McDonald’s domestic comparable-store sales for February fell 4 percent year-over-year, underscoring “the urgent need to evolve with today’s consumers, reset strategic priorities and restore business momentum,” the franchisor said today in an unusually reflective statement.
In the company’s first earnings report since changing CEOs, it acknowledged the need to “reassert McDonald’s as a modern, progressive burger company.” It revealed that the chain’s domestic operations had held a “Turnaround Summit” in the first few days of March to muster the energy and focus needed to reverse the brand’s long run of weak sales.
Steve Easterbrook took over the CEOs title on March 1 from Don Thompson, who said earlier in the year that he was retiring.
Same-store sales decreased 1.7 percent on a global basis, and systemwide sales—the intake of every franchised and company store in the chain—fell 12 percent in nominal terms. Adjusted for currency fluctuations, systemwide sales inched upward by half a percentage point.
Easterbrook’s predecessor had vowed to revive the chain by simplifying and regionalizing the menu, and by cutting bureaucracy to make the corporation more agile and responsive. Easterbrook has yet to reveal how he might tweak or radically change that strategy.