McArabia Chicken


When listening to Peter Lynch’s philosophy, he touches on an investing research approach that involves talking to customers, employees, and business partners of a company.  Philip Fisher also talks about the scuttlebutt approach of finding out as much as you can about a company.  Most of us probably won’t have a chance to talk to a company’s managers or visit their facilities but we can quite easily research the customer’s perspective.

Today, I find myself in an international airport in the Middle East.  Looking for something to eat, I venture to the airport’s food court.  The food court provides a variety of sub sandwich shops, Indian food, fried chicken, and fast food hamburger joints.  As I scan the options, I see a plastic Ronald McDonald smiling at me.  Because I own a VERY small portion of MCD I figured I should probably eat where I’m invested.

As it turns out, McDonald’s is the busiest joint in the food court.  Perusing the trimmed down menu of standard McDonald’s offerings, I notice something new I’ve never seen before: McArabia Chicken.  I decided to order it and it was quite tasty.  I’ve read the stories of McDonald’s international expansion but I’m still a bit surprised to see it thriving in a Middle Eastern airport.

I’m chalking this up as a bonus research opportunity on a company I plan on making a significant pillar of my portfolio.  I recently watched an older Q&A session with Warren Buffett where he talked about how he likes companies that “travel well”.  What he meant by that is he likes it when a company can do well internationally.  For a food establishment to travel well is no small feat in my opinion.  After finishing up my McArabia Chicken with a Coca-Cola Light (aka Diet Coke in the U.S.), I have even stronger feelings towards MCD.