When a poster of McDonald’s Plan to Win was taken off a wall in corporate headquarters for a freshening-up, chief executive Jim Skinner personally intervened to get the strategy statement back in place ASAP.
“I told people, never, ever take the Plan to Win down and leave it down—do whatever it takes to replace it,” Skinner says. “People might see that and think, ‘Oh, Plan to Win’s down. There must be a change strategically.’”
Never before has innovation been as essential to running a successful quick-serve restaurant concept.
During what has turned out to be the most daunting recession in our nation’s history, innovation has been the driving force for the concepts that are beating the odds.
Often, the inspiration for innovation comes from the top, and that certainly holds true for the following leaders, who were selected from a wide-ranging list of successful operators.
Promotional strategies are the lifeblood of any retail business—quick serves are no exception. Promotions create news that attracts consumer attention, and that attention usually drives sales and traffic. But promotions also shape brand perceptions, and those perceptions are equally important.
Since taking over the burger giant, which now has 32,000 restaurants worldwide, CEO Jim Skinner has restructured McDonald’s, redesigned the restaurants, and revolutionized the menu. Aside from the addition of premium coffee offerings, McDonald’s menu also features healthier choices such as Fruit & Walnut Salads and Chicken Wraps. Skinner also earns high marks for offering better value and improved marketing.
His winning strategy, christened the Plan to Win, focused all team members’ attention on improving service, food, and ambience and not necessarily on opening new stores.
Four years ago, the winds of change moved Scott Gittrich, an experience that the Toppers Pizza CEO is appreciative for these days as his Wisconsin-based pizza chain pushes into a new decade with promise and purpose.
While working with an advertising agency, Gittrich and his Toppers leadership team noted their success with teens and twentysomethings, a revelation that sparked a multiyear plan to renovate existing restaurants and build new outlets with a more casual, youthful edge.