McDonald’s may have sold more than247 billion hamburgers since eventual owner Ray Kroc opened his first franchise in 1955, but things have apparently slowed down a little bit for the fast-food powerhouse.
January marked the first time in nine years that Mickey D’s reported that its same-store sales in the U.S. went down,according to the Chicago Tribune. The word is that sales at franchise locations that have been open for more than a year went down 2.2 percent. In Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, same-store sales also took a similar decline. The announcement, however, isn’t shocking since fast food has been taking a hit across the board due to consumers being more vigilant about where their dollars (and calories) are spent.
FoxNews.com notes that McDonald’s competitors have been rolling out new products. Burger King “has focused on value-priced foods like its Barbecued Chicken and Pulled Pork sandwiches” and it has reintroduced its Chicken Parmesan sandwich with a different patty. Wendy’s has got a new Bacon Portabella Melt cheeseburger “and is considering different bread options such as wheat or focaccia buns.” Taco Bell has a hit with its new Doritos Locos Tacos and Cantina Bell bowls and burritos. Plus, it’s got a whole new dessert menu on the way. Fox also notes that McDonald’s has been trying to do battle with Starbucks by offering new coffee options but the coffee giant fought back with a Groupon that garnered more than 1.5 million customers in one day.
So what is Ronald going to do about it? Switch up its menu a little bit. The Tribune reports that those who venture beneath the Golden Arches should snap up the apple walnut salad and Chicken Selects because those are going the way of the McDLT. Another menu item that may get removed is the Angus Burger, which only made its debut in 2009. The product chop will be so the company will have room to add new items in the spring or summer such as the McWrap and possibly chicken wings.
Of course the recent news of sickly, chemical-ridden chickens in China being sold to fast food chains there as well as the recurring reports of horse meat showing up in places that it shouldn’t has also hurt fast food sales worldwide, even though “Chinese authorities cleared McDonald's and KFC owner Yum Brands Inc.” of having served any birds “laced with excessive chemicals,” Reuters reports. The key word there is “excessive.” Yum, indeed.