In the wake of the “pay with lovin'” promotional campaign, McDonald’s global sales continue to fall for the ninth straight month.
The decline in sales for February was much sharper than the expected 0.7 percent for the United States and 0.3 percent worldwide. Sales in restaurants opened within the last year in the U.S. declined 4 percent, which contributed highly to the 1.7 percent decline worldwide, according to a report from Reuters.
Although the 74-year old company did give food away for free during the month of February, the decline in sales has been happening for quite some time in the face of the “better burger” restaurants such as Chipotle and Chik-Fil-A. People want healthier food, and there are many reports of how McDonald’s is one of the worst fast food chains when it comes to eating healthy.
New CEO Steve Easterbrook made his first big announcement last week that McDonald’s would be phasing out the use of human antibiotics in their chicken. Consuming chicken that has been treated with human antibiotics is thought by some US government bodies and others to contribute to the rise antibiotic-resistant infections. Taking those antibiotics out of the chicken supply has already been done by some of McDonald’s major competitors.
According to The Guardian, “sales in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa region fell 4.4% and appear to still be suffering from the impact of two food scandals. In January, a customer in Japan found a piece of vinyl in a chicken nugget; last summer one of McDonald’s Chinese meat suppliers was accused of selling expired meat to restaurants.”
So there’s a lot of bad press surrounding the worldwide fast-food supplier, and although public opinion is generally negative about McDonald’s, they still average over $2 million per restaurant every year.
On the ways that McDonald’s is trying to fix their dip in sales, Reuters said, “McDonald’s has been trimming complicated menus to speed up service; giving restaurant operators more control over aspects including regional food choices; testing customized burgers and sandwiches to compete with Chipotle, Subway and other popular restaurants; and tweaking advertising to emphasize “Lovin,” a play on the company’s ubiquitous “I’m lovin’ it” tagline.”