The winning formula that makes an organization's reinvention successful is beautifully illustrated in McDonald's most recent 2015 overhaul. Riding the food industry's current shift to emphasize freshness, sustainability and accountability, McDonald's has managed a hole-in-one. Exploring their strategy and objectives is food for thought for anyone interested in building a successful business.
McDonald's is the largest fast-food chain in the world with over 35,000 restaurants. Committed to providing an exceptional customer experience, it has aligned its worldwide operations around a global strategy to achieve that objective. But, after steady growth from 2006 to 2012, the global value of the brand fell dramatically in 2013.
In 2015, McDonald’s successfully revamped its operations, spruced up its image and set new goals. The genius of McDonald's is in its willingness to change with the times. Determined to remain at the top of the fast food industry, it pulled off an amazing comeback. The iconic golden arches stand strong as the organization’s global value soared to 97.72 billion in 2017.
Back in the early days of the chain, McDonald’s objectives reflected solid business values like social responsibility and good returns for its shareholders. Its goal was to serve good food quickly in a friendly environment. However, over time, McDonald’s food had become as underwhelming as the performance of the chain. Consumers, especially millennials, were abandoning McDonald’s for healthier, fresher food choices.
Trimming its overstuffed menu in favor of a curated selection of better quality, less-processed food was among the primary objectives to create the new face of McDonald’s. Customizable burgers and sandwiches, 100-percent "real" chicken sandwiches and pure beef burgers, and a selection of Bacon Ranch Salads are among the newest value items on the menu. Comfortable, café-style restaurants invite lingering over a gourmet coffee and an all-day breakfast including the new, health-conscious Egg White Delight McMuffin, are another example of the new McDonald’s experience.
Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's, said upon his first introduction to the business under its original founders in 1954, “When I saw it working that day, I felt like some latter-day Newton who’d just had an Idaho potato carom off his skull. That night in my motel room I did a lot of heavy thinking about what I’d seen. Visions of McDonald’s restaurants dotting crossroads all over the country paraded through my brain.”
Kroc fell in love with the art of consistency and efficiency he witnessed that day in San Bernardino, California. His innovative vision of morphing McDonald's into a chain-restaurant business became a reality that defines Kroc's legacy, and McDonald's success continues to inspire businesses throughout the world. The newest reincarnation of McDonald's promises to keep entrepreneurs in the fast-food industry, or any kind of business, excited about designing, launching and running their own unique version of “the dream.”