- Hollis Johnson
McDonald’s is losing out to the competition when it comes to low prices.
Despite driving sales with bundled deals like the McPick 2 in 2016, on Monday CEO Steve Easterbrook admitted that McDonald’s still isn’t winning over the value-centric slice of the market.
McDonald’s reported that the chain’s US visits dropped 2.1% in 2016, and that growing traffic would be a major focus in 2017. Easterbrook said that revamping the company’s value items would be crucial in convincing more Americans to visit McDonald’s.
That could mean better deals for fast-food lovers.
“You can expect us to be more competitive on the value end this year,” Easterbrook said in a call with investors on Monday.
Though visits to McDonald’s have been falling since 2012, people are spending more when they go. Prior to Monday’s sales announcement, McDonald’s had reported domestic same-store sales growth for five consecutive quarters.
- neonbubble on flickr
McDonald’s replaced the iconic Dollar Menu with the Dollar Menu and More in 2013 because it was very difficult for locations to sell items for just $1 and still turn a profit. The switch caused problems for the chain and in 2015, CEO Steve Easterbrook admitted McDonald’s had not replaced the menu “with significant-enough value in the eyes of consumers.”
Other chains have doubled down on value in recent years – especially as cost-conscious customers are increasingly eating at home and seeking deals on food when they do go out. Taco Bell, for example, launched a marketing campaign in late 2016 highlighting its “Feast for $1” menu.
Easterbrook said Monday that the parts of the US that were more aggressive in offering deals – combining national value platforms like the McPick 2 with local offers – posted some of the best results in the US in the fourth quarter. These areas, which utilized a mix of food and beverage (specifically McCafe) deals, will likely provide a useful model for McDonald’s if the fast-food chain gets serious when it comes to value in 2017.