Why Is McDonald's Fast-Food Empire Struggling?


Quick Answer

As of 2015, McDonald’s is struggling because of a shift in its customers’ preferences and a failure to adapt to these changes. Its name has also become symbolic of unhealthy food.

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Full Answer

The young customer base who made the majority of McDonald’s customers has shifted to fast-casual chains where they deem the food as healthier, tastier and customizable. The customers are also willing to pay more for the options in the fast-casual restaurants.

At McDonald’s, customers get overwhelmed by the increasingly complicated menu when ordering, resulting in long lines. With more options to prepare, the kitchens get overwhelmed, resulting in longer preparation times and longer waiting times for the customers.

Many McDonald’s franchises are rundown and outdated while the newer fast-casual restaurants are trendy, clean and fun. Therefore, people prefer the new establishments and view McDonald’s as a last resort.

McDonald’s has a reputation of being an inexpensive place to eat, so it’s difficult to raise prices and offer premium foods because their customer base would not pay up. Also, because the food is cheap, the general assumption is that it is of low quality too.

McDonald's attracts a lot of criticism and has also become a common choice symbol for describing poor eating habits. It also has had to deal with the bad reputation of paying its employees poorly and that of one of its suppliers in China being accused of supplying rotting meat and altering meat expiry dates.

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