Steve Easterbrook took the helms of McDonald’s in March, after the company’s struggle to return ahead of its market competitors ever since 2011. Mr. Easterbrook is expected to be the ambitious, change-driven leader that will turn the fastfood giant’s fate around.
The new CEO is expected to detail the recovery plans for McDonald’s today. Amidst the already known intensive competition that is driving McDonald’s US flagship market down, the analysts expect to be hearing strategies covering an extensive array of issues.
The biggest hamburger chain admitted to have let competitors take the lead in a market that requires quick adaptation to changing tastes. The McDonald’s menu is reportedly a complicated affair with executives saying it is the main driving factor of declining visits in McDonald’s establishments around the world. The number of visits declined for two consecutive years and relations with the franchisees around the world has worsened. In the US, the company experienced six consecutive quarters of sales decline.
So what are the main topics that are expected to be on the menu of today’s talks?
Firstly, McDonald’s menu. Since 2007, the number of products included in the menu increased 42.2 percent, from 85 items to 121 according to the Wall Street Journal. This drove customers to be unsatisfied, as well employees and store managers to become frustrated with the number of products they needed to push through. For the US market there have been some changes in the menu with regards to some sandwich variations, some overhauls, and new grilled chicken recipes.
Secondly, related to the shrinking and simplifying the menu, customer and employee satisfaction should be taken into account. Quicker customer service drives revenues and good relations with the franchisees.
Third, cleaner products. In the rush for healthier food alternatives, McDonald’s isn’t keeping up the pace. Reducing the amounts of antibiotics and genetically modified products, as well as gluten based products should feature among the previewed changes.
Fourth, analysts expect Mr. Easterbrook to talk about a decrease in the number of promotions that are reportedly hurting McDonald’s profits. Although they were thought as measures to increase traffic in the established restaurants, promotions such as free coffee during morning hours or the dollar menu have lowered profits.
Last, but not least, a careful view at the locations of McDonald’s restaurants should point to the need that most need upgrading. Last month, the company announced that approximately 700 locations will be closed this year, while others will be revamped to boast a more inviting atmosphere.
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