As someone charged with managing public relations for McDonald's Canada, Jason Patuano often gets the question: "Just what is in your hamburgers?" The answer, that the burgers are made only of beef, may surprise some, as rumours have persisted for years about the makeup of McDonald's burgers.
Despite the company's efforts to dispel myths around its products, that beef question and many others continue to make the rounds, and several such queries were posted on a new website called simply "Our food. Your questions." The site allows anyone to post a question in either French or English, and a team of about a dozen people in an office in Toronto will read, research, and answer that question and post the response on the site. Will Straw, a professor of communications and the director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, said he believes this is a smart strategy for McDonald's.
"I'm impressed by the frankness of the answers. They don't try to lie about what's bad for people," he said. He said McDonald's is in danger of losing its edge, as companies like Starbucks offer more food, and customers tastes seem to be changing toward healthier food. He said that's why McDonald's has been pushing the quality of its food, and a more friendly atmosphere.