McDonald's

Taco Bell Takes Jab at McDonald's in Newest Ad

With its newest YouTube ad spot, Taco Bell is urging consumers to “move on from [their] old McDonald’s breakfast,” the spot’s narrator says. The “Get with the Times” commercial, which debuted Tuesday, April 8, is a follow up to a spot that premiered the day before the breakfast launch featuring various several paid endorsers by the name of Ronald McDonald.

McDonald's Partners with SMG for Consumer Feedback

Service Management Group Inc. (SMG) has been selected by McDonald’s USA to provide a customer feedback program to approximately 14,000 U.S. restaurants. Customers will be able to offer real-time feedback on their restaurant experiences by accessing an easy-to-use website via any internet-enabled device.

Smooth Transition

Whether or not consumers are flocking to the better-for-you items they’re demanding from quick-serve restaurants is up for debate, but there’s really no argument about yogurt’s success. The dairy product’s growth is hard to ignore; according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, yogurt production doubled between 2002 and 2012 to meet demand.

McDonald's Joins National Recycle Program

GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition announced that McDonald’s USA will be the newest participant in its How2Recycle Label Program. A member of the SPC since 2005, McDonald’s is the first national restaurant chain to join How2Recycle, a program dedicated to clearly and consistently communicating recyclability to the public.

 

McDonald’s Announces All American Games Rosters

The McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Games unveiled the official rosters for the 37th Annual Boys Game and 13th Annual Girls Game during the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Show on ESPNU. The nation’s top annual high school basketball all-star event will again be played at Chicago’s United Center on April 2.

McDonald’s Lets Fans Send #CheersToSochi

With less than one month until the start of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, McDonald’s is launching a new social media campaign to connect fans from around the world with Olympic athletes. Supporters can send personalized messages and good luck wishes to their favorite athletes and teams competing in Sochi by using the hashtag #CheersToSochi on Twitter or visiting www.cheerstosochi.com.

Good Stock

Limited-service companies enjoyed a big year on the stock market in 2013.

Pollo Tropical parent Fiesta Restaurant Group topped quick serve stock prices.
Pollo Tropical parent company Fiesta Restaurant Group was the best performing quick-serve stock last year.

During any given year, a restaurant company that records a 50 percent increase in its stock price could expect to crow pretty loudly about the accomplishment. But even that type of gain wasn’t good enough to crack the top 10 among publicly held limited-service restaurant operators in 2013, as equities market soared.

“It’s been a very good year for the market and for many restaurant companies,” says R.J. Hottovy, a dining industry analyst at Chicago’s investment firm Morningstar. “There were some pockets of weakness, but most restaurant [stock] values have had good gains.”

A Global Game-Changer

Since the days when fliers, posters, and billboards ruled the marketing world, brands have searched high and low for the newest, smartest, and easiest ways to connect consumers with their products. And for several years, sports marketing has provided quick-service concepts the ability to reach a widespread audience while investing in something consumers are passionate about.

Burgers By Design

McDonald’s, White Castle test ordering kiosks that allow for burger customization.

New touch screen ordering kiosks find home at fast food restaurants.
Last month, White Castle debuted a new touch-screen ordering system at a Columbus, Ohio, unit.

Recent technology enhancements by White Castle and McDonald’s show that even traditional quick-service burger chains are considering letting patrons customize their orders.

Last month, White Castle added two touch-screen ordering kiosks at a renovated restaurant in its hometown of Columbus, Ohio. It is the only restaurant in the family-owned, 406-unit chain to feature the kiosks, which are part of a pilot project. The large screens allow customers to order their burgers exactly as they like them in the privacy of the kiosk area, says White Castle vice president Jamie Richardson.

What’s Going On at McDonald’s?

The last decade in quick service was a transformative one. Fast-casual restaurants moved from novel ideas in urban markets to competitive powerhouses with seemingly no ceiling. Health and nutrition became critical filters through which brands vetted their new menu items. And the Great Recession reset growth strategies, with limited-service players shifting their focus to more efficient, streamlined, and calculated expansion.

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