Posted by Dale Buss on October 17, 2013 01:58 PM
Is it possible that McDonald's finally has jumped the shark? Its faltering performance has put the iconic chain in the crosshairs of securities analysts and investors lately, and even some of its own franchisees, as well as the predictable coterie of nutrition critics and low-wage-worker advocates.
"I think McDonald's has reached its apex,"said a franchisee in a new Janney Capital Markets survey of 29 McDonald's franchisees. Is he right?
Clearly the world's leading fast-feeder has been struggling for a couple of years under the leadership of CEO Don Thompson, who succeeded a very good run by the initially underestimated former CEO Jim Skinner. Same-store sales in the US and some other markets are barely staying above year-ago comparisons. And while new menu items proliferate, most of them have been for only a "limited time—such as the new Southwest Chicken Premium McWrap—and they tend to slow service.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 27, 2013 10:52 AM
McDonald's biggest nod toward better-for-you food is already placating some critics, and there's another benefit: Helping kids and their parents eat healthier fare at its restaurants may boost chain sales results that have become tepid lately in the US market.
In cooperation with a Bill Clinton-backed nonprofit, McDonald's has announced a sweeping new commitment to better-for-you eating that includes promoting only water, milk and juice rather than soft drinks for Happy Meals on its menu boards and in advertising, emphasizing nutrition in its packaging and advertising for kids, and offering side salads and fruit to accompany its value meals.
"We think we can influence the purchase of fruits and veggies," McDonald's CEO Don Thompson told the Wall Street Journal. "We have a leadership role and we can be part of a solution. The average person eats at McDonald's three times a month."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 16, 2012 01:14 PM
It doesn't take long before even a brand like McDonald's can slip from a high perch. And it can take even less time for the executive who may be responsible for the stumble to fall even further.
That's why Jan Fields suddenly is out of her job as president of the U.S. operations of the chain. Recently ensconced CEO Don Thompson met with her to decide that she should move on after 35 years with the company — including two disappointing quarters in the U.S. The company named Jeff Stratton, currently global chief restaurant officer, to succeed Fields.
In an interview with Fortune that was published today, Fields — who conducted the brand's first-ever "listening tour" last year — seems to be philosophical about her tour of duty drawing to a close, using a USDA-approved metaphor in response to her ouster. "Everyone has a date stamped on their ass," she said, "and they're the only one who can't see it."
Thompson acknowledged her wry sense of humor in the press release announcing the management change, saying "We appreciate and salute Jan for more than three decades of inspired leadership and impactful service under the Arches. All of us who know Jan will miss her genuine nature and quick-witted humor. We wish Jan the very best."
The die was cast when McDonald's U.S. same-store sales in October declined, the first month-to-month decrease in nine years. As recently as the first quarter, McDonald's had been humming seemingly on all cylinders, gliding along as a clear brand of choice for American households who were still struggling financially. The limited-time run of new Chicken McBites also had proven a big success.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 14, 2011 10:01 AM
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.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 7, 2011 02:02 PM
Jeffrey Immelt of GE. Howard Schultz of Starbucks. Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts. Jim McNerney of Boeing. The late Steve Jobs. And now, McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner has become the latest American corporate chieftain to join the chorus of peers who are concerned about the nation's economic present and future — and who have their own ideas about what to do about it.
They're risking damage to their brands and in some cases courting enhancement of brand equity through their comments, though not necessarily with the Occupy Wall Street-sparked global protest movement. But Skinner nonetheless waded into an increasingly common form of high-stakes rhetorical gamble for today's CEOs.
"In order to create jobs in America, you're going to have to cut taxes ... particularly in the business community," the McDonald's CEO stated, according to the U.K.'s Telegraph. "We pay some of the highest [corporate] taxes in the world. There needs to be some leveling." He had other things to say, but you get the idea. Not one for tirades, Skinner hasn't been known for such rhetoric.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 20, 2011 03:00 PM
In the end, it’s probably not as much about defending Ronald McDonald as it is about not allowing activists to tell the company what to do when executives believe they’re being entirely responsible in their actions.
McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner flatly told both activists and shareholders on Thursday that, rumors to the contrary, the chain has no intention of retiring the red-nosed clown mascot who has helped the company market its food and brand to kids for nearly a half-century.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 19, 2011 06:15 PM
"Ronald McDonald is an ambassador to McDonald's and he is an ambassador for good. Ronald McDonald is going nowhere."
— McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner defends the chain's brand mascot at today's annual general meeting and confirms Ronald isn't being retired. The news prompted cheers and the majority of shareholders rejected a proposal (following an ad campaign by an obesity watchdog group including Dr. Andrew Weil, among other physicians and health advocates) pressuring the chain to revamp its kids marketing tactics in light of America's rising childhood obesity numbers.