Wednesday, 20 October 2021

McDonald’s beats sales forecast on new deals, store revamp

NEW YORK: McDonald’s Corp beat quarterly sales expectations at established US restaurant, as the world’s largest burger chain attracted more diners with upgraded stores and new promotions, such as the 2 for $5 Mix and Match deal.

The company’s stock, a component of the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial index, rose as much as 2% to a record high of $218.96, the third major restaurant chain to hit a peak this week.

McDonald’s is the latest restaurant chain to report solid growth, driven by new menu additions, expanded delivery services and tech-enhanced stores, and follows strong US sales numbers from Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and Starbucks Corp .

“These three (companies) are using their operating scale and their business strength to essentially outflank smaller competitors and generate very strong sales growth and profit,” Telsey Advisory Group analyst Bob Derrington said.

The US restaurant market has been stagnant with lower customer traffic in recent years, dogged by increasing number of competitors among fast-food chains and the entry of delivery services such as DoorDash and Uber Eats, forcing established chains to find new ways of attracting and retaining customers.

McDonald’s, like many of its peers, has been remodeling its 14,000 restaurants in the United States – its biggest market – by introducing digital ordering kiosks, upgrading its mobile app and adding pay and pickup services to replicate its success in international markets. The company has also tweaked its offerings by adding deals such as the $1, $2, $3 value menu as well as a wider variety of breakfast items like Donut Sticks. It has also switched many of its burgers to fresh-beef patties from frozen ones to woo diners.

“Customers are rewarding us for the investments we are making,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook said on a post-earnings call with analysts.

“We’ve made significant progress on delivery the past 2 years,” he said, adding that delivery is expected to be a $4 billion business in 2019 for McDonald’s and its franchisees.

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