MCDONALD’S PLAN TO WIN
After 50 years of operation, McDonald’s is revitalizing its products, and pushing innovationthrough a variety of initiatives. This foodservice giant with more than 30,000 restaurantsin 100 countries provides food to nearly 50 million customers each day, but decadesof expansion, sales growth, and proﬁts made the burger giant complacent. By focusingon getting bigger, not better, the company stumbled in 2002, recording its ﬁrst losingquarter. By 2003, U.S. sales had ﬂ attened, as many consumers were turning to healthieroptions and restaurants with more upscale menu items, a segment sometimes referredto as “fast-casual”. Morgan Spurlock ’s ﬁlm
Super Size Me
, released in 2004, also seriouslydiminished the public image of the quick -service chain, as moviegoers watched Spurlock become ill and gain 25 pounds after eating only McDonald’s food for one month.With pressure to get back on track, it was time for McDonald’s to rethink the business.The chain devised a recovery strategy that included new menu items, redesigned restau-rants, and a focus on the consumer experience. Through a program titled “Plan to Win,”McDonald’s focused on making a deeper connection with customers through the ﬁvebusiness drivers of people, products, place, price, and promotion. Using its own ﬁve P’s,the company is developing and reﬁning new strategies to deliver value, offering productvariety, developing updated and contemporary stores, balancing the delivery of value pric-ing with more expensive items, and marketing through bold and innovative promotions.Execution of this strategy has included mystery shoppers and customer surveys, alongwith grading restaurants to help the company deliver on its people goals. New menuitems like the Fruit & Walnut Salad in the United States and deli sandwiches in Australiaare part of the commitment to serve high-quality products to satisfy customer demandfor choice and variety. Restaurants are staying open longer, accepting credit and debitcards, enabling wireless Internet access, and even providing delivery service in parts of Asia. As part of the program, franchisees and suppliers are asked to provide their opin-ions and ideas on facility design, while the company benchmarks retail leaders, such asCrate & Barrel, to help produce cleaner and smarter restaurants. The company is test-ing small handheld devices to use on what it calls “travel paths,” a process for checkingoperational failures such as the temperature inside the refrigerators. Experiments witha new grilling concept from Sweden, which grills burgers vertically instead of horizon-tally, offers space-saving possibilities for the chain. Product offerings like the McCaf é,
a concept developed in the Australian market that provides gourmet coffee inside 500existing restaurants, are proving to be successful.The trouble experienced in the early part of the millennium has abated, and executives atMcDonald’s have declared success after several years of progress under the Plan to Win.