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May 4, 2015

McDonald’s CEO releases turnaround plan, stock dips

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp’s (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) new chief executive officer on Monday laid out a turnaround plan that includes reorganizing the company’s operating units, selling more restaurants to franchisees and cutting costs.

Investors gave it a cool reception, sending shares down 1.4 percent to $96.45 in premarket trading.

May 3, 2015

McDonald’s faces ‘show me’ moment with new CEO strategy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – McDonald’s new Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook is set to unveil his plan on Monday to revive growth as the world’s largest hamburger chain struggles to win back consumers and investors.

He’ll be aiming to persuade people such as Janna Sampson, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments, which bought McDonald’s (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shares on the cheap more than a decade ago and eventually held more than 7 million shares as the company spiffed up its restaurants, improved service and expanded its menus with things like fancy coffee, salads and wrap sandwiches.

Apr 29, 2015

McDonald’s tests custom burger program with drive-thru option

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), working to revive sales in an era of mounting fast-food competition, is testing “TasteCrafted,” a more modest version of a new custom sandwich program that will cost franchisees less to install and can be offered through drive-thru windows, an analyst said on Wednesday.

Word of the test, apparently a tweaked version of the McDonald’s “Create Your Taste” customization project, lands just before new Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook is scheduled to unveil his corporate turnaround plan on May 4.

Apr 27, 2015

Chipotle goes GMO-free in first for U.S. fast-food sector

April 27 (Reuters) – Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc on
Monday said the 46 ingredients used in its roughly 1,800
restaurants were now free of genetically modified organisms,
becoming the first major U.S. restaurant chain to make that
switch.

U.S. diners, particularly those in the sought-after young
millennial generation, are seeking fresh foods that are less
processed and more natural or organic. Part of that trend
includes GMO-free foods.

Apr 23, 2015

Starbucks quarterly cafe sales top expectations, shares up

April 23 (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp said on
Thursday sales at its coffee shops in the Americas region grew
more than expected, calming concerns about cooling growth and
sending shares up 4 percent in after-hours trading.

Sales at Starbucks shops open at least 13 months were up 7
percent in the Americas region for the fiscal second quarter
that ended March 29. Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix
expected a rise of 5.1 percent.

Apr 22, 2015

McDonald’s recipe for success may need focus on consumers, workers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – As McDonald’s Corp prepares yet another plan to revive its business, company watchers have the following advice: reconnect with lower income consumers who remain faithful to the brand, improve wages and ease the financial burden on operators.

Steve Easterbrook, the company’s new chief executive, on May 4 will announce his plan to reinvent McDonald’s as a “modern, progressive burger company” that is more responsive to global diners’ increasing demand for fresh, less processed and more customized food.

Apr 22, 2015

McDonald’s to develop new turnaround plan as sales fall again

By Lisa Baertlein and Shailaja Sharma

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp’s (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) new chief executive officer, who is charged with reinvigorating world’s biggest restaurant chain, on Wednesday said he would deliver his turnaround plan next month.

In his first quarterly conference call with investors and analysts, CEO Steve Easterbrook described himself as a “champion of simplicity” who values personal accountability and “progress over perfection.” He took the helm on March 1 following one of McDonald’s most dismal years on record.

Apr 22, 2015

Yum Brands sees short-term challenges before second-half recovery

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), owner of the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurant brands, on Wednesday said it expects another tough quarter before a recovery in China, its No. 1 revenue and profit driver, bolsters results in the second half.

Foreign currency and higher taxes promise to bite Yum’s business more than last year, but executives said things should get better in the third and fourth quarters when results from its China division will be compared with figures hit by a sales swoon resulting from a mid-year food quality scare.

Apr 21, 2015

Yum CEO says China business mending, sees strong year-end finish

By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), owner of KFC and Pizza Hut chains, on Tuesday said business in its biggest market China is recovering from a meat scare at one of its minor suppliers and that the division would finish the year strong.

Yum’s comments on China, its No. 1 market for revenue and profit, sent company shares up 4.3 percent to $84.34 in extended trading.

Apr 15, 2015

McDonald’s relations with franchisees hit new low: survey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp’s (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) relations with its U.S. franchisees have hit a fresh low as the fast-food giant’s new chief executive fights to turn around its domestic business amid fierce competition, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Relations “are the worst I have ever seen!” said one of the 32 franchisees participating in the monthly survey, published by Janney Capital Markets restaurant analyst Mark Kalinowski.

    • About Lisa

      "Lisa writes about restaurants and grocery stores. She is based in Los Angeles and previously has covered computer software, Internet companies, video games, prescription drugs and municipal bonds."
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