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McDonalds' "Plan to Win" Growth Strategy


Chris Hennes
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From this (extensive) article at fastcompany.com:

McDonald's grown-up thinking about design is part of its "Plan to Win" growth strategy, initiated in 2003 when executives realized their core markets had gorged on expansion.[...] The Golden Arches increasingly looked like a corporate shrug, and its stock price dipped below $13 a share.

Since that nadir, the Plan to Win has helped drive the stock up 437%. The strategy's three pillars are menu innovation, store renovation, and an upgrade of the ordering experience. McDonald's efficiency and its continued expansion of premium menu items -- snack wraps! sweet tea! frappes! -- has helped boost the average annual store gross by 25% over the past six years to around $2 million.

The next phase, McDonald's execs say, depends on design. "People eat with their eyes first," says president and COO Don Thompson. "If you have a restaurant that is appealing, contemporary, and relevant both from the street and interior, the food tastes better."

McDonalds is rolling out a $2.4 billion redesign of their dining spaces. The theory is that the new look gets people to eat there more often, and buy more (and more expensive) food when they are there. What do you want to see in a redesigned McDonalds eating area? How would you design the space to make you want to eat there (assuming, of course, that you like the food already, since presumably you wouldn't be there otherwise!).

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I don't know if the McDonald's around me have already been redesigned or what, but all of the new ones look amazing and the older ones have been remodeled. They have (apparently) granite counter tops where you order, nice tile flooring, and a hearth area with a plasma tv, fireplace, and nice comfy leather chairs. The new redesigned models are being marketed as the McCafe's. I must say, they do look very nice, and they achieved the sophisticated style they were going for, as long as the kids aren't crying for their happy meal toys.

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Bells and whistle that won't mean anything until McDonald's brings back the quality, service and cleanliness of Ray Krok's era. Today's product is so different and so bad compared to what came fresh off the grill way back when.

Ditto what Holly said. Decor don't mean nuthin' if the food sucks. Even the fries are lousy these days, and I used to be a staunch defender of Mickey D's fries.

They could line the counters with 24K gold, and offer me a free massage with every Big Mac, and if they served the food they offer now, I wouldn't go for it if they paid ME to eat it.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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It would be amusing if, after all that complex investment, marketing, branding and aesthetic cleverness, McDonald's simply decided to make the food better and that increased demand. I guess the research indicates that people just don't care if the food is good?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Heh. I'll take edible food from a ratty hole in the wall any day over what they are serving these days, remolded and pretty or not.

The menu has been down to one thing I consider edible, the fish sandwich. Not much else I can stomach, aside from the fries of course.

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In terms of fries and fish sandwiches, it's hard to beat McD's fries, but Jack in the Box definitely has a better fish filet.

And I love trying dives -- where I live, most restaurants (90+%) would qualify as dives -- but I've gotten food poisoning from them far too many times. I've never once gotten sick from fast food. Corporate America definitely has Mom & Pop beat on food safety, without question.

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It would be amusing if, after all that complex investment, marketing, branding and aesthetic cleverness, McDonald's simply decided to make the food better and that increased demand. I guess the research indicates that people just don't care if the food is good?

Dude, I totally agree. They can't seem to follow even their own crappy recipes. How about just doing that? How about just making their food with better fresher ingredients (or just fresh)? And then just having people give a crap when they put this isht together? Corporate can say what they want, but unless the franchisees actually make the food somewhat close to what it looks like in the adverts, people will and should assume it's the same old crap... wilted lettuce, horrible excuses for tomato, and should I even mention the meat (ammonia anyone? http://www.nytimes.c...agewanted=all). They can make frapuccinos and sweet tea all they want. But every time I walk into their store at Golden Gate and Van Ness, it turns my stomach and I have to walk out. I don't care that it's cheap and convenient. I don't care that I only have a dollar. I just see the quality of what they are serving to paying customers and I walk out.

Edited by fiftydollars (log)
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McCafe is well established at Maccas in Australia. They usually have at least a separate ordering and serving area at the counter (although you can then usually order at the same counter as the regular food). In many locations the McCafe is at a separate counter in the building. They have coffee, muffins, cakes, and biscuits. The coffee isn't as good as the better real cafes or even as good as Starbucks but is drinkable IMO. That and free WiFi have made me a convert. The ambiance is quite a bit better with even the little amount of remodeling if the TV isn't too loud - but it had nowhere to go but up, eh?

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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How does one make a drive through more compelling? :unsure::wink:

As others have mentioned, it is really about food. There are plenty of nicely designed McDonald's restaurants around. The decor isn't what's keeping me from frequenting them.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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  • 3 years later...

From this (extensive) article at fastcompany.com:

McDonald's grown-up thinking about design is part of its "Plan to Win" growth strategy, initiated in 2003 when executives realized their core markets had gorged on expansion.[...] The Golden Arches increasingly looked like a corporate shrug, and its stock price dipped below $13 a share.

Since that nadir, the Plan to Win has helped drive the stock up 437%. The strategy's three pillars are menu innovation, store renovation, and an upgrade of the ordering experience. McDonald's efficiency and its continued expansion of premium menu items -- snack wraps! sweet tea! frappes! -- has helped boost the average annual store gross by 25% over the past six years to around $2 million.

The next phase, McDonald's execs say, depends on design. "People eat with their eyes first," says president and COO Don Thompson. "If you have a restaurant that is appealing, contemporary, and relevant both from the street and interior, the food tastes better."

McDonalds is rolling out a $2.4 billion redesign of their dining spaces. The theory is that the new look gets people to eat there more often, and buy more (and more expensive) food when they are there. What do you want to see in a redesigned McDonalds eating area? How would you design the space to make you want to eat there (assuming, of course, that you like the food already, since presumably you wouldn't be there otherwise!).

We cant simply write of their growth strategy plans.McDonalds knows how to do the business well.Lets wait and watch.

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