As I write this I have just had my favorite McDonald’s lunch of a grilled chicken wrap, I have it so often that the nice woman at the local McDonald’s recognizes my voice.
I tell you this to lead into the focus of today’s blog – how McDonald’s devised a “Plan to Win” strategy they have followed over the past few years to focus on food quality and customer service rather than expansion. As a result I am an example of a consumer who has returned as a McDonald’s customer.
Yesterday’s Sunday Business in The New York Times ran a front of section story headlined “The Happiest Meal: Hot Profits”.
The article chronicles how the company’s mission went from “Being the world’s best quick serve restaurant” to “Being our customer’s favorite place and way to eat”, said the former global chief marketing officer who is quoted in the article.
Here is an example of a company that had it all – yet lost sight of giving the customer what they really wanted; quality food and service.
It’s a great article if you get a chance to read it, but it’s also a lesson for all of us. The message here isn’t about losing market share of taking your eye off the ball; it’s about recovering and reinventing.
Yesterday McDonald’s was proudly known as fast, cheap and everywhere. Today they have pulled back on expansion and focus on the desires of today’s consumer. Their goal is to be known as offering high quality food at a great value with speed and convenience.
Watch what else McDonald’s does in the months ahead; McCafes, new menu items (think of McDonald’s Lattes competing with Starbucks), more 24 hour restaurants and new ways to enhance the customer’s experience.
If a corporation that large can turn around and be profitable (share prices have soared over the last 6 years) imagine what a nimble entrepreneur can do!
Lesson here: Listen to your customer and live by the answer to this question:
“Why do our customers need us?”