McDonald's Planning Menu Tweaks Based on This Grim Prediction
In case you needed your favorite fast food chain to confirm your worst fears, McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a call last week that the company is bracing for an impending recession.
So far, the company has made numerous changes in order to keep customers safe and operations more manageable during the pandemic—from shutting down dining rooms and cutting menu items to requiring all customers to wear face masks. But the company is now looking ahead in order to prepare for the next hurdle on the horizon: the long-term effects of the pandemic on the economy.
Kempczinski stated the company surveys customers on a weekly basis, and has found that economic concerns currently eclipse public health concerns among the chain's customer base. While avoiding any definitive predictions, he said there are "a lot of warning signs out there that suggest that the consumer sentiment and the concern about the economy is negative and going in the wrong direction."
Accordingly, the chain is planning on rolling out new deals in the near future that will cater to customers struggling amid the economic downturn and focus on affordability and value as the main goal.
But it's not just the consumers that will benefit from the upcoming deals. The strategy will help the chain maintain a steady customer base, which has slowly returned to McDonald's after the initial adjustment period at the beginning of the pandemic. Although the company reported losses for the most recent quarter, they have bounced back from 19.2% same-store sales losses in April to much smaller losses of 2.3% in June.
The company's strategy of winning over budget shoppers looking for an affordable everyday food option predates the pandemic. McDonald's fared pretty well during the Great Recession of 2007–2009, beating out numerous competitors with pricier options. The chain's $1, $2, and $3 value menus are a safe-bet frugal option for many during an economic turmoil.
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