By: Brian Vatkevich
McDonald’s faced the harsh realities of a new business climate in 2014 when they had their worst fiscal performance in over a decade. They had been following their strategy of introducing new items, as well as seasonal items through the year to generate consumer interest. This was a successful strategy a decade ago, but as of January 1, 2015 the menu had over 70 different options alone excluding beverages and sides. Combined with seasonal and limited time offers, the menu simply became to bloated and daunting to consumers. That in conjunction with the rise of fast casual dining like Chipotle and Panera Bread, saw customers leaving McDonalds in large numbers.
In response to a drop of profits of nearly 30%, McDonalds is trying to save their brand by introducing changes with all restaurant locations. Starting with a smaller simpler menu. By shrinking the menu down in test locations McDonald’s saw that customers were able to decide what to eat fast, and were not overwhelmed by so many various options. This movement is being spearheaded by the pay with love marketing campaign which instead of focusing on the food like years past, focuses on the consumer. The goal of this campaign was not to drive sales of new products, but to re-create a bond with customers that may have been lost in years past. Finally, there has been a focus on bringing back the fast and efficient service that has been lost due to the overly complex menu. By cutting the menu down, it is easier for employees to work quickly with fewer errors. I believe that these changes can will be able to stimulate some growth back into the company, the damage cause by their ignorance in the past has been done. I predict it will take many years for McDonalds to get their profit margins back into a growing trend. They will have to continue their efforts in re-capturing the market of people below the age of 30 now, or face a generation of people that avoid their food all together.