McDonald’s Heads Toward Expanded Brand Loyalty

McDonald’s CEO Stephen J. Easterbrook is confident that his company is headed in the right direction, with the ultimate goal of attracting more customers, more often.

Easterbrook’s three crucial goals toward expanded brand loyalty are digital, delivery, and “Experience of the Future.”

Officials at McDonald’s, which recorded a 4 percent rise in global comparable sales in the first quarter, are keen to fortify their foundation. Clearly, things are headed in the right direction.

“Today, we’re running better restaurants,” Easterbrook said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call. “We’re keenly focused on operations excellence and on the fundamentals of quality, service, cleanliness, and value. And it’s making a difference for customers.”

Easterbrook noted the company’s greatest opportunities lie at the core of the business.

“We’re continuing to gain momentum as we build a better McDonald’s, one that delights customers with the taste and quality of our food, offers the highest level of convenience, and provides great value,” he said. “And as we shift from revitalizing the business to strengthening and growing it, we’re going to talk about the moves we are making within the context of our Velocity Growth Plan.”

The McDonald’s Velocity Growth Plan is designed to grow guest counts by retaining customers who visit, regain lapsed customers, and convert casual customers to committed customers, giving each of them more reasons to visit McDonald’s more often.

“At the same time, we’re creating the best experience for customers, leveraging our size and scale,” Easterbrook said. “We’re prioritizing three velocity accelerators designed to drive growth on top of everything else we’re doing, and those three are digital, delivery and Experience of the Future, or as we call it EOTF. Taken together, these actions enable us to bring the biggest benefit to the most customers in the shortest possible time.”

What’s more, food quality is a major focus.

“We know consumers place a high value on taste,” Easterbrook noted. “Serving delicious food is imperative. And as good taste and quality are so closely interrelated, we also continue to build on the moves we’ve made with cage-free eggs and sustainable beef to improve the quality of our food. Last month, we announced that we will serve fresh quarter pound beef patties prepared when ordered in U.S. restaurants by mid-2018. I had the chance to taste the burgers and talk with customers and franchisees in Dallas and Kevin did the same in Tulsa, and we both left convinced that customers will appreciate the improvement as we bring fresh beef around the U.S.”

As McDonald’s expands its menu to offer premium burgers in markets around the world, “we’re tapping into our restaurant operations expertise to serve customers quickly and efficiently,” Easterbrook added. “We’ve recently launched Gourmet Creations in Australia and we’ll launch the Signature Crafted platform in U.S. restaurants next week. We’re taking significant steps forward on what matters most to customers and I’m confident it will make a difference for our business and our brands.”

Chirpify CEO Chris Teso told Loyalty360 that McDonald’s is looking to tap into a growing trend among customers–the desire for utility.

“To truly make inroads into their three key tenets, it will be important for McDonald’s to connect their mobile interface to meaningful experiences and consumer programs that increase customer acquisition, loyalty, and personalization,” Teso explained.

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