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# McDonald's (fast food chain): What is McDonald's profit margin on an order of fr

ench fries?
I don't know exact numbers, but I can say a few things about this. This is not a
ccurate information about McD's, just reasonable guesses based on what I know. A
nyone could make better guesses than me and come up with different answers. I ma
y be way off on shipping, storage and overhead costs, if anyone has a better est
McD's buys a 6# case of fries for about \$3, could be more or less than that. I w
orked in a potato processing plant about 8 years ago and employees could buy a c
ase for about that much, I would assume we were paying about the same price as M
cD's.
They have to ship them, store them in cold storage warehouses and then distribut
e them to every McD's in the world, then they need to pay labor costs, facility
costs and franchise costs. All of that adds up, and I would assume it would end
up costing around \$75 for each case of fries.
The amazing thing about McD's is their R&D. They have figured out that if all th
e fries are 7 inches long, they fit a bunch in that little bag for the customer.
Also, it they are all 1 inch long, that bag fills up. So they figured out the l
ength profile that maximizes profit. Its a normal distribution with a mean, medi
an and mode at 3.5 inches and a standard deviation of 1.5 inches (I could be wro
ng, I am guessing this based on memory of the length profile).
So they figured out how to get the most packages of fries out of each case. It c
omes out to around 18 small fries for each bag of fries. So its about 108 small
fries per case of fries. So the total cost of the fries could be \$75 to \$95, and
they sell for about \$100, if each small fry is \$1, and assuming about a 10% flo
or waste.
Profit is going to fluctuate based on local prices for fuel and labor. I would a
ssume around \$0.05 to \$0.25 per small fry profit. That's not too bad when you th
ink of how many cases of fries each store must go through each day.
What is the gluten content percentage of McDonald's french fries in the US?
Difficult to say.

The controversy over McDonald's fries is centered around its frying oil, which i
s 99% vegetable oil and less than 1% canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil and na
tural beef flavor, made of wheat and milk derivatives.

Tests that can measure the gluten content of foods up to 3 parts per million hav
e not been able to detect any presence of gluten in McDonald's French fries. The
FDA guidelines for foods to be labeled as gluten-free are less than 20 parts pe
r million of gluten. Potatoes do not contain gluten.
Why are they called "french" fries?
Maybe you could say something like...
Elizabeth: "Okay, kids listen up. This information will be very useful later o
n in life, although you may think it is useless right now.
If you ask someone in France what french fries are, they'll probably say they ne
ver heard of it. Over there, they call them "pomme frites." Weird, huh? It's
like those French people have a different word for everything. Go figure.
We don't know his (or her) name, but somewhere in the 1840s, someone in Paris (t
hat's in France by the way) thought "I wonder what would happen if I cut potatoe
s into slender strips and fry them in oil." Before you know it, this type of po
tato became very popular in Paris and were commonly sold on the streets by push-
cart vendors.
Eventually, this popular Parisian dish spread to the United States. As you know
, we don't really speak a lot of French here in the US, so calling them pomme fr
ites would seem inappropriate. Instead, we made up our own name using American
English and called them "french fried potatoes." I don't know who thought up th
is ingenious name, but my educated guess was 1) they were from France, 2) they w
ere fried (in oil) and 3) they were potatoes. Makes sense, huh?
Billy, turn off that TV, I'm trying to teach you something important.
Anywho...
Like in France, this fried food became very popular in the United States. Somew
here around 1930 (this was way before Mommy was born), people started to think "
french fried potatoes" are just too darned hard to say, so they just called them
"french fries," just for short. The name stuck and that's what we call them to
day.
There is a group of people who think that the name french fries is derived from
a cooking technique called "frenching." The theory here is that if food is cut
into nice even strips, it will cook more evenly. This is more commonly known a
s the "julienne cut" (which has completely different story, but let's save that
for another day). The first recorded use of the term "frenching" can be traced
back to 1895. Seeing as how pomme frites pre-dates this term by about 60 years,
it doesn't seem plausible that this is the correct interpretation (but that's j
ust my own person opinion).
Anyway, that is how french fries got there name. Any questions?"