McDonald's Readies MyMcDonald's But Are Franchisees Happy?
Loyalty programs have been a hit among customers for countless quick-service restaurants. Starbucks, Dunkin', Chipotle, Taco Bell and Domino's are just some of the companies that have built a dedicated customer base by offering rewards and promotions to members.
While these loyalty programs have proven successful, fast food giant McDonald's has been slow to introduce a loyalty program of its own in the U.S. despite long having a loyalty program for its McCafé drinks.
McDonald's announced in November it would finally pilot a new loyalty program called MyMcDonald's in Phoenix before launching across the U.S in 2021. Like most loyalty programs, MyMcDonald's aims to provide a personalized service while rewarding diners the more they spend.
With a national launch of MyMcDonald's anticipated this year, McDonald's confirmed the pilot is now being tested in New England, Nevada and Arizona. Approximately 900 of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. locations are currently part of the pilot.
Customers who use MyMcDonald's will earn 100 points for each dollar that they spend, while McDonald's will run targeted promotions that offer additional rewards opportunities. Rewards members will be able to redeem points across 16 menu items after hitting milestones of 1,500, 3,000, 4,500 and 6,000 points.
"Our customers have been clear, they want even easier ways to order a Big Mac and World Famous Fries and to be rewarded for their loyalty. With MyMcDonald's Rewards we're doing just that," McDonald's U.S. Vice President, digital customer experience and media Alycia Mason said. "These tests are the first step to gather valuable customer feedback ahead of a nationwide launch later this year."
McDonald's says more than 85% of the MyMcDonald's Rewards members that have participated in the pilot are satisfied.
However, not everyone is satisfied with the rapid changes taking place at McDonald's to improve the customer experience as the costs of doing so are coming due. According to Restaurant Business, McDonald's franchisees are reportedly unhappy about a handful of charges and subsidy cuts that could cost them an estimated $170 million this year.
McDonald's will now charge franchisees monthly for technology investments instead of every six months as McDonald's operators feel the company is increasingly passing along costs to them. Operators are paying McDonald's $250 million every year for technology fees as they also fight to gain more control over how much McDonald's spends on digital strategies.
While McDonald's is preparing for the launch of MyMcDonald's to give customers an improved experience, it may be coming at the expense of its relationship with its franchisees.
Tesla buys bitcoin. Tesla disclosed it has bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin as the company said it updated its investment policy to maximize returns on cash that isn't required to maintain operating liquidity. Tesla also said it expects to accept bitcoin for payment in the near future. "In January 2021, we updated our investment policy to provide us with more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash that is not required to maintain adequate operating liquidity," Tesla said in the filing. "Thereafter, we invested an aggregate $1.50 billion in bitcoin under this policy."
Hyundai squashes Apple car hopes. Hyundai Motor Co and its subsidiary Kia issued a statement shooting down recent rumors of talks with Apple regarding the development of an autonomous electric vehicle. "We are receiving requests for cooperation in joint development of autonomous electric vehicles from various companies, but they are at early stage and nothing has been decided," the automakers said. "We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles." The statement caused shares of Hyundai and Kia to lose a combined $8.5 billion in market capitalization after surging on the rumors in recent weeks.
Bumble ups IPO offering. Bumble is increasing the size of its upcoming IPO from 34.5 million shares to 45 million shares, according to an updated SEC filing. The dating app which lets women make the first move will now seek to raise $1.8 billion at a target valuation of $7 billion. The company now plans to price its shares between $37 to $39 per share compared to a previous range of $28 to $30 per share. Bumble will trade on the NASDAQ under the ticker BMBL.
Amazon orders hundreds of nat gas trucks. Amazon has ordered more than 700 compressed natural gas class 6 and class 8 trucks as it moves its fleet away from trucks that are heavier polluters. "Amazon is excited about introducing new sustainable solutions for freight transportation and is working on testing a number of new vehicle types including electric, CNG and others," Amazon said in a statement. The trucks will use an engine built through a joint venture between Cummins and Westport Fuel Systems.
Europe to attempt first satellite launch. Lockheed Martin will team up with ABL Space Systems to supply a rocket and launch services for a vertical satellite launch from Scotland in 2022, marking the first satellite launch from European soil. "We want the UK to be the first in Europe to launch small satellites into orbit, attracting innovative businesses from all over the world, accelerating the development of new technologies and creating hundreds of high-skilled jobs across the whole of the UK," UK Space Agency Deputy CEO Ian Annett said. "Lockheed Martin's selection of ABL Space Systems for their UK Pathfinder launch brings us one step closer to realising this ambition – putting the UK firmly on the map as Europe's leading small satellite launch destination."