McD’s Takes a Boys-and-Their-Toys Approach
By George Anderson
Here’s the basic premise that McDonald’s is putting to the test with its new flagship restaurant: Boys that love toys grow up to become guys that love gadgets.
It’s these very same boys, all grown up (18 – 24 year olds), that McD’s is targeting with features such as digital kiosks for burning CDs, big screen plasma TVs, Wi-Fi Internet access and an adjoining McCafé with gourmet coffee, pastries and a fireplace at the restaurant in Oak Brook, Ill.
Analyst Peter Jankovskis told The Associated Press, “It used to be that a chance to eat burgers and fries with your friends was enough. Now it takes a little bit more than that.”
The reason it takes more, say industry watchers such as Morningstar analyst Carl Sibilski, is because fast food restaurant operators see young adults, particularly males, as a “gold mine.”
“If you want to drive same-store sales, you have to target your message to your most profitable customers,” said Mr. Sibilsk. “That explains the TV screens … and the hipper advertising. They’ve made it OK (for young adults) to go to McDonald’s again. It’s not just someplace they went as a child.”
Moderator’s Comment: What do you think about the direction McDonald’s is taking with its new flagship restaurant?
McDonald’s spokesperson, Bill Whitman, said we shouldn’t expect to see the Oak Brook concept replicated elsewhere while adding, “You will see elements of
this restaurant in some of our new construction. It’s all about keeping our restaurants more relevant for our customers.” –
George Anderson – Moderator