Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Maccas not winning hearts, minds or money in 2012

In April 2012 The Sydney Morning Herald showed that the McDonalds fast food behemoth is living in hope in southern climes:

AUSTRALIA'S love affair with Big Macs and french fries may be waning, with McDonald's growth in the region sliced by more than half.
The fast food giant's global chief operating officer, Donald Thompson, described the local market as ''challenging'' and getting worse.
To counter the sales downturn across Australian stores, McDonald's has introduced initiatives including the launch last month of its Loose Change menu, which offers a range of items under $2 and its Value Lunch deal.
Releasing its first-quarter earnings results in the US on the weekend, McDonald's said sales at its US stores were up 8.9 per cent for the quarter, while comparable-store sales rose 5.5 per cent in its Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa region (APMEA), which takes in Australia………………….
Only a few years ago, following the global financial crisis, Australia was one of the best-performing regions for the restaurant chain. In 2009 the local operation posted sales growth of 6 per cent, nearly double the global rate of 3.8 per cent.
The stronger performance was driven by an image overhaul, including a revamp of its menu to offer healthier alternatives as well as gourmet-style burgers, such as the Angus Burger, which proved a big hit.
The Australian spokeswoman said the local business had improved in the past two months and managers expected it to match global growth rates as the year continued. McDonald's is estimated to have a 46 per cent share of the quick-service restaurant category in Australia. It is planning to open 35 stores this year to take its Australian portfolio to 900.

One could speculate that its ongoing heavy-handed site development tactics in the face of community opposition contribute to the sales down-turn it is experiencing.
However, customer dissatisfaction, as well as health and safety issues, also may play their part in this marked decline.

A McDonald's social media promotional campaign at the beginning of the year was pulled after two hours  and Twitter 'sanitised' because the company's hashtag #McDStoriese produced tweets like these. While its televised advertorial in the same month fell flat.

Again in January, Perth Now reported that McDonalds was being fined for more convictions concerning food quality and preparation. In NSW the company was fined in August 2011 for Fail to maintain the food premises to the required standard of cleanliness - accumulation of rubbish, food debris, grease and dirt on floor  and in March 2012 for Fail to maintain the food premises to the required standard of cleanliness - accumulation of dirt, grease and food waste, previous warnings given  at two of the fast food outlets it manages itself.

ABC News on 11 January 2012 also indicated that customers were being systematically defrauded by staff:

A 33-year-old man is on trial in the District Court in Perth accused of involvement in a multi-million-dollar card skimming scheme involving customers of fast food company McDonald's.
The scheme led to a total of $3.5 million being taken out of the accounts of thousands of West Australians.
It is alleged Navaneeth Ponnabalam was one of many people who took part in the scheme, which involved swapping EFTPOS pin pads at McDonald's stores with ones that could record the bank details of customers.
The court was told customers who used the drive-through had details of their accounts copied by the machines and then money was withdrawn from their accounts interstate and overseas.

In 2012 McDonalds outlets continue to attract antisocial and criminal behaviour, such as stabbings, robbery, violent confrontation with police and assault.

No comments: