Is McDonald’s New App Just a Glorified Coupon?

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Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic and Bloomberg’s Alix Steel discuss the first smartphone app from McDonald’s on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

Joining us is our correspondent, alix steel.

Tell us more about what this is about.

What this is is a giant coupon.

You have a hot and spicy sandwich.

Here's the deal.

You download the app and they give you a coupon.

You go into a participating store and order to redeem it.

The goal is to expand the customer base to younger people and people with slightly higher incomes.

What it is not is the way to buy and order food online.

They began testing the app about a year ago.

The expanded it to cities like st.

Louis and boston.

It isn't 1000 stores.

The backdrop is really about this number.

They were down 8/10 of a percent in the u.s.. they have been struggling.

Is this going to work or help?

I think it will help.

Consumers in general, quite frankly, they are all looking for a deal.

Giving them deals will be another way to drive traffic.

Ultimately, across all generational groups that are looking for value today in addition to convenience and consistency.

It does not, getting more creative than a coupon.

It is an electronic coupon.

So of all of the things that you could do to grow your business, it seems like that is not that clever.

When you talk about mcdonald's, it comes down to convenience.

10 years ago, they were in the newspaper.

Most consumers to not want to use them.

Now, the mobile device has become the wallet.

To have that coupon in your wallet will pay -- when you will pay with your phone, it is a great convenience.

This does not address the other issue.

That is the obesity debate.

The continuing image on social media and elsewhere that the food that they produce is not real and it is high-fat.

It contributes to the obesity problem.

In consumers have grown up with that kind of view of mcdonald's. supersize me.

That was released 20 years ago.

They grew up with that image.

This does not address that image.

That is part of the reason people do not go into mcdonald's. i do not think it is designed to address that issue.

Today, indulgence and helpfulness are a balance.

Most consumers are looking for healthy options.

They are not necessarily taking them.

Food, flavor, and taste is what drives most of the purchases.

Many of those are fried foods and less healthy items.

What did this do to margins?

Discounts cannot be good.

Today, it is all about driving traffic through the door.

They have had six years of very positive success and growing sales.

Eventually, that will flatten out.

They can only service so many customers.

There is sensitivity by consumers.

To get more patients -- customers through the drive- through through, that is what is important.

Thank you so much.

The executive vice president and also to alix steel.

We will be back in just two minutes on "in the loop." ?

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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