McDonald’s Task Force Wants Simpler Menu

The task force said McDonald's customers were being bombarded with an increasing number of messages and promotional clutter inside restaurants. The internal report said a test in an outlet with far fewer messages led to higher sales and per-customer spending.

Yahoo News
April 5, 2001

McDonald’s Task Force Wants Simpler Menu

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A McDonald's Corp. (NYSE:MCD - news) task force has recommended that the world's largest restaurant simplify its menu and meal promotions in order to boost sales, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

The Chicago Tribune said a five-year plan drafted by a ''high-level task force'' at McDonald's predicted the company would increase sales by simplifying the menu to focus diners' attention on core items.

The task force also recommended limiting the variety of sizes for drinks and french fries and reducing promotional material in restaurants.

Word of the internal plan, which the Tribune said was presented to McDonald's staff in January, came at a time when the fast-food giant had been adding to its menu options.

For example, the company's New Tastes Menu, announced on Jan. 17, added a roster of more than 40 specialty items, including several chicken and pork sandwiches, that U.S. regional franchisee groups would add to their menus on a seasonal basis. Each group would promote four items for six to eight weeks at a time.

Also, McDonald's on Friday launched a new version of its popular children's Happy Meal, featuring bigger portions for older kids.

The task force said McDonald's customers were being bombarded with an increasing number of messages and promotional clutter inside restaurants, the Tribune reported. The internal report said a test in an outlet with far fewer messages led to higher sales and per-customer spending.

The task force also addressed the costs of staff turnover, the newspaper said. Its recommendations included better pay for managers and improved benefits for restaurant employees, such as free meals, the Tribune said. Crews currently pay half-price for meals.

McDonald's representatives were not immediately available for comment on the report.

McDonald's share price has been under pressure as the company's European sales have been hurt by the spread of mad cow disease and a resulting decline in demand for beef. Earlier this month, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said the growing meat scare in Europe would hurt its first-quarter earnings.


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