Insider Retail: Inside McDonald's whirlwind week of lawsuits and a collaboration, plus a look at how brands are using TikTok to win over customers

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderIrene compared Dunkin’ and Krispy Kreme’s pumpkin spice doughnuts.

Hello and happy Friday!

Welcome to another week of Insider Retail, Business Insider’s weekly round-up of everything that’s happening in restaurants and retail. If you haven’t already subscribed, you can do so here and enjoy an immediate boost to your Fridays, brought to you by me, Shoshy Ciment, and my colleague, Kate Taylor.

Now let’s get to the news:

McDonald’s: A discrimination lawsuit, a Travis Scott Collab, and more concerns at the top

Travis scott mcdonald'sMcDonald’s

A lot happened in the McDonald’s universe this week. Here’s everything in a nutshell.

  • We learned a bit more about David Fairhust, the former McDonald’s HR head who was reportedly fired for making women uncomfortable. Some insiders described his behaviour as “gross and dirty.” This all comes as the chain sues its former CEO Steve Easterbrook.
  • McDonald’s was also hit with a $US1 billion racial-discrimination lawsuit, filed by 52 Black ex-franchisees. Read more about the lawsuit, which has been a long time coming, here.
  • Amid the tension, the chain launched a collaboration with rapper Travis Scott, which includes adding a special meal to its menu.

Needless to say, it’s been a busy week for the fast-food chain. And for Kate, who covers it.

The brands are getting in on TikTok

Top performing brands on tiktok 4x3Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Popular brands like Nike and Chipotle are finding massive success on TikTok. Catherine and I asked four social media and marketing experts which brands they think are currently doing the best on TikTok and why. Here were their top 22 picks.

Among the brands, Dunkin’ stands out for its unique, fan-driven strategy on the platform. I spoke to the team at the coffee chain to hear about how user-generated content and unpaid viral challenges have helped the brand connect with customers on the app.

Turns out TikTok isn’t just for the mainstream. Luxury designers like Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Dior are also reaching new shoppers on the app.

Pumpkin spice doughnut taste test: Krispy Kreme annihilates Dunkin’

Pumpkin spice doughnuts 13Irene Jiang/Business InsiderThe new Krispy Kreme doughnut this year is the pumpkin spice cinnamon roll doughnut.

It might only be September, but Pumpkin Spice season is upon us. As such, Irene compared Krispy Kreme’s pumpkin spice doughnut collection to Dunkin’s to see which was superior.

Spoiler alert: Krispy Kreme won out. The standout doughnut was the chain’s new pumpkin spice cinnamon roll doughnut, which Irene described as “absolutely delicious.”



Check out the full mouth-watering taste-test here.

Chains are changing the design and sizes of their store fleets

Burger king redesignBurger King

Chains are revamping how their store fleets function. Here are four examples of major changes:

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