McDonald’s set for pan-European marketing drive

McDonald’s is readying a pan-European marketing push to stave off the challenges from fast casual restaurants such as Chipotle and Nando’s as it reports growth across the continent, in particular the UK, in its latest quarter. 

The fast food business is looking to ramp-up its marketing to fuel pan-European sales.

The fast food chain revealed European like-for-like sales for the three months to 31 December rose 1 per cent, in comparison to the 0.2 per cent it posted in the previous quarter.

The rise was driven by “strong” performances in the U.K., Russia and France where campaigns for new menu additions such as its McCafe range have gained cut-through with consumers.

To fuel the growth, McDonald’s says it will continue to put “emphasis” on its value menu and premium products, limited-time offers as well as expand its breakfast offering. In the UK, the business is working on several strategies spanning its digital services, in-store additions and celebrations for its 40th anniversary.

Jill McDonald, chief executive of McDonald’s UK, said the region performed “strongly” in a year where the horse meat scandal “cast a cloud over the food industry” and Britain experienced an “uncharacteristically hot summer”.

She adds: ““We are mindful that whilst the emerging shoots of economic recovery are encouraging, it’s still tough out there for our customers.  So as we look ahead, in 2014, we will continue to focus on providing great value and variety, as well as invest in our restaurants, our people and our menu, to ensure our customers enjoy a great experience every time they visit us and continue to appreciate the value we offer.

“As we continue building on strong and sustained momentum in the UK, we will also be preparing for an exciting landmark year at McDonald’s: in November, we will celebrate our 40th anniversary since opening our first UK restaurant.”

The investments come as restaurants such as Chipotle and Nando’s ramp up their efforts to appeal to more health conscious diners. Nando’s ran a campaign in 2013 to push its revamped loyalty card as part of wider push to drive more people into its restaurants.

Globally, McDonald’s saw sales rise just 0.1 per cent as its struggles on its home turf in the US stunted growth. The business has named Deborah Wahl as chief marketing officer of its USA division to lead its revival efforts.

Don Thompson, chief executive of McDonald’s, said the restaurant chain is “intent” on further differentiating the brand over the coming months.

He added: “While 2013 was a challenging year, we begin 2014 with a renewed focus on the global growth priorities that are most impactful to our customers. We are uniting consumer insights with innovation and consistent execution to optimise our menu, modernise the customer experience and broaden accessibility to brand McDonald’s.”

See an infographic of the ”fast casual” dining trend here.

If you have a great Retail case study from 2013 why not enter the Marketing Week Engage Awards? Find out more at

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here