by Dr Greg Chapman
When they ask: “Do you want fries with that?” McDonalds knows that about a third of their customers say yes. The marginal cost of the fries is small. Their overhead costs, which are quite considerable, the restaurant, staff and equipment have not changed because of this additional sale. The cost of the fries, the potatoes and packaging, is a small fraction of the selling price of the fries, so almost the whole price of the fries goes straight to the bottom line, all achieved by asking a simple question at the time they were making a sale.