McDonald’s (MCD) – Get the McDonald’s Corporation Report Build your business on consistency to provide the same experience in every restaurant.
For about the first 25 years, that meant a very simple and well-executed menu. Yes, it has changes and additions to the original 1950s and 1960s menu of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and drinks. But additions like Filet O’ Fish and the now-iconic Big Mac were carefully planned.
At first, this was because fast food was a slow-moving business built on speed, convenience, and familiarity. As the chain grew, that simplicity became part of the supply chain, at least in part. Serving the same hamburger and the same french fries at over 40,000 restaurants around the world isn’t easy, but McDonald’s has built the ability to do just that.
Now, when competitors like Yum Brands (Yum) – Get Yum! Brands, Inc. report Taco Bell has taken a never-ending innovative, no-food-restriction approach to their menus—think chicken wings, nachos, and chicken-in-the-shell tacos—and McDonald’s has seen the wisdom of returning to Base.
Build McDonald’s around a fan favorite
CEO Chris Kempczinski spoke about the company’s “fan truth” concept during his chain’s first-quarter earnings call.
“Fan Truth unlocks this powerful connection. It creates a shared conversation, drawing on what our fans already love about us, celebrating the rituals and memories that make our brand so special to them,” he said.
“America did this first with Famous Orders, which leverages the simple fact that everyone has their own preferred order. This season, the menu hack promotion and our Super Bowl ad are how we find and identify the truth about our fans Prime examples and transforming what people already love (our food) into cultural moments to drive dialogue and connection.”
The CEO also explained why these promotions not only delight customers but keep restaurants running smoothly.
“And because these promotions feature existing core menu items, they don’t add complexity to restaurant operations,” he added.
McDonald’s builds on its core
As competitors expand their menu offerings to attract new customers or increase sales to existing customers, McDonald’s has decided to lean more toward what’s already working.
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“Our food is at the heart of our customers’ relationship with our brand. In fact, our core menu accounts for the majority of our business and growth. That’s why we continue to innovate classics,” Kempczinski said.
The chain does plan to add new menu items, but they will build on the existing platform.
“This quarter, we launched a new McCafe iced coffee blend in Australia with great results, and we continue to celebrate our core product while keeping it simple with innovative line extensions,” he said.
“In 2021 alone, we have more than 100 core product line expansions globally, which have driven significant sales growth. This quarter, the UK launched a limited-time chicken Big Mac, which quickly became a market-leading The most successful food promotion sells millions of sandwiches in the first two weeks.”
Big Macs feature heavily in these core expansions. These include Australia and Sweden seeing a “significant increase in total Big Mac sales” during the limited-time Bacon Mac sale.
“These core product line expansions provide new news for our beloved Big Mac and drive revenue growth, reminding customers why they love our core products like the Big Mac,” the CEO added.
“It reminds us of a simple fact: our menus should only contain products that deserve to be featured, no more and no less.”