‘You Can’t Be All Things to All People’: Celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian Offers McDonald’s Some Advice

The celebrity chef has some pretty thoughtful tips for the struggling American icon

Geoffrey Zakarian thinks McDonald’s should work on a more focused menu and fix the lighting.   

This week, The New York Times took celebrity chef and Food Network personality Geoffrey Zakarian (The Lamb’s Club, The Palm Court, The Plaza Hotel) on a lunch date to McDonald’s, for what was Zakarian’s first-ever experience at the Golden Arches.

It’s no secret that McDonald’s has been dealing with a lot of problems lately, culminating in the recent replacement of its CEO Don Thompson with a new head of the McFamily, the U.K.’s Steve Easterbrook.

Yet, as one of America’s most iconic brands, the company invokes at least a few fond memories for most, and might be worthy of an impressive comeback story. Here’s hoping.

Zakarian, a former Iron Chef America contestant, knows something about separating himself from the competition. McDonald’s, he suggested, should focus on what it does best.

“That’s the message from Shake Shack and Chipotle,” Zakarian told The New York Times. “They have very limited menus. McDonald’s should do what it does well. You get the feeling they’re throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. You can’t be all things to all people.”

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Read more of Zakarian’s thoughts on McDonald’s at The New York Times