The company execs have a plan to turn things around and hopefully pack people back in.In years past, one of the more popular advertising slogans from fast food giant McDonald’s has been ‘I’m Lovin’ It,’ as in how customers feel after visiting one of their locations. Fast forward to today, and there are fewer customers feeling that way. As USA Today reports, customer counts are down across the board at McDonald’s, but company execs have a plan to turn things around and hopefully pack people back in.
McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook recently laid out some details for investors, and he didn’t pull any punches.
“To grow, we must grow guest counts. It’s as plain and simple as that,” he said.
To make that happen, the company hopes to build on the successful launch of it’s all-day breakfast menu. The company had hard and fast rules in place for years about cutting lunch off at certain times, and they have been pleasantly surprised by the results. That being said, the company is not generating the repeat business that it used to, and executives think they know why.
“We have to attract more customers, more often. We’ve lost hundreds of millions of visits from our core customers - students, teachers, construction workers,’’ said Lucy Brady, the company’s senior vice-president for corporate strategy and business development.
The price wars among fast food chains are part of the reason, as customers that are seeking out the best bang for their buck may go promotion hunting as opposed to sticking with one brand at all costs. Product quality is also a big selling point, as some burger chains have achieved a tremendous amount of growth in recent years solely off of the strength of the quality of their products. Many consumers will gladly plunk down a couple of extra bucks for superior taste, and that will be an increasing area of focus for McDonald’s as it moves forward.
“Some of our best customers just aren’t visiting as much as they used to - and we know why. Our historical advantages of quality, convenience and value didn’t keep pace . .We’re making meaningful improvement in our food, particularly our burger and chicken offerings,’’ Brady continued.
Also, the company has its eyes on the future as it experiments with kiosk ordering in select locations. Customers self-order their food, and an employee delivers it right to their table. We’ll have to wait and see if all of these changes translate into increased sales and customer counts, but investors can certainly view it as a positive step that McDonald’s is being proactive in the face of adversity.