McDonald’s US business is hoping that plans to develop a more individual relationship with its customers will help aid the fast food chain’s turnaround plan, speed up loyalty acquisition and stimulate sagging sales.
The US arm of McDonald’s has faced an uphill battle over the last few years. Rival quick-service and fast-casual chains have eaten into McDonald’s immense market share over the past 18 months leading to plummeting sales and the closure of 220 restaurants in the US and China.
However there is now a glimmer of hope: McDonald’s yesterday (10 November) told investors during an investor meeting that sales for the first time in two years rose by 0.2 per cent in the US, marking the first buds of spring in what has been an long lasting winter.
Speaking at the event, Mike Andres, president of McDonald’s USA, said that it will now turn its focus to digital platforms and launch a “mass personalisation” drive to engage with consumers on a one-to-one basis and target them with personalised offers.
“[The] digital platform will allow us to move from a transactional relationship to a more purposeful relationship where we understand them [customers] on an individual basis,” he said. “Think of this as mass personalisation. Launching the McDonald's app, which is now live in more than 13,000 restaurants, is an important first step; it lays the foundation for our digital strategy.”
The app has had over 3.3m downloads and over 2.8m offer redemptions since going live. Where these offer redemptions are available via the mobile app, 95 per cent of US restaurants are generating a higher average order.
“Our digital strategy will enable us to enhance the service experience, capture additional demand and engage with our customers through innovative and personal ways,” continued Andres. “Through that we will also be able to provide individual, value conscious customers with one-to-one offers targeted specifically to them. We are committed to these short and long term priorities because we believe they will help us regain our leadership position in the eyes of our customers.”
McDonald’s also revealed that it has raised its global refranchising target to 4,000 restaurants by 2018, with a new long-term goal to become 95 per cent franchised.