McDonald's Shows How to Succeed in Lean Times

Economic news is bleak daily. Today's bad news includes Tribune Co. filing for bankruptcy protection and layoffs at Dow Chemical and Anheuser-Busch. But, a glimmer of good news comes from McDonald's. Its same store sales in November were up 7.7% globally and 4.5% in the U.S. over the previous year. An obvious explanation for the positive results is pricing. McDonald's low priced fare is less immune to a down economy like casual dining restaurants. As a matter of fact, fast food restaurants probably benefit as people who might not patronize Applebee's or Chili's to save money would venture to McDonald's or Sonic instead.

Attributing McDonald's growth to low price does not give proper credit to the company's other marketing moves. Stores have received makeovers, as has the menu. The addition of Southern style chicken sandwiches and biscuits as well as premium coffees has strengthened its offerings. Customers' needs do not go away altogether when they are trying to save money. McDonald's shows good marketing goes beyond offering value prices. It is all about meeting the needs and desires of customers.

Link: USA Today - "McDonald's Same-Store Sales Jump in November"

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