At McDonald’s, blurred (fast food) lines

There was a story recently about how McDonald’s is looking for sales growth through breakfast and coffee. This comes on heels of the world’s biggest restaurant chain offering salads, wraps and generally more healthy menu options. Pretty soon, there will be nothing left for the Hamburglar to hamburgle.

The expansion of the McDonald’s menu is even more striking when seen in a chart found in a federal lawsuit the company filed last week. The breach-of-contract action is against the landlord of the Red Mill Shopping Center in Derwood. McDonald’s lease includes a restrictive covenant that bars Red Mill from leasing space to restaurants “with menu items substantially similar to those of McDonald’s,” according to the lawsuit.

The restaurant Red Mill is planning to add its shopping center? A Dunkin Donuts.

When I read this, I thought: one serves burgers, one serves donuts and never shall the calories meet. But McDonald’s attempted to bolster its claim by providing this handy-dandy comparison chart:

Who knew McDonald’s and Dunkin had so much in common? Also note the paragraph below the chart, which refers to the fact the Dunkin Donuts will also house a Baskin Robbins:

Addtionally, Baskin Robbins offers for sale menu items that are substantially similar to certain menu items offered by McDonald’s. For example, both Baskin Robbins and McDonald’s sell ice cream products, including but not limited to, ice cream cones, ice cream sundaes, blended ice cream products, milk shakes, smoothies and blended coffee drinks.

The landlord for Red Mill Shopping Center has not yet responded to the lawsuit, which was filed Friday.

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