McDonald's Trying to Win Customers Back After 3rd Year of U.S. Decline

July 14, 2017 11:19 AM

Nutrition and a renewed focus on food is making life tough for some fast companies, like McDonald’s, and it’s trying to reverse that trend.

In the 1950s, the Golden Arches set the gold standard for fast food, but they’ve lost their sheen in the 21st century.

“It’s competitive, so you’ve got to be nimble, you’ve got to be agile, and you’ve got to stay close to customers,” said Steve Easterbook, CEO of McDonald’s.

Customer visits are declining as established locations, but Easterbook says the global restaurant chain is retooling menus and adding more technology. The company has an innovation center outside Chicago where it tests new customer experiences.

Recently, McDonalds rolled out kiosks in select cities so people can skip waiting in line at the register.

“We’re confident we’ve now got the plans in place that we can actually regain those customers and actually get more customer growth, get more customers eating more often,” said Easterbook.

For the third straight year, McDonald’s is expected to shrink its U.S. footprint, even with roughly 14,000 locations and a stock that keeps investors happy.

“The question for it going forward is, how do you rebuild traffic?” said Erik Gordon, business professor with the University of Michigan. “Because in the long term, you have to have strong traffic and strong sales in order to succeed. Since 2012, they’ve lost 500 million visitors.”

He says in today’s restaurant economy, consumers have more choices than ever and more ways to buy their meals. McDonald’s wants it to be easier for consumers to get their food, so they partnered with Uber Eats for delivery.

Hear what one franchise owner believes will be the key to get customers back in the door on AgDay above.

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