The brand’s profit declined 21% from last year and total revenues for the quarter fell by 7.3%. There was also a 1.1% drop in Europe in the three months to January. Figures were lower than expected by analysts.
During the brand’s conference call, CEO Don Thompson said that 2014 was a “challenging” year due to unforeseen events and weak operating performance, but that the company’s ‘Create Your Taste’ marketing strategy will move McDonald’s forward as it looks to expand the concept across 2,000 stores in 2015.
“Create Your Taste” is a global initiative that looks to promote customisable menus which allow consumers to choose preferred toppings on classic items.
It is part of a wider aim to push customer engagement digitally through kiosks and mobile ordering, and will also involve the implementation of physical restaurant changes and food presentation as well as a new philosophy in the way that employees interact with customers, according to Thompson.
Mike Andres, McDonald’s USA president, added that “Create Your Taste” is just one element of a wider strategy which he called the “Experience of The Future”, which looks at creating a refined experience for consumers.
“We are looking at all aspects of how we bring this new food offering and customer choice and customisation to all the customers who want to experience McDonald’s,” Thompson said.
“We’re seeing some positive results in the market, clearly, otherwise we would not be implementing this. We have Australia at a point that, by year end they will implement nearly 900 restaurants on the platform”
Andres added that the company is looking at its marketing approach to ensure it’s leveraging “the power of the three layers of marketing”.
“We’ve got our local co-ops, we’ve got our national, and we also have local store marketing,” he said. “We’re looking at a revamped marketing approach that better coordinates marketing plans using more sophisticated analytics and data to understand the best way to approach it.”
McDonald’s has been looking for various ways to stall sales declines. Earlier this year (5 Jan) it looked to revamp sales through the ‘I’m lovin’ it’ refresh, which was launched in the US with a look to being launched globally.