Dec. 9 - Another disappointing month of U.S. same-store sales at McDonald's is leading to talk the steps the fast food giant has to take to get customers to once again say ''I'm lovin' it!'' Bobbi Rebell reports.
McDonald's makes more money than any other fast food chain- in the world. But their latest U.S. same store sales were weak- its core- low income customer- still feeling the economic pinch and rivals are taking market share. So step one to get in shape- is to put the menu on a diet: Their growing list of offerings has become a liability- making lattes is not the same as flipping burgers. Food industry consultant Dave Henkes of Technomic: SOUNDBITE: DAVID HENKES, VICE PRESIDENT, TECHNOMIC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think there is flow issues back of house within their kitchen and you know certainly as their menu has grown you've got to cook, you know, different than burger dishes and different from salad dishes and you know the equipment required to make some of the different specialty coffee drinks certainly requires a longer period of time to do that and so absolutely there is some probably products that could be cut back or pared back or trimmed back you know." Step #2: Avoid a crash diet on prices- slashing prices to drive sales could lead to slimmer profits. SOUNDBITE: DAVID HENKES, VICE PRESIDENT, TECHNOMIC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "55 percent of their consumers earning $50,000 or less that is a really challenged demographic right now and I think when you look at what they have done with innovation with some discounting it's all intended to drive short term traffic. So far it has been less than successful." Step #3: Get moving and speed it up: SOUNDBITE: DAVID HENKES, VICE PRESIDENT, TECHNOMIC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There is certainly a speed of service issue and I think the more they expand their menu and move away from their core burgers and fries and shakes and things like that the harder it is for them to be a quick service restaurant like they used to be so they have acknowledged that their speed of service and the overall customer experience has suffered over the last couple of years." And think out of the restaurant box- McDonald's is already planning to put its coffee in grocery stores to build brand awareness- if it works- that's a strategy they could expand.