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The Power List
McDonald's Steve Easterbrook McDonald's

The Power List 2018: Steve Easterbrook

The annual NRN Power List is the definitive list of people setting foodservice trends today and shaping them for tomorrow. See the full list >>

The Comeback Artist

Steve Easterbrook’s initiatives to turn around flagging sales at the world’s biggest restaurant chain are taking hold. U.S. same-store sales were up 4.1 percent in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Investors are responding. McDonald’s stock price is up 43 percent year over year as of Jan 17.

Power List rank: No. 1

Known for: Since taking the helm as McDonald’s CEO in 2015, Easterbrook has been charged with reversing the brand’s slump. Easterbrook notably led the charge for all-day breakfast in 2016, which was welcomed by customers.

Power move: It’s been a busy year for Easterbrook. McDonald’s committed to serving fresh beef Quarter Pounders nationwide by mid-2018 to help the chain compete with the better burger category. The chain added mobile order and pay to thousands of restaurants and partnered with UberEats for delivery. McDonald’s continues to tweak the menu with the launch of a Signature Craft sandwich line, the relaunch of the McCafe beverage program and the addition of slushies.

What’s next: McDonald’s is not forgetting its value positioning. To engage the budget-conscious consumer, McDonald’s launched a tiered value menu with items priced at $1, $2 and $3. The popular Happy Meal is now available at the $3 level. The chain also announced it would be saying goodbye to foam packaging and moving to entirely renewable and recycled packaging by 2025.

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