McDonald’s chicken sandwich McDonald's
McDonald's new crispy chicken sandwich, launched in February, has been contributing to sales growth.

McDonald’s sales growth driven by K-pop band BTS partnership, new chicken sandwich

Digital marketing promotions and new menu items credited with second quarter 25.9% U.S. same-store sales growth

McDonald’s saw major growth for the second quarter ended June 30, with global same-store sales up 40.5% and U.S. same-store sales up 25.5%, driven by the success of their new chicken sandwich and popular digital marketing initiative with K-pop band BTS, according to the company’s earnings call on Wednesday.

“Our performance in the U.S. is the result of an accumulation of decisions that we've made over the last 18 months, including bold marketing initiatives, investing in the core menu and strengthening our digital offerings, with an underlying focus on running great restaurants," executive vice president and chief financial officer Kevin Ozan said Wednesday. “[Average check growth] has been bolstered by growth in delivery and digital platforms as well as robust menu and marketing programs. This includes an advertising re-hit of our Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which continues to perform at an elevated level, and the success of our BTS meal.”

According to CEO Chris Kempczinski, since the Famous Orders platform partnership with BTS launched in May, adding Sweet Chili and Cajun dipping sauces for Chicken McNuggets to the menu, along with merch for the K-pop band, the specialty menu items broke sales records with BTS fans around the world.

“As we create more personal and seamless McDonald's experiences and make it easier for our crew to connect with our customers, we're giving customers multiple reasons to continue to come back to McDonald's,” Kempczinski said Wednesday. “By using digital, we'll also leverage our advantages in value and convenience, daypart and menu breadth and our biggest advantage, our size and scale.”

McDopnald’s successful celebrity marketing partnerships are not the only digital initiatives the chain has focused on recently: the national launch of MyMcDonald's Rewards earlier this month is already seeing returns, even ahead of the company’s national marketing campaign for the new rewards platform. According to Kempczinski, they already have 12 million MyMcDonald’s Rewards signups since launching the platform.

With the push for both digital marketing and renewed focus on customer loyalty, McDonald’s created the new position of global chief customer officer, with the appointment of Manu Steijaert to the new role.

“MyMcDonald’s Rewards is just the first example of how we will lead as a digital innovator by leveraging our scale and engaging with our customers in a truly integrated way,” Kempczinski said. “Manu is the ideal choice to integrate these teams and take their work to the next level, with an intense focus on driving incomparable customer-centric innovation.”

McDonald’s revenue was up 57% to $5.9 billion for the second quarter ended June 30. Income was up $2.2 billion or $2.95 earnings per share from $483 million or $0.95 earnings per share during the same quarter at the height of the pandemic last year.

As of June 30, 2021, McDonald’s has 39,396 restaurants systemwide globally.

Contact Joanna at joanna.fantozzi@informa.com

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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