McDonald’s Keeps Performing Like a Growth Company


The McDonald’s juggernaut just keeps going. Global same-store sales were up 5.5 percent in October, fueled by the chain’s popular annual Monopoly promotion (this year featuring LeBron James), featured products such as the McRib in the United States, and strong performance in international markets.

And now, eager to protect that solid growth, McDonald’s is hatching a plan for how it will continue to defy the mature-company label in the future. Its three-pronged growth plan includes a continued emphasis on menu options, on modernizing the customer experience, and on broadening access to its stores, CEO Jim Skinner told attendees at its Investor Day conference last week.

McDonald’s so-called Plan to Win strategy is similar in terms of concept and success to the One Ford plan that Ford CEO Alan Mulally hatched a few years ago and has carried out with great success. There’s nothing that can push a company through the kind of awful stretch suffered by the global economy lately like a visionary CEO with a well thought-out plan, who executes with deliberation and determination. Alan Mulally, meet Jim Skinner.[more]

Skinner told shareholders last week that he intends to extend its recent streak of growth, which has remained surprising resilient despite the economic odds, by increasing capital expenditures in 2012, opening more than 1,300 restaurants at home and abroad. The chain will also continue modernizing its stores to be more appealing and inviting, produce more products at all day parts, and test innovations from foreign markets such as the Pub Burger and McBites popcorn chicken in the U.S.

And as McDonald’s always has, the chain will remain extrememely sensitive to price, with new items being offered across several price tiers. “Price value leadership is critical to our strategy,” Skinner said.

Listen to the man. McDonald’s has been for several years now, and investors, employees and franchisees are thanking their Big Macs that they have.