McD’s Plans To Keep Big M Going

Mar 09, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

McDonald’s is riding the wave of the Big M (momentum) from its latest financial report and it is looking to build on that with store remodels, new menu additions and a commitment to improving customer service.

Jim Cantalupo, McDonald’s chief executive, told a meeting of analysts, “Our progress to date has been significant. However, our revitalization will not be complete until we see sustainable improvements around the world. To achieve this kind of growth, we must focus on improving execution and innovation to give our customers a better experience.”

The fast food operator reported total sales in February were up 22.6 percent from the year prior while worldwide same-store sales (those open at least thirteen months) improved 14 percent. The company has reported 11 straight monthly sales gains.

McDonald’s announced plans to spend $725 million in capital improvements including restaurant remodels and equipment upgrades.

The company also announced menu additions include chicken breast strips and a “fiesta salad” made with spicy ground beef and Newman’s Own dressing.

It also plans to address the needs of those following a low-carb diet by offering customers the option of getting their sandwich order minus the bun.

McDonald’s plans to begin accepting credit cards and other cashless payment in roughly two-thirds of its stores by the end of 2004.

Moderator’s Comment: What are your
thoughts on the direction McD’s is headed?

It’s hard to argue with success and there’s little to criticize Jim Cantalupo and company about.

The only visible grey lining in this silver cloud came in a warning in a Reuters report from the British Nutrition Foundation advising consumers
some of McD’s healthy offerings, such as a Caesar salad with chicken, may contain more fat than the chain’s hamburgers. While most educated consumers already know that what you
put on your salad can substantially alter its nutritional value, this is the type of information that McD’s bashers may use to portray the company in an unflattering light.

Anderson – Moderator

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