McDonald’s U.K. Reduces Use of Coupons, Discounts, CEO Says

McDonald’s Corp. is moving away from discounting and coupons in the U.K. in favor of everyday low prices to keep enticing cash-strapped Britons to its restaurants, said Jill McDonald, head of that business.

“What is more important than one-off tactical vouchering is having everyday affordable pricing,” the executive said in an interview at the Retail Week Conference in London today. “Over the last four years we have weaned ourselves off the big, national buy-one-get-one-free-type deals.”

The world’s largest restaurant chain, which has more than 1,200 stores in the U.K., is outperforming the market as it focuses on value-for-money, she said. McDonald’s is adding 2,500 new staff this year, and is investing in improving service, food quality and restaurant environments, the executive said.

“It is undoubtedly extremely tough for customers,” she said, citing concern about unemployment. “It’s not going to get easier anytime soon, so brands that can differentiate themselves and can get that value-for-money equation right are the ones that will win out.”

McDonald’s rose 0.3 percent to $97.09 at 10:19 a.m. in New York.

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