The simple joy of McDonald’s
The Future. As diners seek low-cost options — and inexpensive treats — amid economic volatility, they’re rolling up to classic fast food chains to meet their needs. McDonald’s reported Q4 2022 sales beat analysts’ expectations due in large part to several promotions, like adult Happy Meals, that appealed to a consumers’ inner child. While many brands try to break new ground in a crowded marketplace, there’s something to be said for keeping things simple. In other words, sometimes the simplest idea can be the most innovative.
Let’s eat out
According to The Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s is having a great year.
- US consumer spending at restaurants in December 2022 was up by 12.1% from December 2021, per the Commerce Department.
- McDonald’s reported fourth-quarter sales of $5.93 billion surpassed analysts’ expectations of $5.73 billion.
- The burger giant’s US prices increased by an average of 10% last year compared to 2021. But CEO Chris Kempczinski is asking franchisees to pump the brakes on price hikes. While some lower-income consumers are ordering fewer (or cheaper) items per visit, they’re also patronizing McDonald’s more often.
Do you believe in magic?
McDonald’s bet big on nostalgia in the US last quarter, resurrecting Halloween pails and the McRib sandwich.
- Its collaboration with streetwear brand Cactus Plant Flea Market (producing a limited run of adult Happy Meals) was the restaurant’s biggest hit.
- The Happy Meals generated the highest weekly digital sales the company has ever seen in the US, with some locations selling out of the toys in less than a day, according to Business Insider.
“Customer excitement was palpable,” Kempczinski told investors this week, adding that the McDonald’s brand remains strong and the company will focus on new restaurant openings (about 1,900 globally) to help drive growth in 2023.
We’re lovin’ it. (We had to.)