McDonald's global headquarters is concerned customers aren't lovin' it anymore, and is working on a plan to win them back.
The world's largest burger chain is planning to restructure its global empire, slash costs and spruce up its menu in a turnaround plan released today called "a modern, progressive burger company."
"No business or brand has a divine right to succeed, and the reality is our recent performance has been poor," chief executive Steve Easterbrook said in a 23-minute video.
"The message is clear. We are not on our game."
The 60-year-old company wants to sell 3500 corporate-run restaurants to independent owners by the end of 2018, a "refranchising" Easterbrook said would bring in more predictable cash flow and thin the support system needed for corporate stores. The fast-food joint also plans to cut $300 million a year in costs, though it didn't detail how that would affect jobs.
Currently 81 per cent of McDonald's 36,200 restaurants around the world are franchised, a figure the company wants to raise to 90 percent over the next four years.
McDonald's New Zealand spokesman Simon Kenny declined to comment on how Easterbrook's plans would affect McDonald's New Zealand stores.
The company currently has 164 restaurants in New Zealand, 37 of which are owned by the company.
Kenny also declined to comment on whether the same push to franchise the company's stores would occur here.
Easterbrook said besides the internal changes, the golden arches had also made one of its three priorities "returning excitement to our brand," including by launching home delivery today in New York City.
The company is already testing an all-day breakfast menu in San Diego and a "Create Your Taste" option that lets people build their own burgers.
The gourmet burger service, including table service, was trialled at McDonald's Balmoral store in Auckland in January, and in the last month the service has been rolled out to two restaurants in Rotorua, two in Christchurch and one in Albany.
"The initial response from customers across the six restaurants has been very positive," Kenny said.
A scaled-down version of the programme, called "Taste Crafted" is being trialled at some American drive-throughs, but there were currently no plans to bring it here, Kenny said.
"We'll watch with interest how 'taste crafted' goes."
When McDonald's San Diego all-day breakfast trial was announced in March, Kenny said they were aware of the trial and would be monitoring its success.
McDonald's New Zealand trialled an all-day breakfast a number of years ago, but the trial wasn't hugely popular, so was ended, he said.
The company is also announced in March that it intended to stop buying chicken treated with antibiotics and milk from cows treated with an artificial growth hormone for its US restaurants.
At the time, McDonald's NZ spokeswoman Kim Bartlett said the company's chicken suppliers in NZ were Inghams and Tegel foods, "so the chicken is the same as what you would buy in the supermarket".
"Antibiotics of importance to human health are already very rarely used," Bartlett said.
The company also said last month it planned to close about 700 of its more than 36,000 worldwide stores this year, twice as many as expected, but raise wages at its corporate-run U.S. restaurants.
McDonald's sales in Asia plunged last summer after a supplier was accused of shipping expired meat, and sales in Europe have proved incredibly slow.
Following Monday's announcement, the company's stock fell less than 1 per cent in early trading and has since sagged more than 2 per cent.
However with 14,000 American restaurants, McDonald's remains the king of American fast food: Its $35 billion in U.S. sales last year, industry data shows, were more than Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A and KFC combined.
- Additional reporting: Washington Post.