In twelve minutes (as I begin this post) McDonald’s Steve Easterbrook will outline his turnaround plan here. This is what I think he should do.
Offer a healthier adjunct menu a la Chipotle. No additives, no preservatives, lower salt – you get the idea. Reduce the number of poorer health products to a handful, but keep them available (for a while). Only allow sale of the healthier for you products in-store while relegating the unhealthier items through the drive-up window.
On the healthier-for-you side of the house, change the menu to add some tasty alternative fair: maybe more fish, veggie burgers, better cheeses, a new class of potatoes and nice drinks. They’ll need to be mass-produced to keep speed up, but that’s where the new innovation must come from. This is where the invention must happen. The price points will go crazy at first, as will earnings, but this is a way forward.
McDonald’s is a great American company. It has not charged with the times or evolved with the science discoveries known to the health and food business. It can. It will. I can’t wait to hear what Mr. Easterbrook has to say.