the suburbs, and typically in a rush on the weekends from errand to errand.  In the 1980s my parents would bring me to McDonalds at least twice a month, heck we even had birthday parties at McDonalds.  If you had asked me back then if I’d be going to McDonalds as an adult I would have definitely said “YES!”  The truth….I haven’t been to McDonalds since 2002 which is two years BEFORE Supersize Me came out.

1416600998McDonalds intro

I spent my time on the McDonald’s Playground

So what happened?  I didn’t stop eating burgers, I love Five Guys, Shake Shack and In-n-Out (so much so I shared my secret LAX layover tip on the blog).  When I had kids, my first child had dairy, egg and peanut allergies.  This certainly presented a challenge when going out to eat.  We definitely gravitate to restaurants who have their menus and ingredients online.  And this brings me to why I stopped going to McDonalds even though I am in their target demo.  Ever try to figure out what McDonalds puts in their food?  Let me present a 16 page PDF.

Now compare that to the simple Chipotle menu.  Chipotle gets it, especially compared to McDonalds.

Simple Chipotle Menu

Simple Chipotle Menu

The peace of mind we have taking our kids to Chipotle versus McDonalds, its just one of many reasons why McDonalds may not be too big too fail.

[Photos] Los Angeles Trip Report

I jetted off to Southern California for a few days of work this week, but I had a few moments of free time to watch sunset in Venice Beach, President Obama’s arrival in LA, a quick stop at In-n-Out and some surfers at El Porto.


Grand Canyon


Marina Del Rey

Full Slideshow

Arrival into Los Angeles

Layover at LAX? In-n-Out is only a shuttle bus away.

I have been saddled with 2 hour layovers in Los Angeles too many times to count over the last few years.  It is always nice as we make our final approach into LAX to see the palm trees, Hollywood Park and the beach.  Of course one of the things that is hard to miss on approach is as we cross Sepulveda Boulevard is the red and yellow In-n-Out sign.  It is so close to the airport, I know there is a way to leave the airport on my layover and pick up a burger.

In-n-Out on Final Approach into LAX

I once tried walking it during a 2.5 hour layover and I nearly missed my connecting flight.  The next time I tried a cab and it was easy but expensive as we waiting in the drive thru lane with the meter running.  While in the drive thru line I discovered the missing piece to this puzzle.  Right next to In-n-Out is a parking garage called “The Parking Spot.”  They have a shuttle that runs between LAX and the garage.  Bingo, so now when I land in LAX, I walk outside the terminal, grab “The Parking Spot” shuttle for the Sepulveda garage get my lunch and take the shuttle back.  I have managed to make this run with a 1 hour 45 minute layover with time to spare.

The Parking Spot Sepulveda Shuttle

Pro tip: Make sure you tell the shuttle driver you are self parked so they don’t get suspicious you are using their shuttle for animal style burgers and fries instead of picking up your car.

Map from In-n-Out to LAX