McDonald’s is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. For decades, the golden arches were synonymous with fast food. But as consumers became more health conscientious, and as more and more eateries began competing on quality and service, McDonald’s found itself closing stores and losing business. Now, the company is making some big changes in hopes of bringing old customers back and attracting new ones. But is it enough to bring the golden arches back to glory?
What Does McDonald’s Have To Offer?
McDonald’s used to be the go-to dinner option for busy parents on the go. Kids loved happy meals and everyone else loved how affordable the burger joint was. But prices went up along with concerns about health. Slowly but surely, McDonald’s began to lose business and shut down stores. In fact, McDonald’s has had declining traffic for four consecutive years now. But the company is turning to technology as it revealed some new initiatives for the future. And the changes bring some hope for McDonald’s to reclaim its throne atop the fast food industry.
The biggest change McDonald’s is making is also one which will save the company quite a bit of overhead – labor.
With states throughout the country working to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour (several cities and states already have that in effect), McDonald’s 1.5 million employees come with a big price tag. To offset the huge increase in wages, McDonald’s is turning to technology and automating the ordering process. About 500 McDonald’s restaurants around the country currently have automated kiosks and mobile pay options. Soon, when customers walk into any McDonald’s around the world they’ll be able to customize their order and pay on the spot, eliminating the need for an employee to input the order. And while the company may catch flak for eliminating jobs, a business’s goal is to produce profit, which becomes significantly more difficult when a company’s labor costs double.
But regardless of the cost-saving factor, many customers enjoy the new system, with customer satisfaction scores rising 88 percent in France after installing the kiosks.. Once a customer orders their meal at the kiosk, a McDonald’s employee then brings the meal to that person’s table, making for a more restaurant-like experience. In addition, McDonald’s has launched a new app (which already has more than 16 million downloads) allowing users to order and pay on the go, making the prospect of fast food more appealing
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Watch this video from ABC News to see what’s happening behind the scenes in McDonald’s:
McDonald’s will focus on healthier meat, with no preservatives, removing hormones from chicken nuggets, and creatively expanding their menu to feature new items regularly. Between an emphasis on a cleaner product and utilizing technology to make the dining experience more palatable for customers, McDonald’s looks to be on the right track. Investors agree, as the stock is up on the news. As changes are implemented, expect shares of McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) to continue to rise.
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