More than a decade into the 21st century, it is safe to say we are living in a brave new world. Television, perhaps the pièce de résistance of last century, has given way to computers and, in turn, desktop computers and laptops may soon give way to tablets and smartphones.
McDonald’s Corporation announced that Don Thompson, president and chief operating officer, was elected to the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately.
“Don is an exceptional leader, with tremendous knowledge of our business and the [quick-serve] industry,” says Andrew McKenna, chairman of McDonald’s Board of Directors. “With his strong global insights, he will bring valuable experience to our Board.”
Catalyst, a nonprofit organization supporting expanded opportunities for women in the workplace, announced that McDonald's Corporation received a 2011 Catalyst Award for its global women's initiative.
Kaiser Permanente and Time Warner Inc. were also honored with the award.
McDonald's Corporation announced that it saw positive results for the fourth quarter, including a global comparable sales increase of 5 percent.
"During 2010, we continued our efforts toward becoming our customers' favorite place and way to eat and drink – and customers rewarded us by visiting our restaurants more often," CEO Jim Skinner says.
"As a result, we generated strong sales and delivered profitable market share growth, along with higher global revenues, operating income and earnings per share."
Kids’ menus have come a long way from the days when they were little more than sandwiches, soft drinks, and small fries for the small fries.
As parents increasingly seek out food that is healthful and nutritious for their children, particularly in light of America’s growing childhood-obesity crisis, restaurants have sought to provide menu items that are not only good for kids, but also taste great.
In 2004, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock released a documentary, Super Size Me, that made waves across the foodservice sector and among American consumers. By eating nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days and ordering the Super Sized version of a meal each time it was offered, Spurlock documented the negative physical toll an experiment like his could have on the human body.
McDonald's kicks off the new year with the national introduction of its new Fruit & Maple Oatmeal available for customers for breakfast and throughout the entire day. Delivering two of the three recommended daily servings for whole grains and about a half cup of fruit, Fruit & Maple Oatmeal is McDonald's first new breakfast offering since 2008.
In the teeth of the recession, Back Yard Burgers developed a new, slimmed-down marketing strategy. The roughly 200-unit, Nashville, Tennessee–based chain cut costs across the board, developed a slick-looking website, and created a social media strategy centered on Facebook and Twitter.
But Ken King, a senior consultant with National Restaurant Consultants Inc., says this was a disaster.
“Their same-store sales in some stores are down as much as 20 or 30 percent,” King says. “They’re just not reaching the public at all.”
Restaurant operators have spent 2010 in wait-and-see mode. The economy seems to have survived the financial collapse of 2008—survived being used quite literally here, as in, not died—and is even slowly growing. But consumers are still pinching pennies, and staying afloat in the restaurant industry remains about as difficult as ever.
Media measurement technology firm General Sentiment released its newest brand analysis, the Fall 2010 Fast Food Industry Report. The report highlights the brands that made the most significant media impact online between September and November. Despite declining nearly 20 percent since the summer, Starbucks still topped General Sentiment’s Impact Value rankings, more than doubling the totals of second and third place brands McDonald’s and Burger King.