McDonald’s new CEO Steve Easterbrook successfully ran the UK business.
Easterbrook, who will replace outgoing CEO Don Thompson, started running the UK division in 2006. Two years later, he took over operations in Northern Europe and boosted sales 10%.
Susanna Kim at ABC News notes differences between McDonald’s in the US and UK.
It’s possible that some of these initiatives could come to America.
1. Free Fruit.
McDonald’s offers a free fruit bag with the purchase of a Happy Meal on the first Friday of every month.
“Since the program launched in March 2014, McDonald’s says it gave away the equivalent of 173,000 whole pineapples, when that fruit was part of the giveaway,” Kim writes.
The company has been trying to make US Happy Meals healthier amid criticism that the burgers and fries were contributing to childhood obesity.
McDonald’s is now offering American children clementines in Happy Meals.
Easterbrook put nutritional information on placemats at McDonald’s in the UK.
Practicing this transparency in America could help improve the fast food chain’s image with consumers who don’t trust the brand.
3. Ethical food sourcing
McDonald’s UK introduced organic milk and coffee certified by the Rainforest alliance, according to Kim.
British eggs have been free-range for the past decade.
If brought to the US, these values could help McDonald’s better compete with Chipotle.
While consumers tend to view McDonald’s food as highly processed, Chipotle offers local produce and meat raised without antibiotics.
McDonald’s US has started releasing videos to show customers where their chicken, french fries, and eggs come from.
4. New desserts.
Kim notes that McDonald’s dessert menu in the UK widely varies from the US.
“Want a Smarties or Cadbury’s Crunchie McFlurry? Or an ice cream cone with Cadbury “99 Flake” chocolate?” Kim asks. “That’s only available if you’re at a McDonald’s in the UK.”
There’s also a chocolate doughnut and berry pie.
Desserts, which are usually premade, are an area where McDonald’s could expand the menu without overwhelming workers.
This would theoretically create excitement without slowing down customer service.
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