Has Public Perception Shift Toward McDonald’s Aided Growth in Brand Loyalty?

Many have said that, since he took over as CEO in 2015, Steve Easterbook has reinvented McDonald’s. During that time, the company’s shares have soared 65 percent while its recent third quarter revealed highly impressive global comp sales growth of 6 percent and domestic growth of 4.1 percent.

“Our momentum continued to build the business in the third quarter,” Easterbrook noted during this week’s third-quarter earnings call. This marks nine consecutive quarters of global comparable sales growth and our third consecutive quarter of comparable guest count growth. We’re building a better McDonald’s and winning back customers with great-tasting food, compelling value, and an enhanced experience.”

In each of these areas, Easterbrook added, “our markets have built sustainable platforms, integrated and grounded in deep local insights. They’ve enabled us to move with greater speed, efficiency, and impact to meet the evolving needs of our customers. While we’ve been building momentum across the McDonald’s system, and our performance is globally broad-based, I’m particularly pleased that the U.S. business has regained its stride.”

During the quarter, the company re-franchised its businesses in China and Hong Kong, reaching its goal of re-franchising 4,000 restaurants more than a year ahead of schedule.

“Our Velocity Growth Plan is the right strategy for McDonald’s to achieve long-term, profitable growth and we are on track to succeed with our commitment and focus on execution,” Easterbrook said. “We’ve made progress in many areas of our business already, including optimizing our restaurant ownership mix and running better restaurants. At the same time, we also are making strides with initiatives such as delivery, mobile order and pay, as well as the Experience of the Future transformation of our restaurants that will make the experience more convenient, personalized, and enjoyable for our customers.”

Evan Magliocca, brand marketing manager for Baseman Insights & Marketing, offered his thoughts on McDonald’s to Loyalty360.

“McDonald’s leadership has the right priorities,” Magliocca explained. “Achieving value, speed, and efficiency are easy wins to increase profitability right now. Leadership also has the long-term vision to realize that food delivery, mobile payments, and changes to the restaurant experience will be paramount to profitability in the future.”

Magliocca also believes that the public perception of McDonald’s has shifted.

“They’ve had a long-term campaign to increase the quality of their food,” he added. “They’ve conveyed that idea to customers for years. It’s finally paying off as Americans are a driving force behind their recent growth.” 

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