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McDonald's Unveils Its New Growth Strategy

Image via Sepet on Unsplash

McDonald's reported third quarter earnings yesterday, announcing that despite global comparable sales dropping by 2.2%, monthly comparable sales improved sequentially for all segments during the quarter.

"The resilience of the McDonald's system was on display during the third quarter as the competitive strength of our business and the 3 D's – Digital, Delivery and Drive Thru – led to significant global comparable sales recovery," McDonald's CFO Kevin Ozan said.

McDonald's also unveiled its new Growth Strategy, announcing it will focus on maximizing marketing, committing to its classic offerings and doubling down on the 3 D's.

The biggest surprise was the announcement of the McPlant, which is a "plant-based burger crafted for McDonald's, by McDonald's." McDonald's said it expects markets to begin testing the McPlant next year. The McPlant platform could hypothetically be expanded to include plant-based chicken or sausage for breakfast items.

The announcement sent shares of Beyond Meat tumbling more than 10% as investors had hoped McDonald's would partner with them for a plant-based offering. A few hours later, Beyond Meat shares soared and recovered the morning's losses after a Beyond Meat representative said the two companies "co-created the plant-based patty which will be available as part of their McPlant platform."

McDonald's will still focus on its classics—the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder and Cheeseburger, while also introducing the Crispy Chicken Sandwich across the U.S. next year.

"It will be simple, but fantastic – a craveable crispy chicken fillet, topped with crinkle cut pickles and butter, all served on a toasted potato roll," McDonald's said. "Our customers asked for it and we can't wait for them to get a taste."

With the company's 25,000 drive thrus proving vital during the coronavirus pandemic, McDonald's announced some of the drive thru concepts they're testing. Among them is a smaller restaurant dedicated to drive thru, takeaway and delivery with limited or no dine-in seating.

Another concept being tested is an ordering and ID system that will identify customers at the display screen and streamline the ordering and payment process. McDonald's is also testing express pickup, which will include dedicated parking spaces for customers to park while employees bring out their food and an express drive thru for customers who place orders on the app.

McDonald's also announced it will revamp its packaging and introduce a loyalty program called MyMcDonald's, which can make menu recommendations and customize rewards based on past orders. Testing for MyMcDonald's will begin in Phoenix with a wider rollout next year.

McDonald's is proving it continues to innovate and its Growth Strategy shows it has a little bit of something for everyone.

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