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Strategic Planning and Management Insights

McDonald's Updates Its Strategy to Rekindle Customers and Address Fast Casual Competition

[fa icon="calendar"] March 03 / by Anthony Taylor

I can't think of an industry that is more competitive than restaurants and fast food.

With the changes in food quality (from a production perspective) and the changes in demand (from a consumer perspective), it has shaken up with fast food industry and taken a bite (pardon the pun) from some of the big players that have been slow to adapt and change.

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Their previous strategy got away from their core competencies, and instead of focusing on their customers and their needs, McDonald's tried to replicate certain aspects of the "fast casual" trend without changing their core business to offer more value in the process.

That strategy did not work and margins and profits continued to fall. This forced a change in the leadership, and with it came a new CEO. Since McDonald's is such a big company (whose stock price is analyzed constantly) there are many people suggesting what their new strategy should be.

According to their CEO (via: Business insider) their strategic priorities include:

  1. Improving food quality and adapting to consumer preferences. ( A must)
  2. Looking at their global business because that's where they still have room to grow.
  3. Using technology to increase customer service.

If your business is in a place where it needs to drastically adapt its strategy:

First: Look at the internal and external environments that your company operates in. Don't make assumptions. Get hard facts through research, focus groups and other primary and secondary research. 

Second: Figure out who your core customer is and how you can best service them.

Third: Figure out what your competitive advantage is or how you can create one based on your existing competencies.

No matter what happens with McDonalds, their new strategy (if it's successful) may have an impact on the rest of the world, even beyond restaurants and fast food. For example: Imagine if they start using guacamole in their burgers. How many avocados do you think they would need every year? What will their impact be on producers? They will increase the demand, but while also demanding the lowest price possible.

Or if they sell more burgers, it may further increase the price of beef for all consumers (Households included). McDonald's has a big stick in the world of business, and no matter what industry you are in, their strategy affects the world around it.

When you're building your strategy, don't forget to think about the people and other businesses that might have an indirect affect on your business as well.

 

Sources:

http://www.qsrmagazine.com/fast-casual/tale-two-brands

http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/mcdonald-s-ceo-2015-a-year-gaining-momentum/296765/

http://www.businessinsider.com/mcdonalds-new-ceo-strategy-2015-3

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102469451#. (New McDonald's CEO: What investors want to know)

 

Learn how working with a facilitator can help you make the most of your next strategy meeting: 

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Topics: Business strategy, Business news, case study

Anthony Taylor

Written by Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor is thought leader on strategy and leadership. He's a published author on the subject of entrepreneurship and strategy, Anthony can be found doing keynotes in both French and English. You can connect with him on Twitter @anthonyctaylor and have him work with your team on your strategy and organizational development.

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