Each week, NRN editor-in-chief Sarah Lockyer gives you her take on the top restaurant industry news.
This week’s restaurant news was focused on three M’s: menu, mobile and marketing.
McDonald’s said it would slash eight menu items next month and reduce the number of Extra Value Menu items in an attempt to improve its service model and begin the process of evaluating each item the brand offers. According to reports, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson admitted in a lengthy investor meeting this week that the chain had lost touch with consumers’ changing diet habits. Same-store sales results have proved that for some time, with U.S. results falling 2.3 percent this year, and declining 4.6 percent in November.
In other menu news, the NRN audience was eager to hear from Starbucks, which said it has plans in place for a big focus on food. The company has pledged to double its domestic revenue from food to more than $4 billion over the next five years. Tactics will include the use of its acquired La Boulange brand to support more breakfast offerings, and a Starbucks Evening platform, with beer, wine and snacks for a later crowd.
And what’s tying these initiatives together? A focus on mobile marketing, ordering and payment. No restaurant brand today is considering major menu or marketing moves without a filter of mobile compatibility first and foremost. McDonald’s said it would look to online ordering, and Starbucks is far ahead many brands with its app, loyalty program and tests of an order-ahead feature. Latest to the mobile frenzy is Chick-fil-A, which rolled out mobile payments via its app nationwide on Monday.
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