With sales sagging and doors closing, what can save McDonald’s from complete restaurant irrelevancy?
Oak Brook, Illinois – In a recent corporate event, the new CEO of fast food giant McDonald’s laid out a plan for turning the company’s sagging sales around. Performance has been poor, he claimed, and sales are down.
“The numbers don’t lie,” Steve Easterbrook said with resignation. It’s time to offer better food.
Indeed they don’t. Last fall, third quarter sales were down 30% from the previous year, a loss of nearly half a billion dollars. In the first three months of 2015, the hamburger titan shuttered over three hundred fifty stores in the United States, Japan, and China, expecting to close an equal amount by the end of the fiscal year.
“I warned them. They knew this was coming, and boy, I bet it’s gotta hurt,” said business analyst and former McDonald’s spokesman Hamish Burgle. “Half a billion bucks, that buys a lot of burgers.”
After a few moments of introspection, he added, “Robble robble.”
Burgle says he has a number of ideas that could improve McDonald’s sales numbers, including:
- Larger shakes in more flavors, like bacon jalapeno chunky chocolate.
- The Big Mac Bacon Xtreme – two all-beef quarter pound patties, special sauce, six slices of American cheese, and enough crispy bacon to give a T-Rex a heart attack.
- Piggy fries. Like Burger King’s chicken fries, but made out of fat back bacon.
- Bacon-wrapped apple pies.
- … more robble robble.
Maybe bacon isn’t the only hope for McDonald’s future, but Burgle believes it’s a better alternative than the direction the company is currently headed.
Easterbrook and other bigwigs at McDonald’s are promising sweeping changes for your local restaurant, with more menu items like the recently introduced sirloin burger and artisan grilled chicken. While they haven’t announced what the new menu items would be, they claim to be “enthusiastically testing” new sandwiches, as well as changes to how customers order. They believe their new competition space can’t be against traditional foes, such as Burger King and Taco Bell, but against fast casual food shops like Chipotle, who provide a more laid back atmosphere.
“It is customers that decide if we succeed. The message is clear. We are not on our game,” Easterbrook said.
While some customers appreciate Mickey D’s new menu items, others believe America’s favorite drive-thru is driving forward in the wrong direction, creating a sort of identity crisis. Rather than create a more health-conscious menu, some fast food companies have accepted their identity as the gatekeepers of poor health. Hardee’s/Carl’s Junior, for instance, has been promoting their “Thickburgers”, including the new El Diablo Thickburger, a spicy 1050-calorie, 79-carb sandwich weighing in at a hefty six bucks. While McDonald’s is closing some of its doors, Hardee’s recently announced expansion into the American northeast.
“McDonald’s could be so much more. It could be fun again,” Hamish Burgle said. “All they’d have to do is embrace their roots. Leave the rabbit food to Subway. Robble.”
The message some fans of the House of Ronald want to send is simple: love who you are. More bacon. More cheese. Bigger burgers. Larger shakes. And more space at the counter because, you know, their customers are going to need it.
The ball is in your court, Ronald. When can the world expect to see the Big Mac Bacon Xtreme? Who doesn’t want to see a dead T-Rex.