McD Feels “Urgency” To Revamp Formula

Short-term operational and cost-cutting moves and new products, including an entree salad, also were discussed during a conference call with analysts.

A premium salad line, now testing at about $3.99 in 600 stores to compete with Wendy’s and Burger King’s salads, will go national in November, despite fall being a traditionally weak season for salads (vs. summer). This is part of a “McDonald’s on the move,” said Greenberg, also citing a breakfast Sausage McGriddle and new sandwiches to bow next year.

Mike Roberts, president, McDonald’s USA, said the rollout was “accelerated” due to test success that included stores averaging 300-400 salads a week in New York vs. lower-priced salad shakers’ sales of 150 a week.

Executives said that 14 days into its value strategy of October, U.S. store sales increased 1.5%-2%, check averages dropped fewer than two cents and food costs rose less than half a percent.

The current value campaign, started Oct. 4 featuring a Big n’ Tasty or McChicken sandwich for $1, will add TV spots featuring tennis sisters Venus and Serena Williams and McDonaldland characters. Roberts mentioned Trump’s book title, “The Art of the Deal” as a theme of the value campaign, possibly a nod to Dollar menu creative to come in future spots via DDB, Chicago.

Greenberg added that with the value strategy’s traffic increases, “People start to buy what their favorites are and start to experiment with the menu.”