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Food & Drink

McDonald's U.S. Sales Haven't Grown In Seven Months

Since October, McDonald’s (MCD) has expanded its Dollar Menu & More, introduced a premium Clubhouse Burger, and offered free morning coffee to lure breakfast customers. And for what? The company reported a 1 percent decrease in U.S. same-store sales in May, the seventh consecutive month that sales have failed to rise.

To address the issue, “McDonald’s U.S. business is heightening its customer focus through service, value and menu initiatives to stabilize results,” according to a release from the company. Chief Executive Officer Don Thompson said during an earnings call in April that the chain is focused on making its menu more appealing, remodeling restaurants to add Wi-Fi and additional modern amenities, opening more restaurants, and reaching customers online. He said, “It will take time for consumers to notice the changes and reward us with increased visits. This is not about a silver bullet.”

The company has also adjusted its marketing calendar so operations aren’t choked up by too many product introductions, and it is refocusing on core products such as the Big Mac, Egg McMuffin, and fries, which contribute about 40 percent of sales and already have a loyal customer following. “Marketing our core products drive sales,” said Thompson at a conference last month.

Broadly, he said, new menu items will be focused on “premium” beef, chicken, breakfast, and such beverages as coffee and blended ice drinks. The company has also been working on defining and marketing “sustainable beef” and adding fruits and vegetables to meals, so consumers feel better about eating at the chain known best for quick burgers. Will it work? Tune in next month.

Wong is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow her on Twitter @venessawwong.

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