McDonald’s Will Spend the Next 18 Months Rebranding

New menu and restaurant remodels aim to combat sliding sales

Amid anemic sales, employee pay issues, and an increasingly bad dietary reputation, McDonald’s has announced it will devote the next 18 months to rebranding itself as not only a cheap food destination but an appealing and high-quality one, as well. Call it a McSoulSearch.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported that the company “told investors this week it is taking the next year and a half to regroup” and that the change “won’t necessarily involve the typical hallmarks of a rebrand, such as a new logo or total design overhaul.” Instead, the chain will focus on improving customer service, adjusting its menu, and retooling marketing efforts, particularly online and in social media. (According to the social media analysis firm Infegy, 38 percent of online conversation about the Golden Arches last year were negative.)

Following, perhaps, in the footsteps of Chipotle—which, according to MediaBistro's AgencySpy, has surpassed the fast food chain in sales growth—McDonald promises to add “sustainable beef” and more fruit and vegetables to its menu. In addition, it will be remodeling its restaurants, adding more locations, and offering WiFi.

Chief executive Don Thompson said during an earnings call on Tuesday that the goal is to make McDonald’s a “more trusted and respected brand” and to create an experience that “customers will feel good about.”

Fans of the chain don’t need to worry about menu staples getting lost in the revamp. According to Thompson, the Big Mac, fries, and Egg McMuffin—which together represent some 40 percent of all sales—will remain at the forefront of the restaurant’s improved menu.