McDonald's promotion with rapper Travis Scott draws pushback from franchise owners

From Sept. 8 to Oct. 4, consumers can order the “Travis Scott Meal” — a Quarter Pounder with bacon and lettuce, medium fries with barbecue sauce and a Sprite with extra ice.

Yet the trade website Restaurant Business reported last week that two-thirds of McDonald’s franchise operators opposed the collaboration because they were concerned with lyrics of some of Scott’s music.

The tie in with Scott, currently one of the nation’s most popular music stars, is an opportunity for the fast food giant to reach younger adults who haven’t developed brand loyalty to McDonald’s, says Brent Upchurch, whose family’s Upchurch Management owns and operates 30 McDonald’s restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Scott is recognized as a top social media influencer, with 32.3 million Instagram followers and 4.4 billion YouTube video views.

Upchurch said pushback from franchisees stemmed from the company’s failure to collaborate with its operators before the Scott promotion was finalized.

As to whether concerns remain that its association with Scott could hurt McDonald’s brand, Upchurch said, “I don’t think you can be 100% sure of anything in this day and age.”

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