It's Fryday: McDonald’s tests new foods, technologies, image
At Investor Day on Thursday, the fast-food giant said it intends to spend $2.9 billion opening more than 1,300 new restaurants next year while also remodeling 2,400 existing locations.
Even as it projects commodity costs to rise up to 5.5% in the U.S. next year, McDonald’s says it’s drawing more customers –- up 3.3% so far this year and 10% over the past two years to 64 million visitors a day.
“This is a testament to our ability to grow our share and to stay relevant at a time when consumers are keeping a tighter grip on their pocketbooks and their expectations of leading global brands like ours continue to rise,” chief operating officer Don Thompson told investors.
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain, which recently re-released its cult favorite McRib pork sandwich, also said it would start building out its technological capabilities with mobile ordering systems, “McDelivery” options and even in-store kiosks for customers to use to choose meals and pay.
The menu could see more additions soon, with an English-style “Pub Burger” under development and a retro-inspired “1955 Burger” spreading across Europe.
Executives also said they’re considering expanding on ideas such as large chicken wraps and popcorn chicken.
This week, the chain unveiled two limited-time seasonal beverages -– the McCafe Peppermint Mocha and the Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Thompson also discussed test items such as the slushie-like Cherry Berry Chiller and the Magnum McFlurry dessert.
Today, McDonald’s is taking advantage of the palindromic date by launching billboards featuring six fries lined up to mimic 11/11/11, or “Fryday,” according to the Crain’s publication.
-- Tiffany Hsu
Photo credit: Tim Boyle / Getty Images